Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

October 2019
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Eric Holder Jr.

Justice Dept. to Stop Pushing Defendants in Guilty Pleas to Waive Right to DNA Testing

Holder delivers speech recently in Orlando/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Justice Department policy during the Bush-era is about to get the boot.

The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will issue a memo Thursday to U.S. Attorneys around the country saying that he’s overturning a policy which urged prosecutors to push defendants hammering out guilty pleas to waive their right to DNA testing in their cases, a right which is guaranteed under federal law.

The Post wrote that the “waivers have been in widespread use in federal cases for about five years and run counter to the national movement toward allowing prisoners to seek post-conviction DNA testing to prove their innocence. More than 260 wrongly convicted people have been exonerated by such tests, though virtually all have been state prisoners.”

To read more click here.

House Passes Bill Reducing Sentencing Disparity With Crack Cocaine

file photo/dea

file photo/dea

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday passed legislation drastically reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine — a longtime disparity critics saw as unfairly targeting African Americans.

Previously, under the 1986 law, a person selling crack got the same sentence as someone selling 100 times the amount of powdered cocaine. The ratio will now go to 18 to 1.

The old bill became law while crack-cocaine was spinning out of control and savaging urban areas. But critics said it amounted to giving harsher sentences to African Americans who sold crack and lesser sentences to whites who were selling more of the powder cocaine.

The bill now goes before President Obama for his signature.

Read more »

“Altar Boy” Federal Prosecutor in Brooklyn Behind Many Terrorism Convictions

terrorismJeffrey Hayworth Knox may look like an altar boy, but he’s gone up against some serious evil in the terrorism world and prevailed. William Rashbaum of the New York Times tells us about Knox.

By William Rashbaum
New York Times

In March, the Justice Department released a lengthy list of its successful terrorism prosecutions since 9/11, part of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s response to Republican criticism that the Obama administration had mishandled several international cases by bringing them in the federal courts rather than before military commissions.

But in the political tumult — which included charges that the administration had no stomach for the fight against terrorism and had squandered opportunities to collect valuable intelligence because it was too quick to read suspects their Miranda rights — one aspect of the list attracted little notice: Over the last two years, about one-third of the international terrorism convictions around the nation, and nearly all of those involving the post-9/11 activities of core operatives of Al Qaeda, were won by the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

And all of those cases were supervised, and in many instances handled in court, by one assistant United States attorney: Jeffrey Haworth Knox, a prosecutor who looks like an altar boy, grew up in the conservative environs of Orange County, Calif., and Dallas, and has described himself as a traditional law-and-order Republican.

To read the full story click here.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Visits Afghanistan to Talk About Corruption

eric holder-msnbcBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder came to Afghanistan on Wednesday to talk to officials about the justice system and public corruption, which seems to be running rampant, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that Holder’s visit comes in wake of Afghan’s top prosecutor’s denial that he was being pressured to look the other way when it came to pursuing cases against high ranking officials.

“Fighting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Afghanistan are top priorities for this administration, and we will continue to assist the Afghan government in creating and sustaining the effective criminal justice system to which the Afghan people are entitled,” Holder said in a statement issued by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, AP reported.

To read more click here.

Atty. Gen. Holder to Visit Gulf and Meet With U.S. Attorneys

Atty. Gen. Holder/doj photo

Atty. Gen. Holder/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — With the Obama administration seething over the Gulf oil spill, a criminal probe may be one way to express anger against BP.

The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will visit the out-control spill in the Gulf on Tuesday and meet with U.S. Attorneys from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi and state law enforcement officials from those areas.

The Los Angeles Times over the weekend reported that a team of federal prosecutors  and investigators are gathering information and exploring the possibility of launching an all out criminal probe into whether BP “skirted federal safety regulations and misled the U.S. government by saying it could quickly clean up an environmental accident.”

Read Washington Post Story

Read LA Times Story

D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office #2 Prosecutor Channing Phillips Off to the Justice Dept. to Help With Diversity Management

Channing Phillips/doj photo

Channing Phillips/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Channing Phillips, the number two person in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, is heading off to the Justice Department several blocks away to become Deputy Associate Attorney General for Diversity Management.

A Justice Department memo announcing the move said Phillips will be responsible for the implementation  of Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s Diversity Management Plan, which calls for greater diversity in such areas as hiring, promotions and retention at the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney’s Offices and agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF and Marshals.

Phillips will also serve as Executive Director for the Attorney General’s Diversity Management Advisory Council.

Phillips first joined the Justice Department in 1990 and was hired by then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder Jr. in 1994 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the D.C. office. He held a variety of posts over the year, including chief of staff,  but was best known to reporters as the affable and very able person who dealt with the media.

Last May, he was appointed interim U.S. Attorney and tossed his hat into the ring to be considered for the permanent post, which is a presidential appointment.  But he lost out to a private attorney and former federal prosecutor Ronald Machen, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February.  Phillips subsequently became the second in command of the office.

Many believed that Phillips was clearly capable of handling the U.S. Attorney job, but because he had been a career prosecutor, he wasn’t able to build up the political capital necessary to close the deal.

LA Times Editorial: Messing With Miranda Warning “Bad Idea”

dea photo

dea photo

By The Los Angeles Times
Editorial Page

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and the White House are floating the idea of legislation that would create a new exception to the Miranda rule for suspected terrorists. It’s not as outrageous as Sen. Joe Lieberman’s proposal that accused terrorists be stripped of their U.S. citizenship, but it’s still a bad idea.

In a television interview this week, Holder said only that he wanted to work with Congress on legislation to provide investigators with “necessary flexibility.”

To read Full Editorial click here.

Now That Wasn’t Very Long: Deputy Atty. Gen. David Ogden Stepping Down

People inside the department complained of low morale and too much politics. Interestingly, it’s not a very long time to stick around. Then again, better to go now if it’s not working out instead of dragging it out and creating more problems.

David Ogden/law firm photo

David Ogden/law firm photo

By Joe Palazzolo
Main Justice

WASHINGTON — After less than a year as the Justice Department’s No. 2 official, David Ogden is returning to private practice, the department announced Thursday. His resignation will take effect on Feb. 5, allowing the Obama administration time to nominate his successor.

Ogden, 56, co-chaired President Barack Obama’s Justice Department transition team and was confirmed as Deputy Attorney General in March. He is expected to return to Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where he was co-chair of the government and regulatory litigation practice group.

Rumors had circulated for weeks that Ogden was on his way out amid reports of bad morale at the Justice Department and displeasure with his management style.

For Full Story