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Tag: President Obama

NYT Editorial: Justice Department Too Slow to Apply Mercy

jail2photoBy Editorial Board
New York Times

President Obama last week commuted the prison terms of 214 federal inmates who were sent to prison under draconian, ’80s-era laws that have since been revised. Among them were 67 people serving life sentences, nearly all of them for nonviolent drug offenses.

Mercy was granted in these cases. But the federal clemency system — which moves far too slowly and is too often blocked by politics in both the Justice Department and the White House — was never intended to manage miscarriages of justice that happen on a vast scale, as was the case when so many Americans were sent to prison under the “tough on crime” policies of the 1980s.

The country needs a variety of mechanisms for reducing unreasonably long sentences. And the Justice Department, which has considerable latitude in these matters, needs to do more within the course of its regular operations to deal with the legacy of sentencing policies that have been recognized as destructively unfair.

The former attorney general, Eric Holder Jr., took an important step: In 2014, he supported the United States Sentencing Commission’s decision to reduce sentences for many nonviolent drug crimes and asked that people in prison be made eligible for the reductions. According to the Justice Department, more than 12,000 people have been released under that effort.

Recently, however, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a Justice Department agency, has come under criticism for not doing enough with the powers it already has to help inmates who deserve to be released. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 authorizes the bureau to ask a federal judge to reduce an inmate’s sentence when there are “extraordinary and compelling” reasons for doing so.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

PolitFact: Relatives of Slain Border Patrol Agent Wrong About Available Agents

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Relatives of Brian Terry, the Border Patrol agent who was killed in a shootout with Mexican bandits in December 2010, criticized President Obama for “thinly equipped” Border Patrol agents.

“In Arizona, for example, there are only one and a half agents per every 10 square miles,” Kelly Terry-Willis said July 18. “This is unacceptable.”

Kent Terry continued, “Only one candidate is serious about border security, and that’s Donald Trump.”

PolitFact checked the assertion about Border Patrol staffing and concluded it was “false.” 

PolitFact wrote:

Terry-Willis said, in Arizona,”there are only one and a half (Border Patrol) agents per every 10 square miles.”

Based on our calculations, she actually overestimates the number of Border Patrol agents compared to square miles. But that’s still misleading — and leaves out important context.

Most Border Patrol agents survey areas closer to the Arizona-Mexico border, not the rest of the state. The number of agents per linear mile is much higher.

We rate the statement False.

Fox News: FBI’s ‘Blatant Malfeasance’ Behind Decision Not to Charge Clinton

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Tom Fitton
Fox News

There is the bipartisan pretense that the FBI is the only government agency in Washington that is above reproach. Yet, this is the agency that collaborated with Lois Lerner and the IRS in an effort to criminally prosecute opponents of Barack Obama. Then, unsurprisingly, this same FBI (and Justice Department) found nothing worth prosecuting in their own blatant malfeasance.

Again, this is the same FBI whose Keystone Cops approach to counter-terrorism failed to prevent eminently preventable terrorist acts ranging from the Boston Marathon bombing to the Orlando massacre. In fact, we now know that an FBI supervisor actually told one Florida police department investigating Omar Mateen, “We do NOT believe he is a terrorist” [Emphasis in original]

How does an agency with this sort of record escape accountability? Quite simply, by doing favors for the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It is to politicians like Clinton and Obama that men such as Comey owe their jobs – and agencies such as the FBI owe their budgets. And so, they are subservient.

According to Comey’s testimony before the House Thursday, the Hillary Clinton lies, subterfuge, document destruction and national security violations that would, for starters, get you or any other non-political elitist drummed out of the FBI, shouldn’t even be considered for prosecution by a “reasonable prosecutor.” Well, not if that “reasonable prosecutor” owes his meal ticket and position of power to the likes (and dislikes) of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

To read more click here. 

DEA Has New One-Strike Policy for Agents Who Solicit Prostitutes

DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is cracking down on sexual misconduct by its agents by instituting a one-strike policy for agents who solicit prostitutes, even if they are off duty.

The Washington Times reports the DEA also will release an internal report on employees’ bad actions and the punishments they’ve received.

“Solicitation of prostitution on duty or off duty, whether you’re in a jurisdiction where it is legal or illegal, first time offense — removal,” DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said.

In 2012, the DEA discovered that some of its agents had hired prostitutes in Columbia while preparing for President Obama’s visit.

AG Loretta Lynch: Obama’s Endorsement of Clinton Won’t Compromise Probe

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Loretta Lynch sought to assure the public that President Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton won’t compromise the investigation into the former secretary of state’s use of a private e-mail server.

Lynch told “Fox News Sunday” that Obama has not been a part of the investigation and that no conflict of interest exists.

The FBI is investigating whether Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server violated the law.

Republicans have been questioning the fairness of an investigation led by Obama’s administration.

Does Obama’s Endorsement of Hillary Clinton Undermine FBI Probe?

hillary-clintonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president undermines the FBI investigation into the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server, Republicans claim.

Fox News’ Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen asked the president’s press secretary, Joshua Earnest, whether there was a conflict of interest, Politico reports.

“You have other employees of the executive branch, career prosecutors, FBI agents, working this case who have now just heard how the president wants to see this case resolved, in essence. Isn’t there some conflict there?” Rosen asked Earnest.

“James, there’s not,” Earnest replied. “The reason that the president feels confident that he can go out and make this endorsement and record a video in which he describes his strong support for Secretary Clinton’s campaign is that he knows the people who are conducting the investigation aren’t going to be swayed by any sort of political interference. They aren’t going to be swayed by political forces.”

Earnest continued: “This is the reason that we actually ask career federal prosecutors to take the lead on these kinds of matters,” Earnest continued, responding to a follow-up question from Rosen. “They don’t have political jobs. They have career jobs as law enforcement officers and as prosecutors and investigators. That’s what their responsibility is.”

Federal Judge Slams Justice Department Attorney’s Handling of Immigration Case

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge in Texas slammed the Justice Department on Thursday, ordering ethics classes for the department’s lawyers who  argued President Obama’s immigration executive actions.

The New York Times reports that Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court in Brownsville also ordered sanctions agains the lawyers, who are accused of lying to him during arguments in the case.

The judge also wants the government to provide a list of about 100,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally and are protected from deportation as part of a government program.

“Clearly, there seems to be a lack of knowledge about or adherence to the duties of professional responsibility in the halls of the Justice Department,” Judge Hanen wrote in the 28-page order.

The Justice Department said in a statement, “We strongly disagree with this order.”

Native American Sentenced to Killing FBI Agents in 1977 Asks for Clemency

Leonard PeltierBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A group of prominent lawyers is trying to win the freedom of Leonard Peltier, a Lakota tribe member who was convicted of murdering two FBI agents in 1977.

Mother Jones reports that Peltier, who has served 40 of his 71 federal prison sentence, is appealing for clemency and requesting that President Obama make it happen.

“[T]he time has come for the interests of the law enforcement community to be balanced against principles of fundamental fairness, reconciliation, and healing,” the lawyers wrote in a five-page letter to the president. 

“Mr. Peltier has exhausted all appeals and is next eligible to apply for parole in 2024, in the unlikely event that he lives that long,” the letter to Obama states. “The Parole Commission has yielded to the objections of the FBI and DOJ in denying Mr. Peltier’s applications for parole at every turn. Effectively, this Petition represents the last chance in Mr. Peltier’s lifetime for the Government to take curative and/or reconciliatory action.”

To some, Peltier has become international symbol the justice system’s mistreatment of Native Americans. His trial was fraught with irregularities, including witnesses who said they were coerced by the FBI.

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