Posts filtered by tags: Justice Department[x]


Highlighting how the Biden Administration could and should start reforming federal BOP

I have lamented in post after post that the Biden Administration has so far failed to seize the opportunity to advance federal sentencing reforms by making needed appointments to US Sentencing Commission, and I will continue to be troubled by (and complain about) its failings in this space for as long as it lasts.  In the meantime, I am pleased to see this new AP article highlighting another so-far-missed Biden Administration missed opportunity under the headline: "Is Biden overlooking Bureau of...
Tags: Law, Ap, United States, Biden, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, Loyola Law School, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, US Sentencing Commission, Maria Morris, Andrea Armstrong, Biden Administration, Michael Carvajal, Prez Biden

Shouldn't federal prosecutors already be doing what they can to minimize the unjust crack-powder sentencing disparity?

At last month's Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on "Examining Federal Sentencing for Crack and Powder Cocaine," the Biden Administration through the testimony of Regina LaBelle rightly stated that the crack-powder sentencing disparity produces "significant injustice": The Biden-Harris Administration strongly supports eliminating the current disparity in sentencing between crack cocaine and powder cocaine.  The current disparity is not based on evidence yet has caused significant harm for dec...
Tags: Law, Congress, Doj, Justice Department, US Department of Justice, Department, Garland, Douglas A Berman, Regina LaBelle, Biden Harris Administration

Noticing Biden Administration's withdrawal of pursuit of the death penalty in many cases

This new New York Times article, headlined "U.S. Won’t Seek Death Penalty in 7 Cases, Signaling a Shift Under Biden," reports on a notable set of pending case developments suggesting one way that the Biden Administration is making good on its stated antipathy toward capital punishment.  Here are excerpts: One man was charged in Orlando, Fla., with kidnapping and fatally shooting his estranged wife. Another man was indicted in Syracuse, N.Y., in the armed robbery of a restaurant and the murders ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, New York Times, Boston Marathon, Biden, Justice Department, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Charleston, American Civil Liberties Union, Orlando Fla, Anchorage, Donald J Trump, Sacramento Calif, Garland, Stubbs, Douglas A Berman

The Geek in Review Ep. 125 – Shailini George on Law Students Doing Well and Being Well

Suffolk Law Professor Shailini George joins us to talk about her new book, The Law Student’s Guide to Doing Well and Being Well. Professor George talks about the need for law students to take better care of their mental and physical health in order for them to not only do well in law school but to be better lawyers once they enter the profession. Whether it is stopping task switching, setting boundaries on their time, or allowing themselves to be bored, she lays out a guide for students to do b...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Podcast, Law, Russia, Uncategorized, US, Fbi, Mental Health, Marley, Law School, Justice Department, Casetext, Suffolk, Trump, George

New York Times reporting Biden Justice Department agrees with OLC memo stating prisoners transferred to home confinement must return to prison after pandemic ends

As reported in this new New York Times article, headlined "Biden Legal Team Decides Inmates Must Return to Prison After Covid Emergency," it appears that the US Department of Justice is not changing its view of the limits of congressional authority to move people to home confinement under the CARES Act. Here are the details: The Biden administration legal team has decided that thousands of federal convicts who were released to home confinement to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 will be re...
Tags: Law, Congress, White House, New York Times, Biden, Justice Department, US Department of Justice, Faith and Freedom Coalition, OLC, Douglas A Berman, Justice Department 's Office of Legal Counsel, Andrew Bates, Biden Justice Department, Prez Biden, AG Garland, Biden Justice Department FAMM

New report highlights how various federal agencies other than DOJ can advance criminal justice reform

The Center for American Progress has this intriguing new report titled "Beyond the U.S. Department of Justice: An Intersectional Approach To Advancing Criminal Justice Reform at the Federal Level." The report discusses the work that leading federal agencies other than the Justice Department could do to improve criminal justice systems. Here is part of the report's introduction: The nation urgently needs to rethink justice system operations, from policing and prosecution to probation and parole. ...
Tags: Law, America, Biden, Doj, Justice Department, U S Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, Center for American Progress, Department of Veterans Affairs, Douglas A Berman

"We Know How to Fix the Clemency Process. So Why Don’t We?"

The title of this post is the headline of this new New York Times essay authored by Rachel Barkow and Mark Osler.  As with everything authored by these two professors, this piece should be read in full.  Here are excerpts: The fundamental problem with having the Justice Department run clemency is that prosecutors aren’t good at it.  Under the department’s regulations, the Office of the Pardon Attorney must give “considerable weight” to the opinions of local prosecutors — the very people who sou...
Tags: Justice, Law, New York Times, Biden, Justice Department, HARRIS, Douglas A Berman, Rachel Barkow, Mark Osler

"When Will Joe Biden Start Using His Clemency Powers?"

The question in the title of this post is the headline of this lengthy New York magazine article by Zak Cheney-Rice.  The obvious answer, of course, is "not soon enough," given that Prez Biden has gone his first six month, amid a global pandemic after campaigning as a reformer, without a single act of clemency.  But the piece strikes a slightly more hopeful tone, and here excerpts:  According to the New York Times, the Biden administration has signaled, as recently as this summer and in multipl...
Tags: New York, Law, White House, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, Aclu, New York Times, Bill Clinton, Biden, Times, Donald Trump, Harry Truman, Justice Department, New York University, Trump, Nixon

Gwen Levi, face of federal home confinement cohort at risk of prison return, granted compassionate release

In prior posts (some linked below), I have discussed the Office of Legal Counsel memo which interprets federal law to require that certain persons transferred to home confinement pursuant to the CARES Act be returned to federal prison when the pandemic ends.  In this recent post, I noted one person at risk of serving many more years in prison after success on home confinement, Gwen Levi, who was getting particular attention because she had already been re-incarcerated on the basis of a seemingly...
Tags: Law, Biden, Usa Today, Levi, Justice Department, Trump, Office of Legal Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, OLC, Douglas A Berman, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Kevin Ring, Chasanow, AG Garland, Biden Justice Department FAMM, Gwen Levi

"Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Imposes a Moratorium on Federal Executions; Orders Review of Policies and Procedures"

The title of this post is the heading of this notable new US Justice Department press release.  Here is the main text of the press release: Today, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland issued a memorandum imposing a moratorium on federal executions while a review of the Justice Department’s policies and procedures is pending. “The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the Un...
Tags: Law, US, United States, Department Of Justice, Justice Department, Garland, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, Merrick B Garland, Justice Manual, Office of Legal Policy, Federal Executions

When might we expect appointments to a new — a truly new — US Sentencing Commission?

As the calendar turns to July, it seems a good time to express my frustration that we are now nearly six months into the Biden Administration and there has not yet been any nominations to the US Sentencing Commission.  As I have noted in a number of prior posts (some linked below), due to a lack of Sentencing Commissioners, the USSC has been only somewhat functional for only a small portion of the last five years, and the USSC has not had complete set of commissioners firmly in place for the bet...
Tags: Law, Congress, Massachusetts, US, Joe Biden, Harvard, Circuit, Biden, Justice Department, St Paul Minnesota, Osler, University of St Thomas, USSC, Nancy Gertner, Douglas A Berman, U S Sentencing Commission

Will any new sentencing issues be central to the new "comprehensive crime reduction strategy" soon to come from Prez Biden?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this new lengthy CNN piece headlined "Concerns rising inside White House over surge in violent crime."  Here are excerpts: A nationwide surge in violent crime has emerged as a growing area of concern inside the White House, where President Joe Biden and his aides have listened with alarm as local authorities warn a brutal summer of killing lies ahead. Biden plans to address the spike in shootings, armed robberies and vicious assaults on Wedn...
Tags: Law, Congress, White House, Joe Biden, Cnn, Department Of Justice, Biden, Justice Department, Kamala Harris, Clinton, Democratic Party, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms, Rose Garden, Jen Psaki, Douglas A Berman, David Chipman

Morning Docket: 06.17.21

* A trademark lawsuit filed by Ice Cube against Robinhood has been dismissed. Guess the judge put "ice" on that litigation... [Yahoo News] * Prosecutors say Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels's former lawyer, deserves "very substantial" prison time for crimes he purportedly committed. [NBC News] * The Justice Department has ended a criminal inquiry and lawsuit over the publication of a book by John Bolton. [New York Times] * Congressman Mo Brooks has purportedly accused the person who served ...
Tags: Utah, New York Post, Law, Nbc News, New York Times, Ice Cube, Robinhood, Justice Department, John Bolton, Yahoo News, Mo Brooks, Morning Docket, Michael Avenatti, Michael Avenatti Stormy Daniels

Justice Department files SCOTUS brief seeking to restore death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

As repoted in this Hill piece, the "Biden administration on Monday urged the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty against the Boston Marathon bomber in an apparent break with the president's stated opposition to capital punishment."  Here are the details (with a link to the filing): In a 48-page brief, the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the justices to reverse a Boston-based federal appeals court that vacated the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the lone surviving perpetrator of...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, White House, Boston, Boston Marathon, Biden, Doj, Justice Department, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Trump, First Circuit, Hill, U S Court of Appeals, Tsarnaev, The Hill, AG Barr

Michael Cohen says DOJ acted like 'mafia' under the 'corrupt arm of the Trump administration' after the revelation it secretly obtained data from Democratic lawmakers

Michael Cohen pauses while speaking with members of the media after leaving the Manhattan district attorney’s office on March 19, 2021 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images Michael Cohen told Insider the Justice Department was corrupted by former President Donald Trump. The ex-president's former personal attorney was reacting to news the department spied on lawmakers. The department had subpoenaed Apple for data on Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, among others. See mor...
Tags: Apple, Politics, Law, Russia, Trends, Surveillance, New York Times, Manhattan, Department Of Justice, Donald Trump, Doj, Charles Davis, Justice Department, Trump, Democratic, Cohen

"At one of their debates, Mr. Biden accused Mr. Trump of treating the Justice Department like his 'own law firm' in the suit, filed against him by the writer E. Jean Carroll."

"'What’s that all about?' he sarcastically asked. But on Monday night, nearly eight months after Mr. Biden’s attack, his own Justice Department essentially adopted Mr. Trump’s position, arguing that he could not be sued for defamation because he had made the supposedly offending statements as part of his official duties as president. In a brief filed with a federal appeals court in New York... the Biden administration’s Justice Department, now led by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland... said...
Tags: New York, Law, White House, Joe Biden, Department Of Justice, Biden, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Defamation, Carroll, Trump, Oval Office, Ann Althouse, Mr Trump, Merrick B Garland, Trump the ex-President

How Far Can We Go Before the Constitutional Bargain Is Undermined?

The Quebec Government’s An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec (Bill 96), has generated considerable controversy over whether a province is able to make significant constitutional changes to its status and the use of the French and English languages unilaterally. It also raises the question of whether, if enacted and the constitution is amended, it will undermine the very architecture of the 1867 constitutional “deal” that united the original four members of confede...
Tags: Google, Supreme Court, Law, Senate, Court, Canada, New Brunswick, House, House Of Commons, Cambridge, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Victoria, Bill, Parliament, Oklahoma

Uninspired comments and plans emerging from Biden White House concerning clemency vision

The New York Times has this new story that reinforces some of the buzz I have been recently hearing that Prez Biden is disinclined to significantly transform either the process or the practice of federal clemency anytime soon.  Regular readers know I have been urging clemency action by Prez Biden since his first days in office, but the first line of the article suggests we ought not expect any grants until at least mid to late 2022: "Administration officials have quietly begun evaluating clemenc...
Tags: Law, Navy, White House, Barack Obama, Aclu, New York Times, Army, Department Of Justice, Biden, Justice Department, Trump, American Civil Liberties Union, Cato Institute, Prez Obama, Hoskins, Meade

The Trump Justice Department tried forcing Twitter to reveal the identity of a Devin Nunes parody account

In this Oct. 19, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony to sign a "Presidential Memorandum Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West," Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Scottsdale, Ariz.. Standing behind the president is Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster The Trump Department of Justice tried to force Twitter to say who was behind the account, @NunesAlt. The account makes fun of Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and Trump loya...
Tags: Twitter, Politics, Law, Congress, California, Trends, Department Of Justice, Donald Trump, Charles Davis, Wall Street Journal, Justice Department, Trump, Calif, US Department of Justice, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Devin Nunes

Ex-Green Beret sentenced for conspiring with Russian agents

By Christina Carrega | CNN A former Army Green Beret was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison for conspiring with Russian agents to provide them with US defense intelligence, the Justice Department announced Friday. Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 46, of Gainesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy, which started back in 1996 when he made frequent visits to Russia to meet with their intelligence agents and at some point was given a code name and signed a settlement “attesting tha...
Tags: Politics, News, Russia, US, Sport, World news, Cnn, Soccer, Military, Army, Courts, Justice Department, Eastern District of Virginia, Gainesville Virginia, National News, Raj Parekh

Fourth Circuit to review en banc recent panel ruling that lengthy (within-guideline) drug sentence was unreasonable

I noted in this post a few months ago the fascinating split Fourth Circuit panel ruling in US v. Freeman, No. 19-4104 (4th Cir. Mar. 30, 2021) (available here), which started this way: Precias Freeman broke her tailbone as a teenager, was prescribed opioids, and has been addicted to the drugs ever since. In 2018, she was sentenced to serve more than 17 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone and oxycodone in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). Afte...
Tags: Law, US, Justice Department, Fourth Circuit, Freeman, Douglas A Berman, Precias Freeman, Fourth Circuit Prior

Noting how carceral craziness and foolhardy finality fixations result in cases like Tarahrick Terry's

As highlighted in this post following this past week's SCOTUS oral argument, the questions from the Justices strongly suggest that the Supreme Court will soon rule that Tarahrick Terry is not entitled to seek a resentencing under the FIRST STEP Act provision making the Fair Sentencing Act retroactive.  Over at SCOTUSblog, Ekow Yankah has this effective review of the Terry argument which spotlights a portion I found especially notable toward the end: One dissonant note came late in the morning, ...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Fsa, US, United States, Terry, Bias, Doj, Justice Department, Booker, Dorsey, Kavanaugh, Len Bias, USSC

Notably advocacy for Prez Biden to use his clemency power to ensure those released into home confinement need not return to prison

Alice Marie Johnson and Ja’Ron Smith have this notable new USA Today opinion piece headlined "COVID-19 concerns sent thousands of inmates home. Give clemency to those who deserve it." The subtitle of the piece captures its themes: "Nearly 5,000 inmates may be sent back to prison. After rebuilding their lives, and being contributing members of society, how is being returned justice?". Here are excerpts (links from original): This spring, as more Americans are able to get vaccinated, there’s hope...
Tags: Usa, Law, America, Joe Biden, Biden, Usa Today, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Bureau of Prisons, OLC, Douglas A Berman, Alice Marie Johnson, Ja'Ron Smith, Prez Biden

Spotlighting effectiveness of home confinement under CARES Act and concerns about OLC memo disruption

USA Today has this lengthy new piece highlighting the administration of home confinement in the federal system during the pandemic and the worries about a Justice Department memo which could return offenders to prison. I recommend the piece in full, which is headlined "Inmates sent home during COVID-19 got jobs, started school. Now, they face possible return to prison." Here are some excerpts: In the weeks and months since he was sent home, RJ Edwards found a job, bought a car, got an apartment...
Tags: Law, Joe Biden, Iowa, Usa Today, Justice Department, Trump, Grassley, Edwards, Sen Chuck Grassley, OLC, Douglas A Berman, Merrick Garland, COVID, RJ Edwards, Office of Legal Counsel They, Michael -RSB- Carvajal

US Justice Department expresses 'concerns' over the GOP's Arizona election audit being conducted by Cyber Ninjas

Cyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan, left, a Florida-based consultancy, talks about overseeing a 2020 election ballot audit ordered by the Republican lead Arizona Senate at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as a Cyber Ninjas IT technician demonstrates a ballot scan during a news conference Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. The equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden and the 2.1 million ballots were moved to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who...
Tags: Asia, Florida, Politics, Law, US, Trends, Joe Biden, Audit, Gop, Arizona, Department Of Justice, Republican, Biden, Conspiracy Theories, Doj, Charles Davis

Might Prez Biden use his clemency power relatively soon?

The question in the title of this post is promoted by this notable new Hill article headlined "Biden set to flex clemency powers."  The headline is a bit more encouraging than the full article for those eager to see some action on this front, and here are some of the details: White House officials are signaling that President Biden is prepared to flex his clemency powers as officials wade through a large backlog of requests behind the scenes, according to advocates with whom the White House has...
Tags: Law, Congress, White House, Aclu, Susan Rice, New Orleans, Biden, Voice, Justice Department, American Civil Liberties Union, Hill, Hoskins, Dana Remus, Jen Psaki, Douglas A Berman, Cedric Richmond

Meet Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova, the Republican power couple caught up in the FBI's Rudy Giuliani investigation

Rudolph Giuliani, Joseph diGenova, and Victoria Toensing, attorneys for then-President Donald Trump, conduct a news conference. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Image Victoria Toensing was served a search warrant alongside Rudy Giuliani last week. She and her husband and law partner, Joseph diGenova, have been close to Giuliani for decades. They were instrumental in the Ukraine scandal that led to former president Donald Trump's first impeachment. See more stories on Insider...
Tags: Europe, Politics, News, Media, Law, Vladimir Putin, Obama, Congress, Senate, White House, Russia, New York City, US, Trends, Reagan, Joe Biden

National Guard member's arrest marks fourth service member charged in Capitol riot

In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo rioters supporting President Donald Trump storm the Capitol in Washington. AP Photo A member of the Wisconsin National Guard was arrested Monday over his role in the Capitol attack. Abram Markofski is the fourth service member to face federal charges over the January 6 insurrection. A federal judge released Markofski Monday pending a virtual May 10 hearing. See more stories on Insider's business page. Authorities arrested a member of the Wisconsin Natio...
Tags: Politics, Washington Post, Washington, Defense, Trends, Military, Washington Dc, Wisconsin, Associated Press, Donald Trump, Madison, Justice Department, Nelson, Trump, Capitol, National Guard

In final case the court will hear this term, profound issues of race, incarceration and the war on drugs

Academics naturally believe that even obscure cases in their field are underappreciated; each minor tax or bankruptcy case quietly frames profound issues of justice. But, doubtful readers, rest assured that Terry v. United States – which the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday in the final argument of its 2020-21 term – packs so many swirling issues of great importance into an absurdly little case, it can hardly be believed. The national debate on historical racism in our criminal punishment sys...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, White House, Barack Obama, United States, Aclu, Kardashian, Biden, Donald Trump, Terry, Justice Department, Jared, Trump

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