Carrie Johnson http://kplu.org en No Criminal Charges In Senate-CIA Spat, Justice Department Says http://kplu.org/post/no-criminal-charges-senate-cia-spat-justice-department-says The Justice Department has declined to bring criminal charges against anyone at the CIA or the Senate Intelligence Committee in a dispute over access to documents about the enhanced interrogation program the U.S. deployed against detainees after the attacks of Sept. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:09:13 +0000 Carrie Johnson 17677 at http://kplu.org No Criminal Charges In Senate-CIA Spat, Justice Department Says Case Against Benghazi Suspect Is Complex, Justice Department Says http://kplu.org/post/case-against-benghazi-suspect-complex-justice-department-says The Justice Department says its case against a man accused in the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is unusually complex and involves "novel questions of fact and law."<p>In a Washington, D.C., federal courtroom Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiLorenzo said the government had already begun sharing sensitive documents with defense attorneys. But many of the hundreds of people interviewed by the FBI remain overseas, and many documents are either top secret or in Arabic, or both. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:30:03 +0000 Carrie Johnson 17621 at http://kplu.org Case Against Benghazi Suspect Is Complex, Justice Department Says Prison Rape Law A Decade Old, But Most States Not In Compliance http://kplu.org/post/prison-rape-law-decade-old-most-states-not-compliance The clock is ticking on a decade-long effort to prevent sexual violence inside American prisons. In a recent survey, the vast majority of states said they will try to comply with federal rules. But several others, led by Texas, have protested to the Justice Department.<p>Jan Lastocy served 15 months in a Michigan prison for attempted embezzlement — her first brush with the law. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 21:20:48 +0000 Carrie Johnson 17028 at http://kplu.org Prison Rape Law A Decade Old, But Most States Not In Compliance New DOJ Policy Urges Agents To Videotape Interrogations http://kplu.org/post/new-doj-policy-calls-videotaping-questioning-suspects Senior Justice Department officials have quietly notified U.S. attorneys and federal agents that they're establishing "a presumption" that agents will electronically record statements made by individuals in their custody.<p>In a memo obtained by NPR, Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole strongly encourages agents to videotape suspects in custody before they appear in front of a judge or magistrate on federal charges. The memo says FBI special agents in charge of field offices or U.S. Wed, 21 May 2014 21:15:11 +0000 Carrie Johnson 16758 at http://kplu.org New DOJ Policy Urges Agents To Videotape Interrogations Karl R. Thompson Tapped To Lead Key Justice Department Unit http://kplu.org/post/karl-r-thompson-tapped-lead-key-justice-department-unit Karl R. Thompson has been named to lead the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, an under-the-radar but critically important unit that approves executive branch legal arguments on armed drones, surveillance and other national security issues.<p>Thompson has been advising Attorney General Eric Holder on civil litigation and Supreme Court issues since 2013. But he worked for nearly four years in the Office of Legal Counsel earlier in the Obama administration. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:01:42 +0000 Carrie Johnson 15278 at http://kplu.org Prosecutor David O'Neil To Head Justice's Criminal Division http://kplu.org/post/prosecutor-david-oneil-head-justices-criminal-division Longtime prosecutor David O'Neil will become the acting head of the criminal division at the Justice Department, a position that puts him in charge of a vast portfolio ranging from financial fraud investigations to public corruption and kleptocracy among foreign leaders.<p>O'Neil had most recently worked as chief of staff to the Deputy U.S. Attorney General, focusing on oversight of criminal cases and white collar fraud investigations as well as the fallout from cascading leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 21:40:59 +0000 Carrie Johnson 15148 at http://kplu.org Prosecutor David O'Neil To Head Justice's Criminal Division Senators Want Watchdog To Investigate Federal Prosecutorial Misconduct http://kplu.org/post/senators-want-watchdog-investigate-federal-prosecutorial-misconduct A <a href="http://www.pogo.org/our-work/reports/2014/hundreds-of-justice-attorneys-violated-standards.html">new report</a> from the Project on Government Oversight documents 650 ethics infractions including recklessness and misconduct by Justice Department lawyers over the past decade or so.<p>Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester cited those findings to introduce legislation Thursday that would require an independent watchdog to investigate those breaches. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 03:02:04 +0000 Carrie Johnson 14833 at http://kplu.org Holder Speaks Out On Snowden, Drone Policy, Softening Sentences http://kplu.org/post/holder-speaks-out-snowden-drone-policy-softening-sentences Virtually any time a major event ripples across Washington, the Justice Department is positioned near the center of it.<p>From the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner that carried three Americans on board to the fate of voting rights for millions of people, the attorney general has an enormous portfolio. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 16:39:34 +0000 Carrie Johnson 14689 at http://kplu.org Holder Speaks Out On Snowden, Drone Policy, Softening Sentences Senate Democrats Defect On Obama Civil Rights Nominee http://kplu.org/post/senate-democrats-defect-obama-civil-rights-nominee In a stinging blow to the Obama administration, seven Senate Democrats joined with Republicans Wednesday to block one of the president's key civil rights nominees.<p>The 47 to 52 vote marked the first defeat of a Democratic nominee since lawmakers changed Senate rules to make it easier to push through judges and executive branch candidates. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 22:29:26 +0000 Carrie Johnson 14486 at http://kplu.org Senate Democrats Defect On Obama Civil Rights Nominee Solitary Confinement Costs $78K Per Inmate And Should Be Curbed, Critics Say http://kplu.org/post/solitary-confinement-costs-78k-inmate-and-should-be-curbed-critics-say Former prisoners spoke about the effects of solitary confinement Tuesday, in a congressional hearing aimed at banning the treatment for some inmates. The federal push to reduce solitary confinement is being led by Sen. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 17:58:07 +0000 Carrie Johnson 14133 at http://kplu.org Solitary Confinement Costs $78K Per Inmate And Should Be Curbed, Critics Say Top Justice Dept. Official Quietly Stepped Down In December http://kplu.org/post/top-justice-dept-official-quietly-stepped-down-december The leader of an influential Justice Department office that offers legal advice on surveillance, drones and other issues at the center of security and executive power quietly left government before Christmas.<br /> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:53:47 +0000 Carrie Johnson 14036 at http://kplu.org Top Justice Dept. Official Quietly Stepped Down In December Justice Dept. Asks For Help Finding Prisoners Who Deserve Clemency http://kplu.org/post/justice-dept-asks-help-finding-prisoners-who-deserve-clemency The second-in-command at the Justice Department met Tuesday with defense lawyers and interest groups to identify the cases of worthy prisoners who could qualify for clemency.<p>The initiative by Deputy Attorney General James Cole follows <a href="http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/dag/speeches/2014/dag-speech-140130.html">a speech he gave last month</a> suggesting the White House intends to make more use of the president's power to shorten prison sentences for inmates who have clean records, no significant ties to gangs or violence, and who are serving decades behind bars for relatively low-level Wed, 19 Feb 2014 00:40:13 +0000 Carrie Johnson 13798 at http://kplu.org Holder Calls For Restoring Felons' Voting Rights http://kplu.org/post/holder-calls-restoring-felons-voting-rights Attorney General Eric Holder called on 11 states to repeal "counterproductive" laws that bar convicted felons from "the single most basic right of American citizenship-the right to vote."<p>In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University law school, Holder used his bully pulpit to note that 5.8 million people are prohibited from voting because of current or former felony convictions, including 1-in-5 black adults in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.<p>"By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future cr Tue, 11 Feb 2014 17:41:28 +0000 Carrie Johnson 13509 at http://kplu.org Holder Calls For Restoring Felons' Voting Rights Holder Orders Equal Treatment For Married Same-Sex Couples http://kplu.org/post/holder-orders-equal-treatment-married-same-sex-couples Attorney General Eric Holder has for the first time directed Justice Department employees to give same-sex married couples "full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent under the law," a move with far-ranging consequences for how such couples are treated in federal courtrooms and proceedings.<p>The directive specifies that such couples can decline to give testimony in U.S. cases that might incriminate a spouse, known in the law as marital privilege. Sat, 08 Feb 2014 21:49:54 +0000 Carrie Johnson 13409 at http://kplu.org Holder Orders Equal Treatment For Married Same-Sex Couples Post-9/11 Panel Criticizes NSA Phone Data Collection http://kplu.org/post/post-911-panel-criticizes-nsa-phone-data-collection An independent panel created after the 9/11 attacks says bulk collection of billions of American phone records violates the letter and the spirit of the law.<br /> <br /> The new report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board undercuts the foundation of the National Security Agency's long-running phone metadata program, and suggests it conflicts with plain language in the Patriot Act and other laws on the books.<p>NPR obtained a copy of the report, which will be discussed and voted on Thursday at an open board meeting.<br /> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 07:10:48 +0000 Carrie Johnson 12797 at http://kplu.org