Already one of the longest-serving attorneys general in history, Eric Holder says he has no immediate plans or timetable to leave. Here, he speaks at the annual Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington on Feb. 25.
Virtually any time a major event ripples across Washington, the Justice Department is positioned near the center of it.
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. And the stress to match it.
But after an elevated heart rate sent him to the hospital last month, Eric Holder says he's on the mend.
A few weeks ago, we held a conversation about the Connecticut Department of Children and Families’ proposal to open a second locked facility for juvenile justice involved girls. It’s a project that has been at the center of intense debate across the state, as many wonder if it’s the best treatment option for at-risk youths.
The proposal would loosen restrictions on parole hearings for criminals sentenced for crimes committed before they were 18. It would also eliminate life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders.
A state commission discussed legislation today that could give juvenile offenders an earlier opportunity for parole. The proposal would also eliminate life sentences without parole for inmates convicted of a crime committed when they were under the age of 18.
A state board has voted unanimously to release Bonnie Foreshaw from prison. Foreshaw has served 27 years for fatally shooting a pregnant woman, but had garnered support from advocates who said she was unfairly tried and convicted.
The federal shutdown has been tough on a lot of people, as was made eminently clear this morning during the Wheelhouse episode of Where We Live, when plenty of impassioned callers made their frustrated views known. Making matters a little tougher, the U.S. Treasury Department is running out of cash to pay its bills. More on that below in The Wheelhouse Digest, plus a link to watch the Bonnie Foreshaw clemency hearing live from Niantic.
Bonnie Jean Foreshaw, a woman believed to be Connecticut’s longest-serving female prison inmate, will have the rare chance for early release Wednesday. The clemency hearing is to be held at Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic.
Whether it's the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Connecticut, the head of a nasty-looking anvil cloud, or the head of a horse you're looking to avoid: today's Wheelhouse Digest has you covered.
Connecticut’s Supreme Court is receiving briefs in a case that could affect how the state pays for indigent defendants.
Dr. Lishan Wang is accused of the 2010 murder of a former colleague, Dr. Vanjinder Toor in Branford. Wang was briefly represented by the public defender’s office, but later won the right to defend himself.
Homeless veterans have told the VA that one of their top needs is finding legal assistance. The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center in New Haven is one organization that fills this need. Now the non-profit is working to build a network of similar legal service providers.
The American jury system is a great leveler. Rich and powerful men such as Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron, suddenly find their fates in the hands of very average Americans who earn and possess a tiny fraction of what they have. Most of the news we get about juries concerns cases in which an unusual and possibly controversial verdict was reached.
Exposure to pre-trial publicity is an issue when it comes to selecting jurors. The state Supreme Court has issued a new rule that will affect every trial court in Connecticut. Right after a juror is selected, he or she will have to agree to a policy that says three things: They'll decide the case only using the evidence from trial, they'll avoid all publicity about the case, and if exposed to publicity about the case, they'll tell the court. That's the new rule. And, if you ask Mark Dubois, it's a significant one.
We talk this hour about the case of Bonnie Foreshaw, serving the longest sentence of any Connecticut woman for the death of a pregnant woman. Her case is back in the news because of new revelations and high profile support.
Despite a Supreme Court ruling that gutted a key part of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Eric Holder wants a court to use another section of the 1965 law to require Texas to get the federal government's approval before changing its voting laws.
In the war over the right to vote in the U.S., the Justice Department's choice of Texas as the battleground for its first legal action following the Supreme Court's weakening of the Voting Rights Act has a feeling of inevitability.
Willie Louis may be one of the most celebrated but least-known figures in a pivotal point in American history: He testified against the men accused of kidnapping and murdering 14-year-old Emmett Till. He died July 18, but his wife, Juliet, announced his death this week.
The Criminal Justice Club is the book about Walt Lewis' conversion from a young ACLU liberal, who sympathized with the criminal, into an advocate for crime victims and longer sentences for violent and career criminals.
Lewis defines The Criminal Justice Club as a group of deputy district attorneys, public defenders, private defense attorneys, criminal court judges, and the career criminal who have been through the system many times.
Jeff Cohen: This is Where We Live. I’m Jeff Cohen, in for John Dankosky. What’s an adult? And when it comes to crime, should a teenager be treated like one? Those are a couple of the questions we’ll be considering as we talk about young people in prison.
The U.S. Supreme Court says it's unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole for murder. The ruling will have limited effect in Connecticut. Connecticut has something called capital offenses -- things like murdering a police officer or a young person. And the penalty for capital offenses is mandatory -- either death or life in prison without parole. But because the Supreme Court already outlawed the death penalty for juveniles, those young people who are convicted of capital felonies can only be sentenced to life without parole. Until, it seems, now.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed a repeal of the state’s death penalty into law. The signing ceremony took place Wednesday - just hours after a new poll showed state voters split over an appropriate punishment for murder.
Governor Malloy signed the bill abolishing capital punishment in a private ceremony with lawmakers, clergy and family members of victims.
There's a big change coming this summer. Most 17-year-olds charged with crimes will go from being treated like adults to being treated in the juvenile justice system. It was called the "raise the age" effort, and the major effects were this: in 2010, 16-year-olds were taken out of the justice system designed for adults. As of this summer, the same thing will happen for 17-year-olds.
The English jurist William Blackstone said "Better that ten guilty men go free than that one innocent suffer."
In recent years, I've seen Blackstone's ratio, when it's cited, shrink down to four to one, as if there's been some kind of deflation of the presumption of innocence. I also wonder how it would fare as a poll question. It's an older idea than Blackstone's 18th century. It's as old as Genesis, as old as Maimonides, but there seem to be plenty of people eager to convict the guilty and not commensurately worried about the innocent.
In the wake of the failed labor concessions agreement between Governor Dannel Malloy and state labor unions, state agencies are feeling the crunch. The Office of the Chief public defender has to cut about 7.5 percent of their overall budget, which some believe will hinder the states poorest from getting proper legal counsel, and will make it difficult for public defenders to honor their constitutional obligations.
We are joined by Mike Lawlor, undersecretary for criminal justice planning.
A former lab technician was sentenced to 44 years in prison today in the 2009 murder of a Yale University graduate student.
Raymond Clark the Third told the courtroom that he, alone, was responsible for the death of 24-year old Yale pharmacology student Annie Le. Clark pleaded guilty in March to murder and attempted sexual assault.
Le disappeared in September 2009. Her body was discovered five days later behind the wall of a high security, university research building. DNA evidence linked Clark to the crime.
Of the four cardinal virtues, why is lady justice the only one who has a statue in courthouses around the world?
Yeah, in case you didn’t remember - those other virtues, Temperence, Prudence and Fortitude all seemingly have some role to play in our systems of law and governance. But it's Justice that’s become the icon of democracy.