Articles Posted in Criminal Justice Policy

roosevelt-courthouse-300x169When accused of a federal crime, regardless of whether you are an American citizen or not, you have legal rights and are able to make certain decisions.

The following are the core decisions you will need to make that are critical to the outcome of your case:

  • You have the right to an attorney before any interrogation or at any court hearing in which a judge

Breuer_Official_Portrait.jpgWashington (Jan. 30) — Assistant attorney general of the Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer, is leaving the Justice Department. Breuer gained notoriety for defending president Bill Clinton against impeachment and for defending four-time Cy Young award winner, Roger Clemens.

“Serving as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division has been the greatest privilege of my professional life,” Breuer said in a statement. “From my first day on this job nearly four years ago, I have loved it, and I am so proud of what the Criminal Division has accomplished over the past four years,” Breuer said.

The announcement came the day after a federal judge in New Orleans approved the largest package of criminal fines and penalties in U.S. history. In 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder had named Breuer to oversee the Deepwater Horizon Task Force. The record amount of the settlement in the guilty plea will cost BP $4 billion and lets Breuer to depart the Justice Department on a positive note.

Photobucket PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA (May 26, 2011) – State Attorney Michael McAuliffe and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw will co-host Palm Beach County’s Prescription Drug Abuse and Pain Clinic Summit. The event takes place today, May 26, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 at the Clayton Hutcheson Agricultural Center.

The summit focuses on prevention of the consequences surrounding addiction and prescription drug dealing before they occur.

This is the summit’s second year and since that time the number of pain clinics dealing in the illegal prescription drug trade has dropped significantly; due in part to law enforcement’s wide-sweeping raids.

Pam%20Bondi.jpgTALLAHASSEE, FL– Attorney General Pam Bondi announced comprehensive strategies to combat the epidemic of pill mills in Florida. The Attorney General’s initiative includes a series of legislative recommendations for the upcoming legislative session. Because of the proliferation of pill mills, the Sunshine State leads the nation in diverted pharmaceuticals. The State’s top law enforcement official has made it a top priority to aggressively tackle this crisis.

Key recommendations include:

* Mandatory six-month suspension and $10,000 fine for doctors who violate standards of care when prescribing controlled substances;

The growing issue of the number and vagueness of federal criminal statutes has led to a push back from even conservative groups, disdaining the over criminalization of federal law, leading one author to write a book arguing that each person likely commits up to three federal crimes a day.

AntoninScalia.jpgThe New York Times has now reported on the issue. The most recent flashpoint of this debate concerns 18 USC 1346 which defines a scheme or artifice to defraud to include a scheme to “deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.” Justice Scalia himself has commented that law has been “invoked to impose criminal penalties upon a staggeringly broad swath of behavior, including misconduct not only by public officials and employees but also by private employees and corporate fiduciaries…”

Also touched upon is the growing list of federal crimes that do not require proof of intent to commit the crime, lessening the burden on prosecutors.

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