Tag: Eric Holder

Saving 49 Lives (Part 4)

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

I woke up Sunday thinking that Attorney General Eric Holder could save the lives of the 49 people who are presently facing the federal death penalty.  He could save their lives simply by reviewing the determinations made by the Bush Administration AG’s directing that federal prosecutors should seek death in these cases, and he could decide that death wasn’t an appropriate maximum penalty in these cases.  He could decide, for example, that life without parole was enough.  More than enough.  And this simple decision could save someone’s life.  This simple decision could also put the United States in the main stream of civilized countries in the world that do not impose the death penalty.  Ever.  And it could prevent us in the United States from having even more unjustifiable blood on our hands.  And it would move us slowly, gradually toward ultimate abolition of the death penalty in the United States. What a great idea!

New Attorney General Addresses “Secret Law” & “State Secrecy”

The new Attorney General, confirmed just the other day, Eric Holder, gave some written answers to Senator Russ Feingold concerning the latter’s questions regarding review of Bush administration policies concerning promulgation of “secret laws” and claims of “state privilege” in legal cases. I’m reproducing the exchange by Holder and Feingold, as it bears upon significant pending issues, not least the Jeppesen and al-Haramain cases.

Saving 49 Lives (Part 3)

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

There are 49 people presently facing the federal death penalty.  If we want to, we might be able to spare them.  We might be able to get the new Attorney General, Eric Holder, to review the decisions by the three Bush Administration Attorney Generals to pursue the death penalty in these cases, and if the new Attorney General thought, if there were convictions, that the defendants shouldn’t be killed, he could require prosecutors not to seek the death penalty, to be satisfied with a maximum sentence of life without parole.  This would be a remarkable development.  It would save lives.  The United States would join the civilized world that has stopped state killing.  The essential hypocrisy of an eye for an eye would be abandoned.  It would be a new era.  We would not have these people’s blood on our hands.

Saving 49 Lives (Part 2), The First Action Step

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Yesterday I wrote about the 49 people facing the death penalty in the federal courts because of decisions made by previous, Bushco AGs, and that these were lives we could save.  This essay continues that discussion.

The Bush Justice Department went far, far off the tracks on torture, rendition, black sites, wiretapping, the federal death penalty, and on and on and on.  It went so far afield that articles about this evening’s expected confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General note the gigantic changes expected at DoJ from the new, Obama Administration.  The NY Times, for example, writes:

The Justice Department, probably more than any other agency here, is bracing for a broad doctrinal shift in policies from those of the Bush administration, department lawyers and Obama administration officials say.

Please join me below.

Remembering The Federal Death Penalty, Saving 49 Lives

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

It might be easy to forget the Federal Death Penalty.  We might not want to think about it. It wasn’t an issue in the past election.  For eight years the Bush DoJ used its muscle to expand federal use of capital punishment by overruling local United States Attorneys’ decisions not to seek death.  Those political decisions to seek death are still very much in effect: the US government continues in court to seek the death penalty in all of those cases.

As the new Attorney General arrives in Washington, it’s vitally important that the new DoJ immediately remember to re-evaluate all of the federal cases in which the death penalty is presently being sought. And it’s important that if these cases do not meet their professed higher standards for imposition of the death penalty (this is an oxymoron, standards that allow state killing cannot be high), authorization to seek the death penalty be withdrawn.  This may save 49 lives and prevent state killings from being carried out in our names.

Please join me below.  

Email from Siegelman: Tell Specter to Release Hold on Holder

This diary is in the way of a community alert.  Over the fold is the body of an email being sent out by Don Siegelman about Specter’s hold on the Holder confirmation.  Let’s sound off on this.  These creeps are trying to subvert justice.

The confirmation of President Obama’s choice for U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, is being held up by Senator Arlen Specter and others.

The Suddenly Pertinent Case of Julius Streicher

Julius Streicher, Publisher and Propagandist

Why is this long-deceased German journalist relevant today? Let’s find out below the break.

The Pertinent Case of Julius Streicher

Julius Streicher, Publisher of Der Stürmer

As U.S. senators such as  

Eric Holder Confirmation Afternoon Session Jan 15

The afternoon session has moved from CSPAN3 to CSPAN.

You can watch the hearing live on CSPAN (Windows Media Player)

or through the committee’s Real Player Live Webcast.

Click image to watch the hearing on CSPAN

… opens in new window …

This page should load faster than the morning thread.

Eric Holder Confirmation Morning Session Jan 15

Click image to watch the hearing on CSPAN3

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary Holder Confirmation Hearing has just begun a few minutes ago with Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter making opening comments.

You can watch the hearing live on CSPAN3 (Windows Media Player) or through the committee’s Real Player Live Webcast.

To save time I’ll quote here BarbinMD’s post this morning at DKos:

Holder has the support of the Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee, along with the backing of Orrin Hatch, the endorsement of three former Deputy Attorney Generals, not to mention former Senator John Warner introducing and offering his support at today’s hearing, along with testimony from Louis J. Freeh, the Former Director of the FBI. And while the level of support Holder will enjoy might cramp attempts to delay his confirmation, it certainly won’t stop the Republicans from trying.

Taking the lead in these efforts has been Arlen Specter, who went from not having “taken any position” on Holder, to denouncing him on the Senate floor, comparing him to Alberto “I don’t recall” Gonzales, and Chuck Grassley, who has attempted to tie Holder to the scandal-plagued Rod Blagojevich. Throw in the Republican requests for documents related to Clinton’s impeachment, fund-raising by Al Gore, and the case of Elian Gonzalez, and you can see that the attempt to force Obama “to spend political capital early,” is on.

By all means, every Senator should ask the hard questions, explore the pardon of Marc Rich, or any other areas of concern they may have. But the Republican Senators may want to consider two things: the overwhelming support that Obama enjoys and how the last two elections have worked out for them. If they overplay their hand here, they might find themselves hoisted by their own petard peg.

A complete witness list for today’s hearing is available here.

If anyone watching the hearing has not yet signed the Formal Petition to Attorney General-Designate Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes… please sign it now.

Petition Badge
Get Badge

Petitioning For A Special Prosecutor: The Expanding Universe

Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

Tuesday afternoon the Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR), under President Michael Ratner, issued a Call for a Special Prosecutor to Investigate U.S. Torture, and over Executive Director Vincent Warren’s signature sent an emailed Action Alert to their large subscriber list, in which they also issued a…

call to action to phone your senators with questions for Eric Holder’s hearing on his nomination to be the next Attorney General. The second is to send you a link to a report we released yesterday on the simple steps to closing Guantanamo.

While President-Elect Obama has said he will close the base, he has yet to say how or when, which are the most important questions. We are all excited at the chance for a new beginning: it is up to us to make it one we can be proud of. Please call your senators, and please download and distribute our report so we can end this terrible chapter in our history.

I. This Thursday, January 15th, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to decide whether nominee Eric Holder should be confirmed as the new Attorney General. While Holder’s public statements suggest he would be a marked improvement over Alberto Gonzales and Michael Mukasey, it is critical that the American public be certain that our nation’s chief lawyer has an unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law.

Senate Judiciary Committee members have a serious responsibility to put an end to subverting law to politics – and to ensure that President-Elect Obama appoints an Attorney General who will help him restore, protect and expand our human rights. And it is our responsibility to make our voices heard and stand against torture, racial profiling and other violations of human rights.

Please call the Senate Judiciary Committee members today and tell them that we need Eric Holder to make a clear statement against torture and racial profiling. Phone numbers are provided below. It will only take a few minutes to urge them to ask these two critical questions:

Are you, unlike your predecessor, willing to acknowledge under oath what U.S. military and civilian courts have recognized for over 100 years: that waterboarding is torture and therefore criminal? If so, will you fulfill your duty to ensure that justice and the rule of law apply to all by appointing a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute those who have used, ordered, and authorized the use of waterboarding and other forms of torture?

I’ve saved the CCR Action Alert email I received as a web document so that you can read it in full here, if you hadn’t received it. It includes the list of Senators you can call, with their contact phone numbers, who will be involved in Holder’s confirmation hearings later this week.

Holder pushed 5 year sentences for marijuana possession (1996)

As US Attorney for DC in 1996, Reported Attorney General nominee Eric Holder responded to a battle for control of street dealing in weed by pushing the DC City Council to escalate penalties for possession, and for the DC Police to step up enforcement, endorsing New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani’s arrest ’em all “quality of life” clampdown.

X-post at kos’ place

Load more