Home / Crime Policy
FinCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) and Department of Justice today issued new guidelines and a memo for banks doing business with marijuana businesses. The FINCEN press release is here.
The guidance provides that financial institutions can provide services to marijuana-related businesses in a manner consistent with their obligations to know their customers and to report possible criminal activity.
(8 comments, 632 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
Since the sad death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is still prominent in the news, bringing with it the predictable wave of hysteria over heroin use and clamors for more restrictions on pain pills, I will use the opportunity to point out the futility of using our criminal laws as a response to heroin addiction, and the origins of heroin. [More..]
(30 comments, 3189 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
Via Sentencing Law and Policy, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has issued this press release calling for comments about a suggested two level reduction in offense level for all drug offenses under the federal sentencing guidelines. The proposed reduction would amount to about 11 months per sentence but would not (and could not) affect mandatory minimum sentencing statutes.
The Commission says the amendment would reduce the number of inmates in the federal system: [More...]
(3 comments, 235 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will announce this week that he is issuing an executive order which will allow seriously ill patients to receive medical marijuana from hospitals.
The policy is intended for patients with serious diseases like cancer and glaucoma.
In light of how far the rest of the country has come, this seems like very small potatoes. But at least it's a step in the right direction.
(5 comments) Permalink :: Comments
The Department of Justice signed a contract December 24 to pay $544,000 for an "enhanced profile" and increase its branding on the social networking site "Linked In." The recipient of the contract is Carahsoft Technology Corporation, and you can view the contract details here.
DOJ will be using Linked In to recruit new prosecutors.
(32 comments, 214 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced that William Bratton will again serve as police commissioner.
He replaces Raymond Kelly, who served since 2002.
Good move by de Blasio. Bill is a strong believer in constitutional rights. I attended his swearing-in ceremony in Los Angeles in 2002 -- here's my report.
(21 comments) Permalink :: Comments
As many have been saying for years, the Global war on drugs has been an epic failure:
The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy said its report suggested the war on drugs had failed. The report, published in the British Medical Journal Open, looked at data from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems.
(52 comments) Permalink :: Comments
The Office of Inspector General has issued a new report on DOJ's reporting of prosecutions and convictions, including terrorism cases. The report is a follow-up to a 2007 and 2012 report which found DOJ inflated its terror case statistics. The new report finds DOJ continues to misreport its record in terrorism cases. The OIG attributes the mistakes to shoddy record-keeping.
“These inaccuracies are important in part because DOJ management and Congress need accurate terrorism-related statistics to make informed operational and budgetary decisions,” [I.G. Director Michael] Horowitz said in a statement accompanying the audit’s release.
The full report is here. [More..]
(3 comments, 1135 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
The Department of Justice has officially spoken about state marijuana laws. It has advised the Governors of Colorado and Washington that provided it enacts robust regulations that do not not interfere with 8 DOJ priorities, it will "defer its right to challenge their legalization laws at this time."
AG Eric Holder has issued a memorandum to federal prosecutors (available here) on the new policy and the 8 priorities in enforcing federal marijuana laws.
The key point: The major sea change is not with respect to possession for personal use, which the feds don't normally charge anyway, but in its willingness to allow some private production and distribution of marijuana. [More...]
(24 comments, 915 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
Sen. Patrick Leahy has scheduled a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 10th on the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws. Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole have been invited to testify.
“It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal,” Leahy said. “I believe that these state laws should be respected. At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government.”
(3 comments) Permalink :: Comments
It may be Sequester time for the rest of us, but not the DEA. It's moved on from Africa to the South Pacific. Why? To catch cocaine going from South America to Vanuatu in the South Pacific with a final destination of Australia.
U.S.-Australian cooperation with authorities in Vanuatu, Tonga, the Cook Islands, and New Caledonia have resulted in almost 2 tons of cocaine destined for Australia being seized from five vessels since 2010.
(18 comments) Permalink :: Comments
Attorney General Eric Holder will announce a sea change in policy at the Justice Department this morning in his speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco. I hope he gets a standing ovation.
“I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department’s charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences,”
Since we have had a do-nothing Congress on mandatory minimums since they were enacted in Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 under President Reagan --27 years -- Holder is going to effect change through prosecutorial discretion. Why?
[Mandatory minimum sentences] "breed disrespect for the system. When applied indiscriminately, they do not serve public safety. They have had a disabling effect on communities. And they are ultimately counterproductive."
(54 comments, 1862 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
The New Yorker has a lengthy new article on civil forfeiture abuse by state and local authorities. It's filled with horror stories of corruption and violations of civil liberties.
In many states, it's no more than highway piracy:
Patterns began to emerge. Nearly all the targets had been pulled over for routine traffic stops. Many drove rental cars and came from out of state. None appeared to have been issued tickets. And the targets were disproportionately black or Latino.
In others, it's policing for profit. Some cities, like Detroit, try to justify the seizures as "quality of life" preservation under ancient vice statutes. This one is a doozy: [More...]
(18 comments, 490 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
I'm delighted to see the media get on the case of the DEA Special Operations division.
A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.
Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.
(13 comments, 1927 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn takes on the claims that Chicago's murder rate is the highest in the country and that it's murder rate has reached a crisis point in his new column, Wrongly Accused.
"Since Trayvon Martin was killed, 500 people have been killed in Chicago alone," said talk-show host Larry Elder during a guest appearance on CNN on Tuesday evening. The previous night on the same network, in a video montage related to the umpty-whillionth panel discussion prompted by Zimmerman's acquittal, an unidentified woman said, "Nobody's talking about what happened in Chicago last week; 62 people were killed."
Nobody was talking about it because it didn't happen. No one on the show bothered to correct the assertion — the actual number of murders in Chicago in that week was 10, police said...
(33 comments, 274 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments
|Next 15 >>|