Cry Me a River: DOJ Hurting for Funds
Woe is me, cries the Justice Department, according to the Wall St. Journal.
In the past few years, U.S. attorneys' offices around the country have been unable to fill vacancies. Lawyers sometimes can't travel to interview witnesses. Even funds for basic office needs such as photocopying documents and obtaining deposition transcripts have been cut, according to current and former officials.
Department of Justice data show the impact. Prosecutions are down overall, with large drops in categories such as drugs, violent crime and white-collar offenses.
Could have fooled me. But assuming that's true, what's the reason? How about the war in Iraq?
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, federal priorities shifted to terrorism from routine crime fighting. The cost of the Iraq war also prompted Congress and the White House to slow the growth of many types of domestic spending.
....[M]ore than 100 lawyers and administrative personnel from U.S. attorneys' offices have gone to Iraq to help the fledgling government there. The offices generally pay the salaries of the seconded attorneys, which would typically be about $120,000 a year plus an additional 25% in combat pay.
Easy answer: Shift the priorities back to crime-fighting, bring the prosecutors home from Iraq.
There is one group of prosecutions that have increased: Immigration cases.
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