AG Eric Holder: No Decision Yet on 9/11 Trial Forum or Venue

Attorney General Eric Holder testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said no final decision has been made on where to try the 9/11 detainees. They have not ruled out New York and a decision is weeks away.

As to closing Guantanamo, Holder said it's still on the agenda but the plan cannot move forward until Congress approves funding to purchase Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.

Here is Holder's opening statement. He also addressed the powder-cocaine disparity and confirmation lag for nominated U.S. Attorneys: [More...]

Anyone hoping Obama will push for equalization of crack-powder penalties favord by the House over the 20:1 ratio favored by the Senate will be disappointed. Holder praised the Senate for its proposal containing only the "dramatic reduction." In other words, significant reduction is acceptable, he's not pushing for equalization or a 1:1 penalty ratio.

I want to thank this Committee and the full Senate for the critical step it took last month in unanimously approving a dramatic reduction in the disparity between crack and powder-cocaine sentences. It was enormously heartening to me personally to see the Committee come together in a bipartisan fashion to address this long-standing injustice. The 100-1 disparity undermined trust in the criminal justice system and diverted resources away from the prosecution of large-scale drug organizations. These reforms will serve the goals of law enforcement while ensuring fairness in sentencing.

There are 19 U.S. Attorneys still awaiting confirmation, which Holder called "unusual" and asked action be taken.

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    Senator Schumer Is Lying (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:45:36 PM EST
    I just read this:

    Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, told Mr. Holder that there was an "overwhelming consensus" in New York that the trial "should not be held there." Mr. Schumer later released a statement saying: "We know the administration is not going to hold the trial in New York. They should just say it already."

    I live in downtown Manhattan and welcome a trial for the alleged terrorists here. No one I know is remotely against having the trial in downtown Manhattan, where it should be.

    To say that there is an "overwhelming consensus" against trying the alleged terrorists here is a blatant lie.

    pols often lie (none / 0) (#2)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:42:06 PM EST
    oh well.

    Not About Crack Cocaine (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 06:11:10 PM EST
    From TL 2007:
    Shorter version: He used to be against the harsh crack cocaine penalties but now won't commit to doing anything to fix them. It may not be worth the "political capital" it would take.

    Although Biden is horrible on crime (regressive) and a true drug warrior, he did include no sentencing disparity in his crime bill as a senator.


    only his last one (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 01:39:44 AM EST
    and the bill was filled with lots of money for law enforcement and increased penalties for other crimes. He was also the author of Clinton's awful 1994 crime bill that added many new death penalty offenses and other things.

    Biden is much worse than Obama on crime.


    Yes (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 09:16:46 AM EST
    I know he is much worse than Obama, but Obama is not great either.

    As much as I think that there is profit motive driving the prison nation syndrome, I also think most Americans like the tough on crime schtick, it makes them feel safer..

    That is until something goes wrong and they themselves become targeted by law enforcement and start screaming 'what about my rights' ...  unfortunately those are the rights that they so willingly sold for a false sense of security.