Posts Tagged ‘penalty


Making Sure Fraud Gets Punished? Thanks, President Obama And AG Holder

U.S. President Obama and Attorney General Holder attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the Capitol in Washington


NYT: Justice Dept. Sets Record In Penalties For Fraud

The Justice Department collected a record $24.7 billion in penalties from fraud and other cases in the 2014 fiscal year, the agency said on Wednesday, as fines against banks for financial misconduct soared. Collections from civil and criminal actions, including money collected on behalf of other agencies, was $8 billion in 2013, and $13 billion in 2012. Collections in 2014 were bolstered by multibillion-dollar payouts from JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup to resolve claims they misled investors about the quality of mortgage bonds in the run-up to the financial crisis, and include $11 billion in payments made to federal agencies or states. Payouts in the 2014 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, also include hundreds of millions of dollars in fines levied on UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland.

More here


Barack Obama, Eric Holder




This and That



ThinkProgress: The “whistleblowers” at today’s House Oversight Committee hearing on what really happened in Benghazi, Libya last September were supposed to break the dam that would lead to President Obama’s eventual downfall, in the eyes of conservatives. Instead, these witness actually served to debunk several theories that the right-wing has pushed on Benghazi, leaving the hearing a fizzle for the GOP…..

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Photo by Pete Souza



Charles Pierce: There has been quite a bit of hemming and hawing about the death penalty recently. Six states in six years — Maryland most recently, thanks to Esquire’s favorite BFF, Martin O’Malley — have abolished it. Ah, but that’s not to reckon with the great state of Florida, which this week will decide to grease the wheels of state-sanctioned killing, thanks to Governor Rick Scott, who really doesn’t have fk-all to lose at this point.

Governor Bat Boy is poised to sign the Timely Justice Act — Somebody grab Orwell before he throws himself off a cloud — which will restrict the right of Death Row inmates to appeal their sentences. The bill was passed through the legislature with the usual cool reason that we’ve come to expect from Republican state legislatures since the voters of the several states decided to make monkeyhouses out of them in 2010…..

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First lady Michelle Obama speaks about the nation’s libraries and museums before handing out the 2013 National Medals for Museum and Library Service to recipients in the East Room of the White House, May 8

Text of the First Lady’s remarks here



A short-ish This and That, more in the morning.




Former President Jimmy Carter:

“This case illustrates the deep flaws in the application of the death penalty in this country. Executing Troy Davis without a real examination of potentially exonerating evidence risks taking the life of an innocent man and would be a grave miscarriage of justice. The citizens of Georgia should demand the highest standards of proof when our legal system condemns on our behalf a man or woman to die.”

Read about the case here

*** Thank you Sarah ***

Troy Davis: “Spare my life. Just give me a second chance. That’s all I ask.”


‘234 and counting’

Cameron Todd Willingham

Washington Post: … Rick Perry brings to the presidential race a law-and-order credential that none of his competitors can match – even if they wanted to. In his nearly 11 years as chief executive, Perry has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history: 234 and counting….

… He vetoed a bill that would have spared the mentally retarded and sharply criticized a Supreme Court ruling that juveniles were not eligible for death. He has found during his tenure only one inmate on Texas’s crowded death row he thought should receive the lesser sentence of life in prison.

And Perry’s role in the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham – who supporters said should have been at least temporarily spared when experts warned that faulty forensic science led to his conviction – is still the subject of investigation in Texas.

Perry has been unapologetic. “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas,” he wrote in his book lauding states’ rights, “Fed Up!”

… death penalty opponents say 12 men on Texas’s death row have been exonerated. Anthony Graves is the latest, spending 18 years in prison before a Texas Monthly investigation showed his innocence.

…. “We’d like to get rid of him,” said Scott Cobb of the Texas Moratorium Network, “but not by giving him to the rest of the country.”

… what is likely to draw the most attention as Perry campaigns is the case of Willingham, who was convicted in 1991 of setting fire to his home and killing his three young daughters. Shortly before his 2004 execution, defense attorneys gave Perry and the pardon board a report from an arson expert saying the forensic evidence used to convict Willingham was severely flawed.

Perry went ahead with the execution, and has refused to release information from his advisers about the evidence. The state forensic science commission began to review the case and the state’s arson unit after investigative journalists cast increasing doubt on Willingham’s guilt. But just before the commission was to hear from an investigator it had hired, Perry dismissed the chairman and replaced three members of the commission.

Full article here

Read more about Cameron Todd Willingham here



Chicago Tribune: Gov. Pat Quinn today signed into law a historic ban on the death penalty in Illinois and commuted the sentences of 15 death row inmates to life without parole.

The governor said he followed his conscience. He said he believed in signing the bill he also should “abolish the death penalty for everyone,” including those already on death row.

“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history,” Quinn told reporters afterward. “I think it’s the right, just thing to abolish the death penalty.”

More here

South Town Star (March 6): President Barack Obama has appeared to tip his hand on Illinois’ bill to end the death penalty, which Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to act upon within the week.

During a recent encounter with Quinn at the White House last week, the president praised the bill as well as Illinois’ legalization of civil unions, said state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), a lead legislative backer of the death penalty bill and Obama’s successor in the Illinois Senate…

Obama has publicly stated his support for the death penalty in heinous cases but as a state lawmaker voted against expanding it for crimes arising from gang activity. Obama was a driving force behind a 2003 capital punishment reform bill that required interrogations be videotaped in capital cases.







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February 2023