Carrie Johnson http://iowapublicradio.org en Legal Questions Loom As Obama Weighs Military Action In Syria http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lawmakers-demand-say-obamas-decisions-syria The White House is working behind the scenes to develop a strategy for fighting the Islamic State in Syria, a strategy that could include airstrikes and other military action there. But there are already lots of questions in political and national security circles about the legal authority the Obama administration might use to justify those actions.<p>In the days after the Sept. Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:08:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 45970 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legal Questions Loom As Obama Weighs Military Action In Syria Former Border Protection Insider Alleges Corruption, Distortion In Agency http://iowapublicradio.org/post/former-border-protection-insider-alleges-corruption-distortion-agency Two months ago, James Tomsheck was pushed out of his job as internal affairs chief for U.S. Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:47:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 45872 at http://iowapublicradio.org Former Border Protection Insider Alleges Corruption, Distortion In Agency Holder Seeks To Soothe Nerves During Visit To Ferguson http://iowapublicradio.org/post/holder-seeks-sooth-nerves-during-visit-ferguson The nation's top law enforcement officer traveled to Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday to wrap his arms around a community in pain.<p>Attorney General Eric Holder hugged community leaders, a highway patrol captain and the mother of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old killed by a police officer earlier this month.<p>From the moment he walked into a soul food restaurant in Ferguson, the attorney general found friends and began getting reports on the community's mood after days of protests and sporadic violence.<p>Viola Murphy, the mayor of nearby Cool Valley, Mo., boasted about economic development Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:41:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 45550 at http://iowapublicradio.org Holder Seeks To Soothe Nerves During Visit To Ferguson What Washington Can, And Can't, Do In Ferguson http://iowapublicradio.org/post/what-washington-can-and-cant-do-ferguson <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=What+Washington+Can%2C+And+Can%27t%2C+Do+In+Ferguson&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAyNTU4MDIzMDEyMzAwMTE4NTAxYzUzMg001)"/></div><p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:14:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 45439 at http://iowapublicradio.org Attorney General Holder: Ferguson Scenes Cannot Continue http://iowapublicradio.org/post/attorney-general-holder-ferguson-scenes-cannot-continue Attorney General Eric Holder says federal investigators have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses to the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in Ferguson, Mo., even as he pledged new assistance from the Justice Department to quell "extreme displays of force" and militarization by heavily armed local police there.<p>"It is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue," Holder said.<p>In his first, detailed remarks since the police-involved shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown last Saturday, the attorney general Thu, 14 Aug 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 45272 at http://iowapublicradio.org Attorney General Holder: Ferguson Scenes Cannot Continue After Discrimination Finding, Jury's Out On Memphis Juvenile Courts http://iowapublicradio.org/post/after-discrimination-finding-jurys-out-memphis-juvenile-courts For people connected to the Memphis juvenile courts, April 2012 is unforgettable. That's when federal investigators <a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/documents/shelbycountyjuv_findingsrpt_4-26-12.pdf">determined</a> that the Shelby County juvenile court system discriminated against African-American defendants.<p>The Justice Department said the system punished black children more harshly than whites. Wed, 06 Aug 2014 07:49:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 44813 at http://iowapublicradio.org After Discrimination Finding, Jury's Out On Memphis Juvenile Courts Coaches Help Released Inmates Step From The Cell Into A Job http://iowapublicradio.org/post/coaches-help-released-inmates-step-cell-job <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=Coaches+Help+Released+Inmates+Step+From+The+Cell+Into+A+Job&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDEwODI1MTE0MDEzNTk1NjQ4ODc4OTk0Ng004)"/></div><p>Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>A couple of Obama administration officials spent some time in a jail this week by choice. They visited a detention center to meet with inmates nearing release. The stop is part of a federal effort to better prepare prisoners to re-enter their communities. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:09:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 44473 at http://iowapublicradio.org By Putting Interrogations On Tape, FBI Opens Window Into Questioning http://iowapublicradio.org/post/putting-interrogations-tape-fbi-opens-window-questioning Transcript <p>CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia already record questioning of people in police custody. But federal law enforcement had long refused to take that step until this month. Mark Giuliano is the deputy director of the FBI - the highest ranking agent in the bureau.<p>MARK GIULIANO: So it used to be that we actually had to get permission to record. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:28:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 44065 at http://iowapublicradio.org Unanimous Vote Could Mean Reduced Penalties For 46,000 Defendants http://iowapublicradio.org/post/unanimous-vote-could-mean-reduced-penalties-46000-defendants Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Now to a major decision that could bring big changes to as many as 46,000 prison inmates. Those are people convicted of drug crimes, and today, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to reduce prison sentences for drug defendants who are already behind bars. This would start next year. NPR justice correspondent, Carrie Johnson, has our story.<p>CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: The U.S. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:05:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 43952 at http://iowapublicradio.org With A Rules Change For A Lever, Senate Ends Judge's 17-Year Wait http://iowapublicradio.org/post/rules-change-lever-senate-ends-judges-17-year-wait Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>A Missouri lawyer won Senate confirmation today as a federal judge. That came 17 years after he was first nominated to the bench by President Bill Clinton. Ronnie White's nomination in the 1990s triggered a fight between civil rights groups and some police groups. But as NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, a change in Senate rules helped him advance this time.<p>CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Ronnie White's a prominent lawyer in St. Louis and a three-term member of the Missouri House of Representatives. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 43851 at http://iowapublicradio.org Justice Dept. Declines To Step Into Dispute Between CIA And Senators http://iowapublicradio.org/post/justice-dept-declines-step-dispute-between-cia-and-senators The Justice Department has declined to bring criminal charges against anyone at the CIA or the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a dispute over access to sensitive materials on enhanced interrogations. The power struggle relates to a long-running Senate probe over the mistreatment of detainees after Sept. 11. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 20:02:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 43540 at http://iowapublicradio.org No Criminal Charges In Senate-CIA Spat, Justice Department Says http://iowapublicradio.org/post/no-criminal-charges-senate-cia-spat-justice-department-says The Justice Department has declined to bring criminal charges against anyone at the CIA or the Senate Intelligence Committee in a dispute over access to documents about the enhanced interrogation program the U.S. deployed against detainees after the attacks of Sept. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:59:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 43529 at http://iowapublicradio.org No Criminal Charges In Senate-CIA Spat, Justice Department Says In Oslo, Attorney General Warns Syria May Be A Cradle Of Terrorism http://iowapublicradio.org/post/oslo-attorney-general-warns-syria-may-be-cradle-terrorism In a speech in Oslo, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urged European partners to do more to find and disrupt plans of would-be terrorists who head to Syria — and, once trained, might return to the West. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:13:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 43404 at http://iowapublicradio.org Case Against Benghazi Suspect Is Complex, Justice Department Says http://iowapublicradio.org/post/case-against-benghazi-suspect-complex-justice-department-says The Justice Department says its case against a man accused in the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is unusually complex and involves "novel questions of fact and law."<p>In a Washington, D.C., federal courtroom Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiLorenzo said the government had already begun sharing sensitive documents with defense attorneys. But many of the hundreds of people interviewed by the FBI remain overseas, and many documents are either top secret or in Arabic, or both. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:27:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 43400 at http://iowapublicradio.org Case Against Benghazi Suspect Is Complex, Justice Department Says Benghazi Suspect Spends A Day In Court http://iowapublicradio.org/post/benghazi-suspect-spends-day-court Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Well, now the latest on the Benghazi case - the man accused in the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, which killed four Americans, appeared in federal court. At the end of a brief hearing, a judge ordered Ahmed Abu Khattala to remain in federal custody. And prosecutors outlined some new details about the violent events that night in September 2012, and of Khattala's alleged role in them. NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson was in the courtroom and she's here with us now to talk about the case. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 43129 at http://iowapublicradio.org Report Questions U.S. Policy On Overseas Drone Strikes http://iowapublicradio.org/post/report-questions-us-policy-overseas-drone-strikes U.S. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 04:03:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 42812 at http://iowapublicradio.org Report Questions U.S. Policy On Overseas Drone Strikes Murdered Voting Advocate's Brother Wants Protections Back http://iowapublicradio.org/post/murdered-voting-advocates-brother-wants-protections-back One year ago, the Supreme Court threw out a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The law gave the federal government a kind of veto power over voting arrangements in states with a history of discrimination. Now, without those protections, civil rights activists say many states are moving polling places and enacting laws that disproportionately hurt minorities.<p>This week, they're turning to Congress for help. Consider David Goodman, who stands on a patch of grass outside the U.S. Wed, 25 Jun 2014 09:04:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 42750 at http://iowapublicradio.org Murdered Voting Advocate's Brother Wants Protections Back In 'Drone Memo,' A Step Toward Transparency On Targeting Americans http://iowapublicradio.org/post/drone-memo-step-toward-transparency-targeting-americans On Monday, a federal court made public a long-secret memo that lays out the Obama administration's legal justification for killing an American citizen in a drone strike. The memo, which concerns the 2011 killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki, says that the man presented an imminent threat to the United States. Mon, 23 Jun 2014 20:07:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 42668 at http://iowapublicradio.org FBI Director Comey Looks Ahead To His Next Nine Years http://iowapublicradio.org/post/fbi-director-comey-looks-ahead-his-next-nine-years FBI Director Jim Comey brushed back a dark curtain last Thursday morning and emerged to greet his audience, <em>Tonight Show</em> style.<p>"I feel like a talk show host," Comey told a group of new recruits, the first hired on his watch since he joined the FBI nine months ago.<p>The FBI director serves for a decade, longer than the president who appointed him, and longer than any other member of the national security establishment. That tenure's designed to insulate the FBI from political influence. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 13:33:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 41916 at http://iowapublicradio.org FBI Director Comey Looks Ahead To His Next Nine Years Prison Rape Law A Decade Old, But Most States Not In Compliance http://iowapublicradio.org/post/prison-rape-law-decade-old-most-states-not-compliance The clock is ticking on a decade-long effort to prevent sexual violence inside American prisons. In a recent survey, the vast majority of states said they will try to comply with federal rules. But several others, led by Texas, have protested to the Justice Department.<p>Jan Lastocy served 15 months in a Michigan prison for attempted embezzlement — her first brush with the law. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 21:11:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 41851 at http://iowapublicradio.org Prison Rape Law A Decade Old, But Most States Not In Compliance One Year Later, Snowden Still Evades U.S. Charges http://iowapublicradio.org/post/one-year-later-snowden-still-evades-us-charges Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. A year ago today, one of the country's most sensitive national security programs was dragged out of the shadows. U.S. government had managed to keep the massive phone surveillance program a secret for more than a decade after 9/11. And then former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began to share with reporters documents he had taken from the agency. Snowden went on the run, ending up in Russia where he's found temporary asylum. In a moment, the impact of his revelations on the tech industry. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 41788 at http://iowapublicradio.org House Vote Aims To Derail DOJ Processing Of Clemency Petitions http://iowapublicradio.org/post/house-vote-aims-derail-doj-processing-clemency-petitions The House of Representatives has voted to prohibit the Justice Department from hiring more attorneys to deal with thousands of backlogged clemency petitions in a bid to block one of the Obama administration's top criminal justice priorities.<p>In a vote Thursday evening, House lawmakers blessed the fiscal year 2015 spending bill for the departments of Commerce, Justice and State. Fri, 30 May 2014 20:47:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 41496 at http://iowapublicradio.org A Year On, What's Changed (And What Hasn't) On Drone Oversight http://iowapublicradio.org/post/year-whats-changed-and-what-hasnt-drone-oversight Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>The ability to monitor remotely is one hallmark of the post 9/11 world. Another is the ability to kill remotely. It's what the drone has made possible. But now the practice known as targeted killing may become harder to veil in secrecy. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.<p>CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: One year ago in that speech at the National Defense University, President Obama defended his use of drones as legal and effective. Fri, 23 May 2014 22:04:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 41146 at http://iowapublicradio.org New DOJ Policy Urges Agents To Videotape Interrogations http://iowapublicradio.org/post/new-doj-policy-calls-videotaping-questioning-suspects Senior Justice Department officials have quietly notified U.S. attorneys and federal agents that they're establishing "a presumption" that agents will electronically record statements made by individuals in their custody.<p>In a memo obtained by NPR, Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole strongly encourages agents to videotape suspects in custody before they appear in front of a judge or magistrate on federal charges. The memo says FBI special agents in charge of field offices or U.S. Wed, 21 May 2014 21:15:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 41011 at http://iowapublicradio.org New DOJ Policy Urges Agents To Videotape Interrogations A Narrow High Court Win For Prayer Before Government Meetings http://iowapublicradio.org/post/narrow-high-court-win-prayer-government-meetings The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the government can use Christian prayers to start town meetings, so long as legislators don't discriminate against non-Christians. It's a new chapter in the long-running fight over prayer in public places and on public occasions. NPR's Carrie Johnson explains what happened in the town of Greece, New York. Mon, 05 May 2014 20:02:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 40177 at http://iowapublicradio.org FBI Director: Radicalization Of Westerners In Syria Is Of Great Concern http://iowapublicradio.org/post/fbi-director-radicalization-westerners-syria-great-concern FBI Director James Comey says the flow of Western fighters into Syria — and the prospect they'll return home radicalized — represents one of his biggest day-to-day concerns.<p>In an interview with reporters in Washington, Comey says the situation in Syria is "getting worse," with a couple of dozen more Americans heading overseas in recent months, beyond the 60 or 70 individuals who've already ventured to the Middle East to take part in a civil war inflected with al-Qaida influences. He says the FBI has evidence that Americans in Syria are presently recruiting other U.S. Fri, 02 May 2014 20:56:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 40074 at http://iowapublicradio.org FBI Director: Radicalization Of Westerners In Syria Is Of Great Concern Lawyers Use High Court Petition To Highlight Prosecutorial Misconduct http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lawyers-use-high-court-petition-highlight-prosecutorial-misconduct Lawyers for a computer support technician convicted of possessing ricin to use as a weapon are asking the Supreme Court on Thursday to hear his appeal, as a way to send a message about widespread prosecutorial misconduct.<p>The technician, Kenneth R. Olsen, says the Justice Department's failure to disclose an investigation that uncovered persistent misdeeds by a forensic expert who testified at his 2003 trial robbed him of a strong defense and violated his Fifth Amendment due-process rights. The forensic scientist was later fired "for incompetence and gross misconduct," the petition states. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:07:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 39634 at http://iowapublicradio.org Justice Dept. Opens Door To Freedom For Some Nonviolent Offenders http://iowapublicradio.org/post/justice-dept-opens-door-freedom-some-nonviolent-offenders Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The Justice Department wants to grant an early release to thousands of nonviolent drug offenders in crowded federal prisons and they've unveiled a plan to do it. Inmates will receive notice starting next week that they may be eligible to apply. That has government lawyers gearing up for a huge amount of work. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:09:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 39591 at http://iowapublicradio.org Longtime D.C. Lawyer Is White House's Next Top Counsel http://iowapublicradio.org/post/longtime-dc-lawyer-white-houses-next-top-counsel Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>President Obama is getting a new lawyer. Longtime Washington attorney Neil Eggleston will be the next White House counsel. The news comes just in time for midterm elections that could deliver the Senate to Republicans, and launch a new wave of oversight investigations.<p>NPR's Carrie Johnson reports Eggleston will have to muster all of his legal and political skills.<p>CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Pick any Washington scandal over the last 30 years and odds are, Neil Eggleston's been there. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 39529 at http://iowapublicradio.org Justice's 'Peacemaker' Unit Focuses On Transgender Rights http://iowapublicradio.org/post/justices-peacemaker-unit-focuses-transgender-rights A groundbreaking survey reports that <a href="http://transequality.org/PDFs/Executive_Summary.pdf" target="_blank">nearly 2 out of 3 transgender people</a> say they've been victims of physical assault. Most of those crimes are never reported to police. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 39231 at http://iowapublicradio.org Justice's 'Peacemaker' Unit Focuses On Transgender Rights