Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gonzales, Putting Death on the Fast-Track

Gonzales to Get Power In Death Penalty Cases Rules Would Expand Fast-Track Authority
By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, August 15, 2007; A02
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, under political siege for his handling of the U.S. attorney firings and other issues, is to get expanded powers to hasten death penalty cases under regulations being developed by the Justice Department.
The rules would give Gonzales the authority to approve "fast-track" procedures by states in death penalty cases, enabling them to carry out sentences more speedily and with fewer opportunities for appeal if those states provide adequate representation for capital defendants.
Such powers were previously held by federal judges, but a provision of the USA Patriot Act reauthorization bill approved by Congress last year hands the authority to the attorney general.
Under the regulations, death row inmates would have six months, instead of a year, to file appeals in the federal courts, and federal judges would have less time to consider petitions in capital cases.
____________________________________________________________________
As Bush legal counsel in Texas, Gonzales reviewed 57 death penalties, upheld all 57 and withheld salient and exculpatory evidence in doing so. All 57 died.
Now, in yet another hidden agenda within the 'never-read' reauthorization of the Patriot Act, this incredibly incompetent jerk has been given the work of federal judges.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the frustrated Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee now stands to have actual, rather than metaphoric, blood on his hands if Gonzales is not impeached or otherwise removed.

* For more in-depth articles from Jim on Homeland Security, check out Opinion-Columns.com