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Criminal Justice

Merrick Garland

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President-elect Joe Biden has decided to nominate Judge Merrick Garland for U.S. attorney general, according to Politico sources. Three Politico reporters — Tyler Pager, Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney — are reporting that Biden has chosen Garland over former Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

In 2016, then-President Barack Obama nominated Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, much to the consternation of Democrats, refused to even consider Obama's nominee or bring the nomination to the Senate floor. President-elect Joe Biden, however, will have a different political environment than Obama in 2016, as Democrats appear headed for a majority in the U.S. Senate.

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President Trump and former Attorney General William Barr

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

In its hurry to use its final days in power to execute federal prisoners, the administration of President Donald Trump has trampled over an array of barriers, both legal and practical, according to court records that have not been previously reported.

Officials gave public explanations for their choice of which prisoners should die that misstated key facts from the cases. They moved ahead with executions in the middle of the night. They left one prisoner strapped to the gurney while lawyers worked to remove a court order. They executed a second prisoner while an appeal was still pending, leaving the court to then dismiss the appeal as “moot" because the man was already dead. They bought drugs from a secret pharmacy that failed a quality test. They hired private executioners and paid them in cash.

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