The Great Debate

from Jack Shafer:

All in all, Eric Holder was just another brick in the wall

By Jack Shafer
September 26, 2014

U.S.  Attorney General Holder stands with President Obama after the president announced Holder's resignation at the White House in Washington

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. first signaled his exit from office so long ago that every reporter and pundit who covers the Department of Justice has stockpiled enough copy assessing his tenure to fill a mattress. Like Derek Jeter, Holder announced his farewell tour this past February, telling the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin that he would depart in 2014. The admission prompted journalists to update and fine tune their critiques of the attorney general with emerging details, the way obituary writers tweak their pre-written obituaries of famous, old people to keep them fresh and newsy.

Tragedy in Ferguson: What the Justice Department can do next

By William Yeomans
August 25, 2014

Protesters walk through smoke as police clear a street after the passing of a midnight curfew meant to stem ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown, in FergusonThe tragic killing of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson has brought to the surface long-simmering tensions between the Ferguson Police Department and the Missouri community it serves. In the shooting’s immediate aftermath, the focus has been on whether Wilson will be prosecuted criminally and convicted for the shooting. In the longer term, however, the focus must ultimately turn to a broader agenda, including substantial reforms in the Ferguson Police Department if it is to regain the full trust and confidence of the community.

from Stories I’d like to see:

A follow-up on Dasani, fitting Credit Suisse punishments, when Hollywood meets Beijing

By Steven Brill
May 28, 2014

credit suisse

1. What happened to Dasani?

Remember Dasani Coates?

She’s the homeless Brooklyn girl whose plight the New York Times’ Andrea Elliott chronicled in a moving series of Times features last December. The last we heard about Dasani in the Times was this February 21 follow-up by Elliott and Rebecca R. Ruiz. They reported that New York City officials had decided to move 400 families, including Dasani’s, out of the squalid shelter where she had been living and into rent-supported apartments.

from Stories I’d like to see:

Sealing deadly court files, and Obama and his Cabinet

By Steven Brill
April 15, 2014

1. Sealing deadly court files:

In the wake of continuing disclosures about General Motors’ failure to acknowledge critical safety issues related to faulty ignition switches, there’s a looming issue that has not been addressed: How litigation settlements negotiated by private parties can result in court-sanctioned cover-ups that endanger the public.

Holder follows GOP lead in easing harsh drug laws

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
September 26, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder issued a directive last week, instructing all U.S. Attorneys to revisit current drug cases involving low-level, non-violent offenders and waive harsh mandatory sentencing requirements where appropriate.

The myth of youthful drug offenders

By Mike Males
August 19, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder’s call for ending mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenders has sparked a national debate on drug policy that should have begun 25 years ago.

Bradley Manning and the real war on leaks

By Ari Melber
June 3, 2013

Army Private First Class Bradley Manning in handcuffs for his motion hearing in Fort Meade in Maryland June 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana

The failure to prosecute corporate crime undermines U.S. justice

By Russell Mokhiber
April 30, 2013

Imagine you are driving down the highway at 90 mph where the posted speed limit is 55 mph. As a result of your speeding, you lose control of your vehicle. And you cause a wreck that kills people.