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Merrick Garland on Crime

 

 


OpEd: deferential to police; lack of accountability

Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, says Garland is an "underwhelming" pick, given his judicial record. "People need to remember that Garland was picked for the Supreme Court because he was a compromise candidate," says Mystal. "This is a centrist jurist who has a history -- a troubling history, to me -- of being deferential to police and being unwilling to hold police accountable for acts of brutality and misconduct."
Source: Democracy Now blog on 2021 Biden Cabinet , Jan 8, 2021

Critic: deferential to police, lack of accountability

Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, says Garland is an "underwhelming" pick, given his judicial record. "People need to remember that Garland was picked for the Supreme Court because he was a compromise candidate," says Mystal. "This is a centrist jurist who has a history--a troubling history, to me--of being deferential to police and being unwilling to hold police accountable for acts of brutality and misconduct."
Source: Democracy Now on 2021 Biden Administration , Jan 8, 2021

Tends to defer to law enforcement, wartime executive power

While Garland is undoubtedly a legal liberal, his record tends to line up in favor of broad judicial deference to law enforcement and wartime executive power. In the area of criminal law, Garland's votes have frequently come down on the side of prosecutors and police. In 2010, SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein observed that "Judge Garland rarely votes in favor of criminal defendants' appeals of their convictions."
Source: Reason magazine on 2021 Biden Cabinet , Jul 5, 2018

Prosecuted terrorism as Justice Department official

Days after a huge bomb killed 168 people in Oklahoma City in April 1995, Merrick Garland was on the ground even as bodies were still being recovered, examining the crime scene and preparing for an eventual prosecution. Now a federal appeals court judge, Judge Garland was then the highest-ranking Justice Department official dispatched to Oklahoma City in the aftermath of the bombing. He spent the ensuing weeks helping to start the case, and later supervised the prosecutors from department headquarters.

Source: N.Y. Times, "Bombing case", by Charlie Savage , Apr 27, 2010

Oversaw death penalty prosecution for Oklahoma City bombers

Garland's former colleagues say that the Oklahoma City case had a lasting emotional impact on Garland. At the time, he was the second-ranking figure in the office of the deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick. Ms. Gorelick recalled he insisted that she send him to Oklahoma City to help begin the investigation in person. "He not only volunteered," Gorelick recalled, "he basically said, `You need to let me go.' "

Several prosecutors who worked on the case said Garland worked tirelessly to help run the investigation; overseeing search warrants, interacting with other law enforcement agencies and meeting with surviving victims. He appeared in court for the preliminary hearings of the two main suspects, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

Garland was involved in major decisions including seeking the death penalty for McVeigh and Nichols. Garland apparently did not object to that proposal. McVeigh was found guilty and executed in 2001. Nichols is serving a sentence of life without parole.)

Source: N.Y. Times, "Bombing case", by Charlie Savage , Apr 27, 2010

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Page last updated: Jul 13, 2021