Sunday, June 3, 2007

New DOJ efforts to counter violent crime

Gonzales outlines new DOJ efforts to counter violent crime, JURIST - Paper Chase, June 2, 2007.

The Department of Justice is setting up new violent crime task forces.

DOJ proposes new legislation, the Violent Crime and Anti-Terrorism Act of 2007. According to DOJ's press release (June 1), the law would:

  • Double the penalty for transferring a firearm that will be used to commit a crime of violence or drug trafficking offense;
  • increasethe maximum penalty under the general conspiracy statute;
  • amend the "armed career criminal statute to create a tiered penalty approach for felons with prior drug trafficking or violent felony convictions;"
  • lengthen the statute of limitations for violent crimes and terrorism-related crimes;
  • "create a new statutory prohibition against crimes of violence by illegal aliens;"
  • establish new, graduated sanctions for firearms violations;
  • "restore the binding nature" of the sentencing guidelines -- undoing United States v. Booker, which held that they were advisory -- by making the lower end of the range a minimum sentence that must be imposed;
  • provide rights of appeal for both the defendant andthe prosecution from sentencing decisions;
  • establish a minimum sentence of two years for possessing child pornography;
The press release has a couple of bullet points that seem vague to me:
  • Amend terrorism-related authorities to close gaps in the law; and
  • Provide additional resources and strengthen existing tools for law enforcement to combat terrorism.
What gaps? Close them how? What tools? Strengthen them how? I guess we'll have to wait for someone in Congress to introduce the Administration's proposed bill.

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