Criminal Justice

DOJ Won't Spend Money Slated for DNA Testing

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USA Today reports that the Justice Department hasn't spent the first nickel of the $8 million Congress allotted for the purpose of testing DNA samples in cases where an innocent person may have been convicted.

TalkLeft's Jeralyn Merritt comments:

I'm not surprised, given DOJ's opposition to the Innocence Protection Act all along. By the time the bill was passed, it was stripped of the most meaningful protections and turned into a victims' rights bill, even being renamed The Justice For All Act.

The National Institute for Justice, which administers the grants, claims Congress attached onerous rules to the grants that effectively make it impossible for the states to obtain them.

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  1. the Justice Department hasn’t spent the first nickel of the $8 million Congress allotted

    Great news for libertarians! It’s good to see the DOJ is on board with small government. That money was taken from us at the point of a gun, btw.

  2. I wouldn’t even know where to begin on ripping that idiotic trollish comment, Mr. Tarrant.

  3. ha ha, silly congress, thinking the DOJ cares about justice instead of getting convictions.

  4. Oh my God! Did he really just say that! This merits 100+ comments in response!

  5. Look, we can’t have innocent people freed. That would sow doubt about the criminal justice system and prosecutors and cops. Then how would we put people in jail for smoking a plant?

  6. Dan, don’t you have crappy fiction to go write and post on your blog?

  7. ha ha, silly congress, thinking the DOJ cares about justice instead of getting convictions.

    It is not up to the DOJ to seek justice. That is up to the defendant’s defense counsel. If they are innocent they will be freed on appeal.

    It is not unconstitutional to convict an innocent person, even to death, provided that they had a fair trial. The suppreme court has ruled as such.

    Fair, no, but life is not fair.

  8. um… could I get a cite of where the Supreme Court ruled it’s constitutional to sentence an innocent man to death because of poor defense?

  9. Look, we can’t have innocent people freed. That would sow doubt about the criminal justice system and prosecutors and cops. Then how would we put people in jail for smoking a plant?

    Yes, and what if we accidently free an ‘innocent’ person who is really guilty of smoking a plant? There are lots of pot smokers out there who are not yet in prison. Is it really worth the risk to perhaps let the guilty free.

  10. That story is, as usual, quite unhelpful.

    Who put those conditions in the bill? Is the Justice Department unable to provide grants because of what was in the legislation, or because of internal regulations that Justice itself promulgated?

  11. Boy, you guys are a little touchy today. I guess seeing Al Gore win the NPP has thinned everybody’s skin a little.

  12. The money is a classic, strings-attached grant to states by the federal government. That DOJ is keeping the money from the states applying for it is the best thing that can be hoped to preserve federalism in the justice system.

  13. um… could I get a cite of where the Supreme Court ruled it’s constitutional to sentence an innocent man to death because of poor defense?

    O’Connor reiterated the majority’s conclusion that the execution of an innocent person was not unconstitutional by assuming that there was no constitutional issue raised:

  14. Great news for libertarians! It’s good to see the DOJ is on board with small government. That money was taken from us at the point of a gun, btw.

    It is not unlibertarian to spend government money to expose government misfeasance and/or malfeasance.

    This favored law is one example. Ron Paul calling for an investigation of the FAA is another.

  15. There are lots of pot smokers people out there who are not yet in prison.

    I think this is more what you have in mind.

  16. DanT:

    you’ve been jumping and down with glee since he won the documentary prize. he won the peace one, too? wow.

    Somehow I thought Rummy was gonna win that one.

  17. It is not unlibertarian to spend government money to expose government misfeasance and/or malfeasance.

    Seriously, this may be the first time I’ve heard the budget for a government project and thought, “That seems a bit low.”

    Aside from the huge controversy that’s about to erupt over the Office for Promoting Unity Between Strippers and Jerks who Comment on Subversive Blogs.

  18. DanT:

    you’ve been jumping and down with glee since he won the documentary prize. he won the peace one, too? wow.

    Somehow I thought Rummy was gonna win that one.

    I’m pretty sure Fox News is planning on sponsoring a Nobel Prize for War where Rummy might be a contender. Of course, he’s no good at war so maybe not.

  19. 🙂

    But he sure has the tuff guy poses down when he flexes into his mirror!

    The Faux News Awards:
    Peace – what the fuck is that
    Literature – gawd for that greatest book
    Science – there is no such thing
    Medicine – Balloon maker, since he’s cute as a button and just as scientific as the ID’ers.

    this is fun.

    (and when i heard that AlGore (algore algore) won one of the prizes, the thought of some of the posts of the usual suspects actually didn’t cross my mind)

  20. Boy, you guys are a little touchy today. I guess seeing Al Gore win the NPP has thinned everybody’s skin a little.

    Actually, this libertarian doesn’t care that much. I don’t have a thing against Al Gore.

  21. Let’s see: Congress allocated $8 million for the DOJ to perform tests that will realistically cost about $2k. We could almost get new tests for everyone on death row in Texas.

  22. DAN T:

    Is it the Democrats who supported the war or the Libertarians? What is your front-runner’s stance on the war? Was is the Democrats who supported the Patriot Act? Why are bringing rummy out? The Dems have supported Bush ever step of his presidency. They only started changing their tune when the war became unpopular. What is worse than being wrong? Exactly what the democrats did, know something was wrong and support it anyway for political expediency.

  23. Is it the Democrats who supported the war or the Libertarians?

    Neither, it was the Republicans. Evev in 2002, the Democrats in Congress voted against the AUMF by a 16 point margin, 58%-42%.

    What is your front-runner’s stance on the war?, It was a mistake to start it, we should end it, we should start withdrawing troops immediately, and it’s going to take some time to end it entirely. That, btw, represents the far-right end of the spectrum of Democratic opinions on the war.

    BTW, your perception of Dan T’s politics are as deluded as your perception of Democrats’. He is a self-described libertarian.

  24. He is a self-described libertarian.

    Bck, bck, what?! I’m quite sure he’s not on our list. Dan T., is this true?!

  25. I am a self-decribed best looking man on earth. Doesnt make it so.

    Dan T is a democrat. Nobody else likes al gore.

    You are being a bit obtuse about the Democrats opposing the war by a margin of 52% to 48%. That was the vote but it is well known that the Democratic leadership made certain that a large enough % of the Dems had to vote to support the war to not look weak, but enough had to oppose the war vote to appease their constituents. Who voted which way was not based on beliefs but on DNC fiat.

    Joe–Hillary Clinton has been a long time supporter of the war. She adopted a new position as it became politically feasible. She shifts with the wind.

    I notice you were silent on the Dems support of the Patriot Act, domestic spying, war funding…

    If my perceptions of the democrats is deluded, please enlighten me. BTW, please do use the word “progressive” to describe your party. We all known the word progressive is a euphimism for socialist.

  26. Joe, if you can’t tell the difference between a libertarian and Dan T., then I have to wonder if you’ve been paying attention at all while you’ve been a regular here.

  27. That, btw, represents the far-right end of the spectrum of Democratic opinions on the war.

    Which is odd, considering that the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic Presidential nomination doesn’t share at least some of these views, and the Democratic Congress has yet to pass any legislation consistent with these views. Its almost like their professed principles don’t translate into action, or something (which would be weird, for a politician, I know).

  28. Boy, you guys are a little touchy today. I guess seeing Al Gore win the NPP has thinned everybody’s skin a little.

    I’m pretty sure that the comments on that particularly egregious piece of trollery would have come just as thick and fast if Dan T had thrown it out at the end of a week in which Ron Paul had been elected president, the Controlled Substances Act repealed, and the BATFE abolished (after its headquarters had been stormed by an angry mob and its director’s head paraded around D.C. on the end of a pike). Even amidst all the revelry and high-fiving, some of us would have found the time to pause, point, and say, “What a maroon.”

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