Proposal to Provide Enhanced Citizen Participation in the Federal Justice System

and to Increase Accountability of Federal Law Enforcement and Justice Personnel

to the American People.

 

by

MSV

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Aug. 31, 1997

 

Over the last couple weeks I've revisited and reread much of the material on the incidents at Ruby Ridge and Waco and other government abuses in recent years, especially the numerous ATF and DEA entrapments and other fiascoes. Aside from the outrageous conduct of Federal officials on a number of occasions, it occurs to me that there is an institutionalized lack of accountability as things are presently structured. This lack of accountability is manifest in a number of ways:

  • All too often, law enforcement agencies investigate themselves through their Internal Affairs units. The fox consults with himself and concludes that yes, the chicken was good.
  • When law enforcement agencies investigate one another, the so-called "Blue Wall of Silence" may well prevent an objective, unbiased review. Most foxes think alike: Chicken is good.
  • Thirdly, in the case of some Federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the personnel (the U.S. Attorneys) who would investigate law enforcement's misdeeds and those who would be investigated and possibly prosecuted all work for the Department of Justice. The foxes are of the same litter; they were all raised on chicken.

When, based on entrapment or the use of unreliable informants, citizens' homes are searched and the citizens themselves are improperly arrested, tried and sometimes murdered, there is an inherent lack of accountability on the part of those responsible for these injustices. There are, however a number of simple steps that could be taken to make them fully accountable.

By themselves, except for the occasional appointment of a private attorney to act as prosecutor, the above reforms would work only if the current system of Federal prosecution backs it up. Unfortunately, as the Ruby Ridge affair shows, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are capable of scratching one another's backs for years on end without really accomplishing much. We need to go one step further:

The proposals in (4) and (5) should not cause any undue concerns since all attorneys are "officers of the court" and would be working under the same rules as would the attorneys of the Department of Justice. These proposals would substantially enhance our system of checks and balances and increase the accountability of Federal employees to the citizens they are supposed to serve.

 

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