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Duke Law

Criminal Law

Department of Justice

Publication Year

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Rethinking The Identity And Role Of United States Attorneys, Sara Sun Beale Jan 2009

Rethinking The Identity And Role Of United States Attorneys, Sara Sun Beale

Faculty Scholarship

This article considers the proper role of politics in federal prosecutions, and how that bears on the position of the U.S. Attorney. First, the article sets forth an account of the problems disclosed by investigations into the Bush Justice Department, including the controversial firing of nine U.S. Attorneys and claims that particular prosecutions were politically motivated. It then explores the historical development of the role of the U.S. Attorneys, their relationship to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, and their role in the contemporary federal criminal justice system.

With that background, the article considers the question whether there …


Time For A Twenty-First Century Justice Department, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2008

Time For A Twenty-First Century Justice Department, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

This is a brief contribution to an issue of The Federal Sentencing Reporter directed to criminal justice policy discussions relevant to the 2008 election season. The United States Department of Justice is a uniquely valuable domestic institution. After a period of stunning ascendancy at the end of the last century, the institution has faltered—perhaps as much from strategic neglect as from deliberate diversion of its mission in service of political and foreign policy objectives that most Americans have concluded were misguided. A twenty-first-century executive branch should set as a priority thoughtful consideration of how to confine the powerful tools of …