FROM Richard Schmitt
Gonzales Is Out, Will Mukasey Be His Replacement? Former New York federal judge Michael Mukasey is President Bush's nominee to be the next Attorney General of the United States. He's a law-and-order conservative Senate Democrats may find acceptable, but he could face opposition from the Republican right wing. We hear about his record and some of the issues his confirmation will raise, including politics at the Department of Justice, warrantless wiretaps, the unitary executive and social issues, including abortion.
Capital Punishment and Alberto Gonzales There are 3300 convicts on death row in the United States—more than 600 in California alone. Just 53 people were executed last year. Lengthy appeals and moratoriums in some states have delayed the process of capital punishment. When Congress re-authorized the Patriot Act, it included a provision that could speed things up by transferring certain authority from federal judges to the Attorney General of the United States. That's extended debate about the death penalty to the record of the current Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. Before they went to Washington, Alberto Gonzales advised Governor George Bush on clemency for death penalty convicts. In six years, 150 people were executed, and each time Gonzales provided Bush with a document summarizing the facts of the case, the defendant's personal background and a legal history. We look at the man death-penalty advocates say is the right man to handle life-and-death issues, even as others question his potential for executing the wrong people when the process moves too fast.
Judge Won't Delay Libby's Prison Sentence In Washington Federal District Court today, Judge Reggie Walton has ruled that Lewis "Scooter" Libby , former chief-of-staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, should go to jail, even though Libby is appealing his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice. Rick Schmitt reports for the Los Angeles Times .
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?