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 .
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?