Obama DoJ bails out of death-penalty case

posted at 11:35 am on March 3, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Eric Holder reversed the Department of Justice position on a death-penalty case last night in San Francisco, offering a 40-year sentence in a plea agreement for multiple murders.  Michael Mukasey had refused to accept a plea bargain for gang leader Emile Fort on three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.  The mother of one victim, a seven-week-old infant killed in a hail of gunfire intended for his father, objected:

President Obama’s Justice Department halted the death penalty trial of an alleged San Francisco gang leader Monday by accepting a 40-year prison sentence that the Bush administration had vetoed.

The plea agreement for Emile Fort remained on hold after a federal judge heard a tearful plea from a murder victim’s mother for a life sentence and summoned prosecutors to a closed-door session to describe their case against Fort.

Afterward, despite apparent irritation at his lack of authority to change the terms of the plea deal, U.S. District Judge William Alsup indicated he was likely to accept the agreement at a hearing today.

Fort, 27, is accused of committing three murders and attempting two others in 2003 and 2004 as a leader of a gang that fought for control of turf and drug trafficking at the Sunnydale public housing projects in Visitacion Valley. Police said one victim, a 7-week-old infant named Glenn Molex, was killed in his Bayview home in September 2003 by a shot fired from a passing car intended for his father.

Fort was arrested in July 2004 on state charges but was transferred to U.S. custody 16 months later when federal prosecutors obtained racketeering indictments against members of the gang.

I don’t support the death penalty for domestic crimes, but 40 years is not a sufficient sentence for Fort’s assassinations.  Three murders from racketeering activities alone should net three consecutive life sentences, not an aggregate of 40 years.  Under federal guidelines, Fort will be 63 when he gains eligibility for parole, while Glenn Molex and the other two victims will still be dead.

Ironically, California would have been much harsher on Fort than the feds.  First-degree murder carries only two possible penalties in California: death, or life without parole.  I doubt that there is a judge in California who would hesitate to make the sentences consecutive rather than concurrent even if a jury didn’t return a death sentence on any of the convictions.  The state of California probably regrets conceding jurisdiction to the feds, and may not make that same mistake again in the future, as long as Obama and Holder are in office.

Holder betrayed California’s trust and the safety of its citizens by offering this plea agreements.  Three premeditated murders and two attempts at murder make Fort a serial killer, and Holder just guaranteed that we will once again have him on the streets, rather than put away for life.  This doesn’t do justice for the victims — which is what a Department of Justice exists to provide.


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Comment pages: 1 2

I love liberals for this crap
They always cry out how can you be against abortion
Pro life and then be also for the death penalty..?

Simple unborn babies dont go around blowing away people with ak47′s

So the fact that obama and the democraps want to let these creeps get away with murder just goes to show you.
Liberals only care about
NON us citiense, mass murders, theives, tax cheats..
and hell if thye could do it they would arrest all republicans and throw them into pelozis concentration camps being build right now..

jcila on March 3, 2009 at 2:34 PM

unborn babies dont go around blowing away people with ak47’s

Never forget that Obama-Mugabe is the morally and intellectually bankrupt, corrupt incompetent, who thought it was just fine to allow a baby who survived a botched abortion, to die of exposure in a soiled utility closet.

But he tears up with mercy for a murderer. Probably because they are kin down deep.

NoDonkey on March 3, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Is this the same Catholic Church that ran the Spanish Inquisition?

darktood on March 3, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Yes. And, pray tell, what do you think of the morals and ethics associated with the prosecutors of the Spanish Inquisition?

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I love liberals for this crap
They always cry out how can you be against abortion
Pro life and then be also for the death penalty..?

I’m a pro-death kind of guy. Death is after all an important facet of life. I was arguing with a “tikkum olam (repair the world)” Jewish liberal on exactly this point. Apparently the death penalty is racist, and therefore bad. Since logical argument was obviously out of the question at this point, I just rolled my eyes and changed the subject.

thuja on March 3, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Eh. The Catholic Church has yet to put its money where its mouth is on abortion, so one can hardly take them seriously on the death penalty. The pope also said the US was mean to illegal immigrants and we should be more charitable to them, which is not a sign of infallibility.

Blake on March 3, 2009 at 1:34 PM

The Pope’s non-infallibility on this matter sounds amazingly like Abraham Lincoln’s non-infallibility. A lot of Republicans have forgotten Abe’s feelings on immigration:

But after we have done all this we have not yet reached the whole. There is something else connected with it. We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who have come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian—men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. If they look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration, and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.

And Ronald Reagan:

First of all, America is really many Americas. We call ourselves a nation of immigrants, and that’s truly what we are. We have drawn people from every corner of the Earth. We’re composed of virtually every race and religion, and not in small numbers, but large. We have a statue in New York Harbor that speaks of this, a statue of a woman holding a torch of welcome to those who enter our country to become Americans. She has greeted millions upon millions of immigrants to our country. She welcomes them still. She represents our open door.

All of the immigrants who came to us brought their own music, literature, customs, and ideas. And the marvelous thing, a thing of which we’re proud, is they did not have to relinquish these things in order to fit in. In fact, what they brought to America became American. And this diversity has more than enriched us; it has literally shaped us.

This tradition — the tradition of new immigrants adding to the sum total of what we are — is not a thing of the past. New immigrants are still bringing their talents and improving the quality of American life.

Of course, I have a horse in this hunt — my wife’s father was an illegal immigrant, excluded by the Alien Exclusion Acts; he came as a “paper son”, worked hard, owned two stores (one condemned to build LA’s Union Station, the other, newly built, condemned to build the offramp to Dodger Stadium). In his later life, he underwent “immigration confession”, and was stripped of his citizenship, but permitted to keep a “green card” and to reapply for citizenship. He immediately took the citizenship tests and regained his citizenship, since it was very important to him that he be able to vote as a Republican in the next election.

Indeed, your implied position is that of the Taney Court, which held the opposite of Lincoln’s inclusiveness of immigration, citizenship, and civil rights: In Dredd Scott, Taney held that because Scott was not a citizen, he had no right to file a suit.

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 3:25 PM

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 2:52 PM
.
Same as my opinion about the Catholic Church that keeps putting child molesters in charge of alter boys.

darktood on March 3, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I am pro legal immigration, and apposed to illegal immigration.
There is a difference.

darktood on March 3, 2009 at 3:37 PM

darktood on March 3, 2009 at 3:33 PM

How do you feel about child molesting public school teachers?

NoDonkey on March 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM

It is 25 years for possession of a class II firearm without a tax stamp. You never fired it in anger, you left no blood on the floor, but you could have.

Fifteen more for putting the weapon to use, multiple times, is justice? Balance?

Look for otherwise law abiding citizens to be getting the former and rabid dogs the latter when Holder reads from the Constitution.

Limerick on March 3, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Indeed, your implied position is that of the Taney Court, which held the opposite of Lincoln’s inclusiveness of immigration, citizenship, and civil rights: In Dredd Scott, Taney held that because Scott was not a citizen, he had no right to file a suit.

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 3:25 P

Blow me. The US brings in a million legal immigrants a year and has not actively sought to deport the well over 13 million illegal immigrants that are currently here. California alone spends well over 14 billion dollars a year on services to illegal immigrants.

If you and the Pope think Americans are not generous to illegal immigrants, you’re fk’d in the head. Actually, your ridiculous stretch of an analogy already indicates you’re fk’d in the head.

Blake on March 3, 2009 at 5:35 PM

How do you feel about child molesting public school teachers?

NoDonkey on March 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM

unclesmrgol implied position is that he supports child molesting public teachers.

Blake on March 3, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Justice often finds its way into prison life. Emile might find less support behind bars then he received by Holder. Fort will never find a days rest.

alternative failures on March 3, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Federal judges are not bound by any plea deal. In this case he can sentence the thug to much longer time.

federale86 on March 3, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Same as my opinion about the Catholic Church that keeps putting child molesters in charge of alter boys.

darktood on March 3, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Which child molesters? Me?

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Same as my opinion about the Catholic Church that keeps putting child molesters in charge of alter boys.

darktood on March 3, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Just wanted to be sure I was hearing the usual anti-Catholic jerkoff. Just wipe it off when you’re done.

unclesmrgol implied position is that he supports child molesting public teachers.

Blake on March 3, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Ditto.

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Ditto.

unclesmrgol on March 3, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Hey, I didn’t say your supported child molesting priests. I said you supported child molesting public school teachers.

Blake on March 4, 2009 at 7:46 AM

If you believe people who oppose illegal immigration and object to Americans being falsely labeled as ungenerous are racists you are on the wrong blog, uncledumbass.

Blake on March 4, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Holder is a coward!

Hazmat on March 4, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Holder is a coward!

Hazmat on March 4, 2009 at 10:02 AM

So is unclesmrgol.

Blake on March 7, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Comment pages: 1 2