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Monday, November 22, 2004

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 Enforcement of civil rights law down

The Associated Press reports that Federal enforcement of civil rights laws has dropped sharply since 1999, even as the level of complaints received by the Justice Department has remained relatively constant:
Criminal charges of civil rights violations were brought against 84 defendants last year, down from 159 in 1999, according to Justice Department data analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

The study also found that the number of times the Federal Bureau of Investigation or another federal investigative agency recommended prosecution in civil rights cases fell by more than one-third, from more than 3,000 in 1999 to just over 1,900 last year. Federal court data also show that the government has sought fewer civil sanctions against civil rights violators.

One of the study's authors, David Burnham, said the results showed that civil rights enforcement dropped across the board in President Bush's first term in office. 'Collectively, some violators of the civil rights laws are not being dealt with by the government,' Professor Burnham said. 'This trend, we think, is significant.'

It is unlikely the decline has occurred because of fewer civil rights violations occurring, the study suggests. The number of complaints about possible violations received by the Justice Department has remained at about 12,000 annually for each of the past five years.
When asked for comment about the study, the Justice Department was heard to mutter, "Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all."

Just kidding. Actually, the Justice Department had no comment.

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