Sunday, November 21, 2004

News that isn't news

Does it come as a suprise to anyone that the enforcement of civil rights laws is down? Newsday has the story on a report released today by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University (I looked on TRAC's site but couldn't find a free link to the whole report). TRAC tells us the feds brought charges against 159 alleged civil rights violations in 1999 and only 84 in 2004. (I guess the world is getting better and better, huh?) Here's a blurb from the report:
Civil rights cases made up a tiny fraction of the Justice Department's total of 99,341 criminal prosecutions in 2003. The study found, however, that only civil rights and environmental prosecutions were down from 1999 to 2003 as the total caseload rose by about 10 percent.

By far the biggest criminal prosecution category is illegal drugs, at about 33,100 cases last year, followed by immigration, weapons violations, white-collar crime and others. Of the 84 civil rights cases brought in 2003, almost half involved allegations of violations by police officers, with 17 involving racial violence and nine others some form of slavery or involuntary servitude.

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