Afternoon Briefs: 7 federal death penalty requests withdrawn; ex-lawyer sentenced for advice on supplements
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DOJ withdraws death penalty requests
The U.S. Department of Justice has withdrawn requests for the death penalty in seven cases, reversing the stance taken by the department during the Trump administration. The DOJ is still seeking the death penalty in appeals of two other cases—that of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof. And some defense lawyers are still waiting to hear whether the DOJ will drop authorization for the death penalty in their clients’ cases. (The New York Times)
Ex-lawyer gets probation for helping thwart FDA oversight
Former Louisville, Kentucky, lawyer Jonathan Clark Baird has been sentenced to one year of probation for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Baird, formerly a lawyer focusing on steroid and nutritional supplements law, was accused of using his knowledge to help two internet businesses avoid regulatory oversight. The companies marketed chemicals to body builders who falsely attested when visiting the websites that they were using the products for research purposes only—a ruse to avoid FDA authority, prosecutors said. (Department of Justice press release)
Garland pledges crackdown on gun trafficking
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged Thursday to crack down on gun trafficking in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. “We’re going to try and mesh it up with grants for communities,” Garland said in a Chicago appearance, “to prevent violence, to interrupt violence and to provide the kind of relationship from the police and the community necessary to build trust.” Garland grew up in Lincolnwood, Illinois, a northern Chicago suburb. (The Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press)