Rejoice in Gonzo's new Grim Reaper powers
by Pam Spaulding · 8/15/2007 12:16:00 PM ET

You can thank the reauthorized Patriot Act for this bit of news:

Gonzales set to get new power to oversee death penalty.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could see his influence over death penalty decisions increase under new regulations expected to be approved soon by the Justice Department, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Implementing a "little-noticed provision in last year's reauthorization of the Patriot Act," the Justice Department rules give Gonzales authority that had previously been held by federal judges to decide whether states are providing adequate council for defendants in death penalty cases, according to the Times.

"The move to shorten the appeals process and effectively speed up executions comes at a time of growing national concern about the fairness of the death penalty, underscored by the use of DNA testing to establish the innocence of more than a dozen death row inmates in recent years," reports Richard B. Schmitt in the Times Tuesday.

the above from http://www.americablog.com

just an aside, the house passed the reauthorization by a two vote margin, rep. bean, voted in the affirmative

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