The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not only been reduced to a political weapon directed at attacking conservatives in the country, but its internal function as a government agency responsible for law and justice is also in tatters.
In the new revelation about the DOJ’s miserable state of operation, the agency was found to have undercounted nearly a thousand deaths in prisons over the last year.
The report of a 10-month bipartisan investigation, released by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and the Government Accountability Office, shows that the DOJ did not report the deaths of 990 people in custody or during arrest in the fiscal year 2021. And for the past 3 years, more than 5,000 deaths in the criminal legal system have gone uncounted.
While these are shockingly big numbers and indicate the agency’s functional mess, there is more to the story of failure. According to the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA) of 2014, the DOJ was required to submit a report on death statistics in jail to Congress in 2016 but the DOJ has not submitted any such report to Congress.
Now they say their report won’t be complete until 2024; that is an incredible 8 years past the due date.
The probe into the DOJ’s handling and reporting of data on deaths also revealed that the agency is missing large percentages of data – ranging from 40 to 70 percent – on specific types of information that it was required to collect and present in it reports.
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told Maureen Henneberg, the DOJ official leading the accounting of deaths in custody, in a hearing discussing the DOJ reporting issue: “You have utterly failed. I mean, literally, you’ve utterly failed.”
The DOJ has come up with no excuse to justify its failure in reporting the information on deaths in the legal system but they want the reporting law to be changed instead of putting themselves to do the needful.
One question that has mainly escaped attention in this issue with DOJ is whether the agency will face any penalty for breaking the law of reporting on deaths in the legal system. The exiting political scenario strongly suggests that the DOJ won’t be held accountable by the Democratic administration, especially at a time when the DOJ is serving as its main weapon against keeping conservatives away from power.
Through the FBI, the DOJ is actively engaged in trying to stop President Trump from running for re-election, which is currently the leading focus of the Democrats and the anti-conservative establishment.