- - Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Judge Merrick Garland, lauded for his prosecution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, testified that if confirmed as attorney general he would make the investigation and prosecution of those involved in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol his top priority.

Unfortunately, he was not asked to explain his 2014 ruling that sanctioned the questionable dismissal of the indictment against domestic terrorist and fugitive Elizabeth Duke for her role in the 1983 bombing of the Senate chambers of the U.S. Capitol building, the Navy Yard and Fort McNair. Susan Rosenberg, Duke’s co-conspirator, had her sentence commuted by President Bill Clinton. She now works for Black Lives Matter.

And while Judge Garland testified he had no regrets that McVeigh received the death penalty, he said that his views have since evolved because of claims of racial discrimination and questions of innocence. But those objections arise at the state level, not for federal capital crimes. McVeigh was a White supremacist and his guilt was clear. Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty but his death sentence is on appeal.

While insisting that he would run the Justice Department without any interference from the White House, Judge Garland nevertheless said he would follow President Biden’s expected moratorium on the death penalty. That inconsistent position would be most unfortunate and constitutionally suspect.


Counsel, National Legal and Policy Center

Chevy Chase, Md.

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