Murkowski: Justice Department Accountability Remains “Unacceptable”

Government Review of DoJ Discipline Shows Lack of Follow-Through

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released a study assessing how the Department of Justice is addressing instances of prosecutorial misconduct.  The study, conducted at the request of Senator Lisa Murkowski, found a lack of progress, oversight and follow through by the Department to address misconduct, which a recent study found still prevalent in cases nationwide – and that several of the accused agents continue to be assigned new cases despite their track record.

Notably, the study’s summary observes that:

“[The Department of Justice] has not implemented plans to improve processes for demonstrating that discipline is implemented, or achieving timely and consistent discipline decisions.”

“The fact is that DOJ attorneys continue to defy the law and erode the nation’s faith in the criminal justice system,” said Murkowski.  “While awareness of the problem is at an all-time high, the Department has failed to adequately address these serious issues, which is unacceptable.”

Background: Senator Murkowski has sought greater accountability and transparency from the Department of Justice since before the Ted Stevens verdict was thrown out at the request of Attorney General Eric Holder because DOJ attorneys withheld key evidence. Murkowski has repeatedly questioned to government officials about the discipline imposed against the DOJ attorneys who handled the Stevens’ case, but her questions have gone unanswered.