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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/21/15

Lynch Feigns Criminal Justice Reform

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Follow Me on Twitter     Message Barry Sussman
File:Loretta Lynch official portrait.png - Wikimedia Commons
File:Loretta Lynch official portrait.png - Wikimedia Commons
(Image by (From Wikimedia) United States Department of Justice, Author: United States Department of Justice)
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U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke before the legislative conference of the Black Congressional Caucus Foundation last week and at least peripherally touched on several aspects of criminal justice reform that are of particular importance to the minority community. In a keynote speech that was referred to in media accounts as "deeply moving" and "powerful," Lynch began by comparing the current debate surrounding policing and criminal justice to the "early days of the civil rights movement."

Lynch's comparison is puzzling, especially from her vantage point. The civil rights movement saw the Department of Justice (DOJ) advocate on behalf of minorities. The DOJ under Lynch largely oversees and administers policies that are causing devastation in minority communities.

Lynch's remarks danced around the issues of police violence, over-policing, and mass incarceration.

Many of her comments bordered on being non sequiturs and meant nothing. "Not just here on the panel and on the podium next to me but out here in the audience. I see a lot of fighters. I see a lot of people who have walked a lot of lines, and walked across a lot of bridges, and so I thank you for that as well."

Lynch displayed an odd disconnect that allowed her to cite criminal justice problems yet simultaneously ignore her own ability to address these very issues. And more than just ignore this ability, her speech bordered on the Orwellian in omitting her own DOJ's contributions to the very problems she is purportedly committed to correcting.

Paragraphs such as the following were typical of Lynch's meandering:

Whether you have been in the struggle for years, or whether you are new to it and part of the new and exciting and dynamic young voices that we need to tell us the truth, I commend you and I am so so glad to hear from you. Your commitment is important, your ideas are important, your energy and your passion. And now is the time that we have to all come together around these important issues. Because while we have made just extraordinary progress since the CBC was founded over 40 years ago, it is clear that we have so much more work to do.

Who exactly is the "we" cited in the preceding's last sentence? Even a cursory examination of Lynch's career would reveal that the "work" to which she is committed runs contrary to the idea of meaningful criminal justice reform.

Lynch's speech continued to strangely cite her dual role as advocate and over-policing mass incarcerator.

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Barry Scott Sussman- Born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Sociology. Graduated with a JD from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law specializing in Federal Criminal Procedure and Federal Prosecutorial (more...)

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