12                      Norfolk, Virginia 
13                        July 15, 1997 
 1                MR. KAYE:  Ladies and gentlemen, there's an 
 2   old joke in the public speaking business where the 
 3   master of ceremonies is about to introduce the guest and 
 4   stands up and says, "The following guest needs no 
 5   introduction," and he immediately sits down.  That's 
 6   close to what I'm about to do here, because I'm not 
 7   going to get into a long recitation of an 
 8   extraordinarily long and distinguished resume.  I'm 
 9   going to say a few short words.  They are true, and they 
10   are from my heart. 
11                Our guest was a local prosecutor.  She was 
12   the District Attorney of Miami.  She is the best friend 
13   for state prosecutors in Washington ever, and she has 
14   been more helpful to district attorneys and DAs in this 
15   country than anyone in my memory. 
16                I present to you the Attorney General of 
17   the United States of America, Janet Reno. 
18                (Applause.) 
19                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Thank you very 
20   much, John. 
21                I am very, very happy to be with you today 
22   and to see familiar faces that go back to my time as a 
23   state prosecutor, and also to see faces that I have met 
24   in my travels across this country. 
25                This has been an extraordinary experience 
 1   in these last four years, one of great challenge and one 
 2   of marvelous opportunity.  But one of the things I like 
 3   best is to go into a new community where I've not 
 4   visited before and have someone come up and say, hi, I'm 
 5   so-and-so, the local prosecutor.  And I look at that 
 6   person and I think, you know what it's like; you've run 
 7   for office, you've had something go wrong and end up in 
 8   a headline, you've had to get elected, you've had to go 
 9   to the legislature or the county and get totally 
10   inadequate funding for your prosecutors who have 
11   tremendous case loads.  And while you do all this you're 
12   doing the right thing day in and day out, you're seeking 
13   justice, you're building community, and I think you're 
14   some of the great public servants in this country. 
15                The assistant state attorneys and the 
16   assistant district attorneys who are here, I'm very 
17   proud of the Justice Department prosecutors, but when 
18   they tell me about something they're talking in terms of 
19   one or two or maybe fifteen cases, and I look at them 
20   and I say, you want to try two hundred felony cases at 
21   any one time?  And they kind of gulp. 
22                I just think that you do such a great job 
23   for your jurisdictions, but for all of the country, and 
24   I say, thank you. 
25                John, it's been a real pleasure to work 
 1   with you this year.  I've enjoyed our working 
 2   relationship, and I think we have continued to work 
 3   together to build a partnership of which I'm very proud. 
 4                And Bill Murphy, I look forward to working 
 5   with you in this year to come.  I think we can continue 
 6   to move forward and build an even stronger foundation 
 7   and partnership, and I look forward to that. 
 8                MR. BILL MURPHY:  So do I. 
 9                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  And Newman and 
10   Jennifer, thank you so very much for your 
11   day-in-and-day-out cooperation with the Justice 
12   Department. 
13                Over these four years we have built, I 
14   think, an important solid partnership based on 
15   principles of federalism, based not on turf, not on who 
16   gets the credit, but what's in the best interests of the 
17   community, what is in the best interests of the case. 
18                We want to try even harder, though, because 
19   I sometimes hear from prosecutors who say, well, there's 
20   a good working relationship, but we're still not getting 
21   information from the federal government that we need to 
22   prosecute certain offenders, and we want to make sure 
23   that there is a two-way street in every way possible. 
24                But I'd like to give you a report on where 
25   I think we stand now and the challenges that we face and 
 1   that Bill Murphy and I will face in this year to come. 
 2                First of all, violence is down in most 
 3   American communities, and it's down because prosecutors 
 4   have been doing such a good job prosecuting but also in 
 5   community building.  But I think all of us still face an 
 6   extraordinary challenge in terms of youth violence.  It 
 7   is down for the first time in a number of years, but we 
 8   don't want that to be a blip on the screen.  And what 
 9   concerns me most is that the number of young people is 
10   going to increase significantly in these next ten years, 
11   and we must be prepared. 
12                Now, in 1994 President Clinton's Crime Bill 
13   provided for one hundred thousand new police officers. 
14   You told us that that was a great idea, but what about 
15   prosecutors?  A hundred thousand new police officers 
16   would mean increased pressures on the courts and on 
17   prosecutors, and we've listened.  And it's for that 
18   reason that at the center of President Clinton's 
19   Anti-Gang and Youth Violence Act of 1997 is a grant 
20   program for prosecutors; two hundred million over two 
21   years to let you start prosecuting initiatives in your 
22   community focused on youth violence. 
23                There is also a separate pot of money 
24   authorized, $50 million, for courts, for we all know 
25   that without judges, the probation officers, the clerks 
 1   and other infrastructure, new prosecutors and new 
 2   initiatives won't be as effective.  Here's where we 
 3   stand with that legislation: 
 4                There are competing bills in Congress.  The 
 5   House has passed a bill which we don't like.  It 
 6   contains a block grant to the governors of the states. 
 7   They will be authorized to dole out funds to local 
 8   officials, state police and other state agencies, 
 9   mayors, sheriffs, police chiefs, prevention programs and 
10   you, as well.  Our experience has been that when this 
11   happens prevention and prosecuting programs are 
12   oftentimes the ultimate loser. 
13                Now, the Senate Judiciary Committee is in 
14   the process of marking up yet another Juvenile Justice 
15   Bill.  We're concerned, once again, that it contains 
16   block grants to the governors of the states without any 
17   money actually set aside for prosecutors. 
18                Now, we're talking about judiciary 
19   committees.  We still have to focus on the 
20   Appropriations Committee, because one thing I -- it took 
21   me a long time to learn.  I used to see big headlines in 
22   the Miami Herald saying, "Congress appropriates $50 
23   million for drug initiative," and I would turn -- or 
24   authorized $50 million for drug initiative -- and I'd 
25   turn around, and six months later I'd see my senator, 
 1   and I'd say, "Senator, where is that $50 million?"  And 
 2   he said, "That was authorized; that wasn't 
 3   appropriated."  And it is very important that we focus 
 4   on the appropriations process as well. 
 5                House appropriators last week marked up a 
 6   bill which underfunds the Juvenile Justice Grant Program 
 7   by 60 percent of the amount authorized.  So, we have 
 8   work to do.  If the legislation becomes law as it is 
 9   currently drafted, not only will you be pitted against a 
10   host of other programs, but you'll be fighting for a 
11   share of a smaller pot.  It means that there won't be 
12   enough money to go around, but it means that the very 
13   people who should be collaborating with each other will 
14   be fighting over the dollars, and the end result is a 
15   process that, rather than create working relationships, 
16   pits one against the other. 
17                I would like to work with you in these 
18   coming weeks.  We have been fighting hard, and we will 
19   continue to do so to make sure that prosecution 
20   interests are reflected in the ultimate legislation. 
21                I know that the NDAA and Newman, Jennifer, 
22   Mr. Polley, all have been working very, very hard.  And, 
23   John Kaye, you have been wonderful.  But let us continue 
24   to work together to make sure that we give you the tools 
25   to do the job. 
 1                Turning now to another issue we can all 
 2   focus on for we all care about, I'm particularly pleased 
 3   with the results we have jointly achieved in asset 
 4   forfeiture.  This is an extremely important law 
 5   enforcement device, and I know that equitably shared 
 6   funds are important to both local prosecutors and 
 7   police. 
 8                We have successfully, for the moment, 
 9   fought off attempts to really gut the federal asset 
10   forfeiture laws.  We've reached a compromise with which 
11   we can live.  We did that only after we consulted with 
12   you and other important law enforcement advocacy groups. 
13   Indeed, I think our success to date is in no small 
14   measure due to the efforts of the NDAA.  And, Bill, we 
15   look forward to working with you hand in hand to try to 
16   get this important piece of legislation passed.  There 
17   will be attempts to weaken this bill further as it moves 
18   to the House floor and then to the Senate, but we're 
19   going to remain vigilant, and we count on you. 
20                Now, one of the concerns that has been 
21   raised with me -- and indeed I experienced it when I was 
22   a state prosecutor -- are the problems that you'll face 
23   in the international arena.  I used to wonder where to 
24   go in Washington, who to talk to.  Somebody would refer 
25   me to the State Department, they would refer me to the 
 1   Justice Department, and I would get totally confused. 
 2                I know that these cases can be frustrating, 
 3   whether you're attempting to prosecute a case where you 
 4   have the defendant in custody but you need witnesses 
 5   from other countries or whether you're trying to 
 6   extradite someone from another country where you run 
 7   into red tape, delays and sometimes recalcitrance. 
 8                But I think we've made some progress.  When 
 9   I came to Washington there was not a very good working 
10   relationship between the State Department and the 
11   Justice Department.  Quite frankly, here's how the 
12   meetings would go: 
13                We would go into a meeting, and the State 
14   Department would say, "That's not a law enforcement 
15   issue, that's a diplomatic issue; State Department will 
16   handle that."  At the same time from across the table a 
17   career Justice Department person would say, "I beg your 
18   pardon.  This is a law enforcement initiative, and we 
19   cannot discuss the details of the case with the State 
20   Department."  And I said, "Time out." 
21                This world has become so enmeshed in the 
22   implications of crime.  Crime is global in its 
23   consequences.  With borders shrinking, with technology 
24   developing, we are going to have to work together as 
25   partners in this effort, and we have tried the very best 
 1   we can in these last four years to forge a good working 
 2   relationship. 
 3                There's still some elbows to that 
 4   relationship, but I think we've improved it 
 5   significantly.  And one of the efforts I think that we 
 6   have benefitted from this undertaking is with respect to 
 7   extradition.  It has been one of my major focuses. 
 8                I met last December with ministers of 
 9   justice from throughout the hemisphere in Caracas.  Each 
10   time I meet with a minister of justice, anytime I visit 
11   another country I try to stress the issue, but 
12   particularly in this hemisphere we now are a hemisphere 
13   where there is only one non-democratic form of 
14   government in one country.  It is a hemisphere in which 
15   we are building trust in so many different areas. 
16                And I point out to them, "Look, you tell me 
17   that you don't want to extradite our nationals because 
18   of principles of sovereignty, but let's look at the real 
19   issue.  If I have a little girl raped in this country 
20   and the defendant flees, you as prosecutors, you as 
21   ministers of justice, know as well as I do that it is 
22   far better to prosecute the case here in the United 
23   States.  We're both interested in securing justice, 
24   we're both interested in seeing that both the victim and 
25   the defendant are treated fairly; with the evidence 
 1   here, with the small child here, it is far better to 
 2   prosecute the case here.  Let us talk in terms of what 
 3   is in the best interest of justice and build on trust. 
 4   If you're going to trust us in other arenas, then trust 
 5   us to secure justice." 
 6                And to that end we have begun to have 
 7   successes.  One country after another is beginning to 
 8   extradite nationals on a more frequent basis.  But we 
 9   need to work together to make it even more effective, 
10   because one of the principal problems that I run into is 
11   a call from the Minister of Justice.  "Madam Attorney 
12   General, you asked us to look at this case, but we don't 
13   have the correct paperwork on it."  And I check into it, 
14   and somebody hasn't known what kind of paperwork was 
15   necessary because somebody from the Department of 
16   Justice didn't advise the local prosecutor, and there's 
17   frustration. 
18                So, we have tried our best to develop an 
19   Office of International Affairs that can be responsive 
20   to you, that can let you know what is needed in terms of 
21   paperwork, in terms of what's needed to interview 
22   witnesses abroad, how to secure cooperation with foreign 
23   governments, what to do to minimize problems so that I 
24   don't get a call, as I did once, saying, "Your former 
25   prosecutor is about ready to be thrown in jail because 
 1   he went to X country without getting appropriate 
 2   clearance." 
 3                To help you address these issues the 
 4   Criminal Division at the Justice Department has agreed 
 5   to pay for a local prosecutor to be detailed at the 
 6   Office of International Affairs on an annual basis. 
 7   This is an agreement which we reached jointly with the 
 8   National Association of Attorneys General and NDAA.  The 
 9   first detailee will come from an attorney general's 
10   office; the next one will be a local district attorney. 
11                I want to know how I can make that detailee 
12   as effective a part of our operation as possible.  And, 
13   Bill, I look forward to hearing from you, Newman and 
14   others what we can do to make this the smoothest 
15   possible working relationship possible and that we 
16   respond quickly, promptly and accurately to you to let 
17   you know what is needed. 
18                At the same time, one of the problems that 
19   I dealt with -- Joe D'Alessandro shortly after I came to 
20   Washington told me again of the problems that he was 
21   experiencing, and many have particular concerns about 
22   international parental kidnapping.  Many of us have 
23   found it hard to extradite these cases because of 
24   international confusion on whether the term "kidnapping" 
25   includes parental kidnapping.  We worked with the State 
 1   Department and now with Congress to make sure that it 
 2   does and that Congress accepts our interpretation, and 
 3   we can report that we are on our way to making this 
 4   issue one of the past and something that I think will 
 5   make your job much easier. 
 6                Finally I would like to talk to you about 
 7   the challenges and the opportunities that science and 
 8   technology present to all of us in law enforcement. 
 9                I was a chemistry major at Cornell, and I 
10   have forgotten every bit of chemistry I ever learned. 
11                (Laughter.) 
12                But it makes me aware when I see the 
13   strides that have been taken in chemistry since I 
14   graduated in 1960.  At least I know how much I don't 
15   know and how much we all have to learn. 
16                Let me first suggest the challenge 
17   presented by the information infrastructure that has 
18   developed worldwide, but particularly in this country, 
19   an infrastructure that controls power grids, financial 
20   systems, emergency systems, the whole commercial 
21   delivery system of this country. 
22                That information infrastructure gives us 
23   opportunities to benefit Americans that stagger the 
24   imagination and convert vanity to prayer, but the same 
25   thing occurs when we consider the challenge.  That a 
 1   thief in St. Petersburg Russia can sit in his kitchen 
 2   and, on his computer, steal from a bank in New York City 
 3   or a bank in North Dakota makes us understand how we've 
 4   got to develop the expertise and the equipment to 
 5   prevent it but, if it occurs, to detect it and apprehend 
 6   the person responsible. 
 7                The mischievous hacker in Sweden can bring 
 8   down an emergency system here.  Trade secrets, credit 
 9   card information are not immune.  Sabotage is a real and 
10   present danger.  And can you imagine if somebody 
11   decided, rather than to blow up something, to take down 
12   three power grids across this country?  You think that 
13   you're in a rural area and it won't happen?  What about 
14   the dairy man whose machines can't operate because there 
15   is no power?  What about a whole region of the country 
16   out because somebody has decided to exhibit the forms of 
17   terrorism in a new way? 
18                I'm proud of the steps that the government 
19   has taken to be prepared to prevent, to do everything we 
20   can to respond to the technological challenges that we 
21   face, but it is very important that you and I work 
22   together building on our partnership so that the federal 
23   government, as it develops expertise, as it develops 
24   equipment, shares that expertise and equipment with 
25   local prosecutors; that we come together to address 
 1   constitutional issues of what this new technology means, 
 2   how can we use it while at the same time preserving the 
 3   sacred document that we're sworn to uphold, our mighty 
 4   and magnificent Constitution. 
 5                These are going to be legal issues and 
 6   technological issues that are extraordinary, but if we 
 7   work together, if we share rather than duplicate, if we 
 8   develop a system of technology across this country which 
 9   is shared and is comprehensive, I think we can make a 
10   difference. 
11                But as the information infrastructure 
12   presents challenges it also presents some extraordinary 
13   opportunities for law enforcement.  I used to get real 
14   fed up when I would discover, months after the fact, 
15   that there had been five convenience store robberies in 
16   Dade County in one night; that in three of those 
17   convenience store robberies a green Oldsmobile with a 
18   battered right fender was used but nobody knew about it 
19   because nobody could communicate, much less by computer, 
20   but even their radio frequencies were different. 
21                We are now in the process of developing a 
22   global information network for the criminal justice 
23   system that can mean so much in terms of solution of 
24   cases, in terms of prevention of further crimes, in 
25   terms of apprehension of offenders.  We have got to work 
 1   together. 
 2                Police have oftentimes taken the lead, but 
 3   you as the leaders in your community, as the leaders who 
 4   can so often be heard by the state legislature, you have 
 5   a special role in helping us build an information system 
 6   that is interoperable, that is cost effective, that 
 7   doesn't duplicate, that ties in the regional information 
 8   systems with national information systems, that provides 
 9   for the security of sensitive information, that provides 
10   for accurate information. 
11                Now, what I see sometimes develop is that 
12   police and the sheriffs -- but police more so -- are 
13   funded at the local level, usually by city commissions 
14   or town councils.  The IACP has a strong group that 
15   speaks out nationally, but oftentimes their presence 
16   isn't felt as much at the state legislative level where 
17   there are systems that are developing.  The prosecutor 
18   is more often the voice of local law enforcement at 
19   those points. 
20                Let us make sure that whether it be at the 
21   city or county commission, at the state legislative 
22   level or in Congress, that we have come together, using 
23   the appropriate efforts of our prosecutors, the 
24   technological efforts that we have developed, to build 
25   an information system that can do far more than match 
 1   the battered Oldsmobile's right fender. 
 2                Instead, in five years we are going to have 
 3   a system not in place everywhere, but we're going to 
 4   have the capacity to send crime scene techs to the scene 
 5   of a crime, take DNA samples at the scene of the crime, 
 6   flash them across the information infrastructure and 
 7   make an immediate match which will sometimes target an 
 8   offender and sometimes exclude three leads that you in 
 9   local law enforcement would have to follow that would be 
10   of great cost and time and expense to you.  We've got to 
11   make sure those crime scene techs are doing it the right 
12   way and that we build it together, not through trial and 
13   error, but through planning and thoughtfulness and 
14   working together. 
15                And, finally, when we see what DNA has done 
16   in terms of investigative tools it is just 
17   extraordinary, but we have much to do at the federal 
18   government in terms of building lab capacity that is 
19   accredited, that is respected, that is accurate and 
20   that, as Mike Barnes points out to me, is prompt and 
21   responsive. 
22                (Laughter.) 
23                I, too, have waited a long time, upon 
24   occasion, for results from the FBI lab.  And I mentioned 
25   as I talked to Mike at the last DWG meeting, I told 
 1   Director Freeh exactly what you said, and we are trying 
 2   to develop some time lines so that we can do appropriate 
 3   turnarounds.  But we need, again, to work together to 
 4   find out what you need to do the job the right way.  We 
 5   need, again, to take the few and precious resources we 
 6   have and spend them wisely for our constituents. 
 7                We have so many challenges, but never have 
 8   I had such confidence in the criminal justice system's 
 9   ability to respond to these challenges.  When I came 
10   into office violent crime was at a staggering level.  It 
11   is still at an unacceptable level, but because of you 
12   who are on the front lines, because of U.S. Attorneys 
13   working together with you and FBI agents and local 
14   police working together, because of prevention 
15   initiatives that are underway, oftentimes with the 
16   leadership of state and district attorneys across the 
17   country, we are bringing the crime rate down.  We are 
18   bringing juvenile violence down.  We have proven that if 
19   we work together, if we approach these problems from 
20   what is the problem, how do we solve it, we can truly 
21   make a difference.  And I look forward to working with 
22   you in this coming year to continue to build on that 
23   effort. 
24                Now, one of the things I like to do is not 
25   just talk, but I've got some time left, and I would like 
 1   to hear from you. 
 2                If you were the Attorney General of the 
 3   United States, what would you do to improve the federal 
 4   government's efforts at fighting crime in this country, 
 5   at building prevention programs, at supporting you who 
 6   are on the front lines? 
 7                I'd love to hear the answer to that 
 8   question or any questions you may have of me, so why 
 9   don't you fire away. 
10                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  A lot of shy DA's 
11   here. 
12                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  I've got a pencil 
13   and piece of paper now. 
14                Don't be shy. 
15                Yes, sir. 
16                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Good morning. 
17                On a local level there's a lot of pressure 
18   on the elected prosecutor to move individuals through 
19   the system faster.  The sheriff wants us to empty out 
20   the jail of people that aren't necessarily going to get 
21   sentenced to time, and we're very often negotiating 
22   settlements long before we get the FBI rap sheet, which 
23   is the only way we know about an out-of-state 
24   conviction.  And I know there's a lot of pressure on the 
25   FBI in that area, but are there any steps being taken to 
 1   assist the locals in getting that type of information 
 2   quicker? 
 3                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Yes.  When I came 
 4   to Washington I said that one of the greatest 
 5   frustrations the local prosecutor has -- and I'll give 
 6   you one even more painful. 
 7                A two-time armed robber is booked into the 
 8   county jail.  Because of the pressures -- for a 
 9   relatively minor offense.  Because of the pressures on 
10   the sheriff -- and there's a federal court order on the 
11   jail and a population cap on the jail -- they let him 
12   go, and ten hours later we learn that he's a two-time 
13   armed robber wanted in another state.  That is pure and 
14   simple frustration. 
15                Congress has authorized the National 
16   Criminal History Improvement Program, which is trying to 
17   develop, through grants to states, a system whereby we 
18   can be assured of complete criminal history programs, 
19   accurate criminal history records.  They also funded 
20   moneys for the National Instant Check System which will 
21   provide for a network designed to address the issue of 
22   the Brady Bill and the Brady Act but which will also 
23   help to build our capacity to respond on an immediate 
24   level. 
25                One of the problems is that some states are 
 1   far ahead of others, and what we have tried to do is 
 2   work with the individual states that perhaps have not 
 3   moved far enough along the process to encourage them, to 
 4   encourage their governor, their state legislature, to 
 5   understand just how vitally important these records are 
 6   for prosecutors, for local law enforcement, not just in 
 7   terms of sentencing issues or detention issues, but that 
 8   officer who stops somebody would really like to know 
 9   what his criminal history is right in that dark moment 
10   when there are some life-and-death issues that he faces. 
11   So, this is one of our high priorities. 
12                The other thing it would be important to 
13   consider -- so often this is an issue that state and 
14   local police or sheriffs address with us, and we would 
15   welcome the National District Attorneys Association's 
16   involvement in our whole record initiative to ensure a 
17   complete and very prompt response to you. 
18                Yes. 
19                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Madam Attorney 
20   General, I'm from Arizona, and we just heard a 
21   presentation here from Arizona and California about the 
22   well-financed initiatives to legalize marijuana and 
23   other drugs.  And, in response to your question, I would 
24   like to know how the federal government can assist the 
25   states, local prosecutors and local law enforcement to 
 1   overcome the incredibly well-financed, well-planned 
 2   assault in -- and the plan to legalize drugs. 
 3                What is it that the federal government can 
 4   do to help us combat that? 
 5                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  I think the most 
 6   important thing, again -- and it varies from state to 
 7   state as to some of the initiatives and to how it's done 
 8   and as to the issues that are raised, but one of the 
 9   areas that they start with is marijuana.  And I think it 
10   is important to convey to people that at this point 
11   there is very little research that shows that for 
12   medicinal purposes, for example, that marijuana is 
13   appropriate, and our response is that should not be 
14   decided by referendum.  That should not be decided based 
15   on pressures and persuasions.  That should be decided on 
16   sound, hard technological evidence and medical evidence, 
17   and there is now research underway. 
18                But I would invite you to give us a call. 
19   Nick Gess is someplace around here -- there's Nick -- 
20   and if any of you have any initiatives underway in your 
21   state, if you would contact Nick we would be happy to 
22   try to work with you to try to make sure that you have 
23   the information you need to properly respond. 
24                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Is there any 
25   funding, though, available to combat this problem? 
 1   Because from what we heard from California and Arizona, 
 2   I think one state raised only $25,000.  They were facing 
 3   a million dollars from the proponents. 
 4                Is there any funding going to be available 
 5   from the federal government or otherwise to combat this 
 6   problem? 
 7                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  I don't think 
 8   you're going to see the federal government involved in 
 9   local election issues or local initiative issues.  I'm 
10   not sure that that is an appropriate way to effect the 
11   issues of federalism. 
12                I think where we can best be involved is in 
13   terms of providing solid information.  And, as with all 
14   electoral processes or initiative processes or political 
15   processes, you know as well as I do that the funding of 
16   the process and the funding of the information campaign 
17   is one of the keys. 
18                One of the things that I've seen in 
19   gambling initiatives across the country is oftentimes 
20   the local prosecutor is the person who takes the lead in 
21   forging a coalition, both of in-kind donation and money 
22   donations, that address these issues, and I think that's 
23   where the funding will have to be derived, in most part. 
24                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  One of the things 
25   you alluded to which I think all of us have experience 
 1   with, and while we have a relationship with our local 
 2   federal prosecutor, we have a problem we call cherry 
 3   picking where the federal government takes the really 
 4   easy cases to prosecute and then give us cases that may 
 5   be more difficult and time consuming.  And we feel we 
 6   already have a lot of cases, and in relatively balancing 
 7   the case loads we're doing more than the federales. 
 8                One of the suggestions I might have is to 
 9   see if there can be an exchange program where one of 
10   your federal prosecutors would come and perhaps work as 
11   a special assistant state's attorney or DA. 
12                And if that couldn't work out, what about 
13   the possibility of having an assistant state's attorney 
14   or DA become a Special Assistant Attorney General for 
15   purposes of using the Federal Sentencing Guidelines on 
16   drug cases?  That would make a big difference to all in 
17   a lot of our states. 
18                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  First of all, if 
19   you find somebody cherry picking just for the credit of 
20   it, I sure want to know about it. 
21                Now, what people tell me is, well, I don't 
22   want to rattle their cage because I've got a good 
23   working relationship with them otherwise.  Sit down with 
24   them; talk it out. 
25                One of the things I would give you an 
 1   example for is if they have a good argument -- you may 
 2   disagree, you may really wish that you could take the 
 3   case, but they have a fairly good argument.  Ask them if 
 4   the prosecutor who went out to the scene and has been 
 5   involved in the case from the beginning -- if your 
 6   prosecutor couldn't be cross-designated.  Now, for a 
 7   while we were having some troubles in terms of 
 8   processing the backgrounds of those getting 
 9   cross-designated, and I know that was a real problem 
10   because we had a large number of my prosecutors 
11   cross-designated as AUSAs, but that's one good way to do 
12   it. 
13                Another way to do it is to sit down on a 
14   regular basis with the U. S. Attorney and say, look -- I 
15   don't know whether you've got an airport in your 
16   district, but I had an airport in mine, and they gave me 
17   all the little airport cases, and I used to get mad. 
18   But then I realized that I could handle the volume far 
19   better than they could.  A U. S. Attorney's Office is 
20   simply not equipped to handle volume, because, as I look 
21   at a large number of their cases, they are major, 
22   complex cases, white collar cases, crossing several 
23   jurisdictions.  And, so, I'd say, now, look, if I'm 
24   going to take all these little airport cases I want you 
25   to take these.  And we'd do it on a -- we'd have regular 
 1   meetings. 
 2                In other instances prosecutors, Assistant 
 3   U.S. Attorneys and Assistant DAs meet on a regular 
 4   basis.  For example, in Boston, as I understand it, Don 
 5   Stern and Ralph Martin meet on a regular basis to decide 
 6   who prosecutes this gun case or this gun case based on 
 7   the fact that it may have cut across district lines, it 
 8   may cut across jurisdictional lines.  Work on that. 
 9                But if you have somebody that's cherry 
10   picking on you and continues to and defies your efforts, 
11   then let me know. 
12                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Along the 
13   southwest border we have a great, I think, understanding 
14   and relationship with federal prosecutors, but of recent 
15   we've been trying to meet, trying to see if we could get 
16   a better understanding of the share of responsibility 
17   between the federal government and the state prosecutors 
18   from San Diego to Brownsville. 
19                Do you see, from your office, an 
20   improvement in trying to understand the 
21   responsibilities, especially in regards to drug cases, 
22   because of the increased cost and burden on local 
23   prosecutors, not just for prosecution and law 
24   enforcement but for the indigent defense, the 
25   jailhousing costs and all that comes because of our 
 1   geographical location to the border, and knowing that 
 2   the drug corridor has shifted from Miami to the 
 3   Southwest border? 
 4                Do you see us improving the relationship 
 5   and understanding of the federal responsibility in that 
 6   area? 
 7                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Could I ask where 
 8   you're from? 
 9                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  El Paso, Texas. 
10                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  First of all, you 
11   all are doing such a good job all along the border that 
12   it's beginning to shift back into the Carribean and into 
13   South Florida. 
14                And one of the things that we're trying to 
15   do -- and I would look forward to working with everybody 
16   along what I call the Southern Frontier -- is to develop 
17   from Puerto Rico to the Pacific a more comprehensive 
18   approach; that as we build pressure here we be prepared 
19   to respond here.  And we've really focused on that. 
20                The border is extraordinary.  I have now 
21   gone from the Pacific to Brownsville, and it is 
22   different at every step.  San Diego, El Centro, Nogales, 
23   Douglas, Las Cruces, El Paso, Del Rio, Laredo, 
24   Brownsville -- it is just an extraordinary terrain and 
25   an extraordinary world. 
 1                We have some areas where there has been a 
 2   really comprehensive and close working relationship; in 
 3   others, not so much so.  And what I would like to do is 
 4   when you get back to your office let me call you and 
 5   chat with you about what more we can do. 
 6                We have developed a really good working 
 7   relationship with the responsibilities I think clearly 
 8   defined in the San Diego sector, but there everybody is 
 9   so much closer together; whereas, in El Paso you've got 
10   long distances on either side and a more remote area 
11   involved, and I think we need to focus with you on how 
12   we can perfect a better working relationship. 
13                You raise some really important points: 
14   One, the whole impact on local jails; two, the impact on 
15   prosecutors. 
16                One of the things when I was -- after 
17   leaving El Paso last summer I went to Las Cruces, and 
18   the U. S. Attorney and the local prosecutor were saying 
19   the local prosecutor is having to do it because the U.S. 
20   Attorney is totally underfunded, and we've tried to 
21   respond with additional resources. 
22                We need to look with you at how we can 
23   really make it a seamless border, but I just want you to 
24   know how much we appreciate what local prosecutors have 
25   done all up and down that border. 
 1                And I think it's another example -- I 
 2   remember my time in Miami, and I worked for most of my 
 3   time as state attorney with Republican U.S. Attorneys, 
 4   and we never thought about our party designations during 
 5   that time as we addressed issues of drugs. 
 6                In San Diego a Republican local district 
 7   attorney and a Democratic U. S. Attorney and a 
 8   Republican sheriff all work together with no mention of 
 9   partisanship, and it really does make me proud, and we 
10   want to try to continue to do that every way we can. 
11                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Madam Attorney 
12   General, one area that's beginning to impact local 
13   prosecutors throughout the country more and more is the 
14   issue of Indian country, particularly in Public Law 280 
15   states and particularly in the Ninth Circuit, and many 
16   of the issues are now arising because we see gambling 
17   becoming a major issue on Indian lands. 
18                My question to you is because at least 
19   there appear to be some inconsistencies at the local 
20   jurisdiction between those attorneys, is there any 
21   comprehensive policy with regards to how we can deal 
22   with this problem? 
23                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  It's obviously 
24   difficult to develop a comprehensive policy, because 
25   there are different thrusts by different states. 
 1                In California you have one particular 
 2   situation with the four U.S. Attorneys and one having 
 3   made a decision.  I think now they are becoming more 
 4   aligned, and I think as we work through these issues and 
 5   as we address them they are at least becoming more 
 6   comprehensive with respect to states. 
 7                If you have any concerns, I would 
 8   appreciate your letting Nick know directly so that we 
 9   can follow up for you. 
10                I think this is one of the difficult issues 
11   we grapple with.  All the issues of Indian country are a 
12   top priority for me, because I think the federal 
13   government has failed in its trust responsibility over 
14   time and history to Indian country in terms of providing 
15   adequate law enforcement capacity, providing adequate 
16   detention capacity and developing prevention programs. 
17                At the same time, the issue of Indian 
18   gaming is a difficult issue in many, many jurisdictions, 
19   but each seems to take a slightly different approach. 
20   So, to develop a comprehensive approach nationwide is 
21   difficult. 
22                The other issue that I think we all have 
23   got to participate in and be involved in is the work 
24   with the National Commission on Gaming and what -- where 
25   we're going on this issue.  Every time I visit with your 
 1   leadership they say, where are we going on this issue, 
 2   when I talk with the National Association of Attorneys 
 3   General they express similar views, and I think it's 
 4   going to be important for prosecutors at every level to 
 5   work with others to address where we're going on gaming. 
 6                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  We met last week 
 7   with a representative of General McCaffrey's office, and 
 8   I was just wondering what was the rationale for the 
 9   Department of Justice's position on disparity or 
10   different penalties for crack and powder cocaine under 
11   Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and do your United States 
12   Attorneys have discretion to depart from those 
13   guidelines in their negotiations? 
14                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  I didn't hear the 
15   last part of your question, but your question is what is 
16   our position on the ratio? 
17                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Correct. 
18                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  As you know now, 
19   the federal ratio is one hundred to one.  When I came to 
20   Washington I had been used to a one-to-one ratio and 
21   was, quite frankly, very surprised to find a 
22   differentiation and such an extraordinary 
23   differentiation. 
24                This is an issue that I have tried to 
25   pursue.  Last year when the sentencing -- or how many 
 1   years ago is it now?  The Sentencing Commission came 
 2   down recommending one to one.  U.S. attorneys across the 
 3   country looked at it and concluded that the 
 4   hundred-to-one ratio was by far too extreme and did not 
 5   reflect the disparity between crack and powder in terms 
 6   of the damage that it's done to the community.  At the 
 7   same time, they felt that there should be some disparity 
 8   because of the impact that crack cocaine had had on 
 9   communities across the country. 
10                General McCaffrey and I are in the process 
11   of working with the White House, and I think the White 
12   House will soon announce its position with respect to 
13   the Sentencing Commission's recommendation of what we 
14   call the "pinch" of bringing one up and the other down 
15   and reducing the ratio. 
16                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Madam Attorney 
17   General, one of the issues that seems to be confusing 
18   for all the prosecutors -- at least what we're supposed 
19   to tell the people who are victims of domestic violence 
20   crimes relative to the prohibition against possession of 
21   firearms.  It seems like the U. S. Attorney's Office was 
22   designed for massive case loads of DV defense, and I was 
23   wondering is there a national protocol or some standard 
24   of the Department of Justice that deals with the 
25   prosecution of those defendants in line with the Brady 
 1   Bill prohibition? 
 2                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Your question is 
 3   what is the federal government doing in terms of 
 4   prosecuting those who have been convicted who are now in 
 5   the possession of a firearm? 
 6                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Yes, that's 
 7   correct. 
 8                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  We -- and I will 
 9   check to see whether the Office of Violence Against 
10   Women has developed any specific guidelines and ask Nick 
11   to get back to you, but I don't think we have any 
12   specific guidelines, because what my message to the U.S. 
13   Attorneys has been is, look, it's going to vary from 
14   jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In some instances you're 
15   going to have police and prosecutors at the local level 
16   who want to be responsive; in others it may be something 
17   that you can handle better. 
18                But we should follow up on these cases so 
19   that there is effective prosecution and an effective 
20   enforcement based on what's in the best interest of the 
21   case. 
22                SPEAKER FROM THE FLOOR:  Good morning.  I'm 
23   a local prosecutor here in Virginia, and listening this 
24   morning to one of your U.S. Attorneys from Wisconsin 
25   talk about the use of technology in litigation in the 
 1   courtroom, one of our problems, at least in my office, 
 2   and I'm sure probably across the country in other 
 3   offices, is that we have a lot of problems getting 
 4   fronting from the locality and the state to enhance 
 5   technological advancements in the office or from laptops 
 6   or powerful computers for the software that's necessary 
 7   for us to do our jobs. 
 8                I know you mentioned earlier in your 
 9   presentation that there was, in a bill pending before 
10   Congress, some money specifically earmarked for local 
11   prosecutors.  Is any of that money going to be 
12   specifically earmarked and designated for equipment use 
13   so that we can maintain some balance in terms of getting 
14   the necessary equipment we need for computers and 
15   laptops and a lot of the other advancements that are 
16   necessary to prosecute some more complicated cases? 
17                ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Under the 
18   President's legislation there may be some moneys that 
19   could be used for automation, but all of it would have 
20   to be focused on youth violence.  But it comes back to 
21   the second point or one of the points that I raised with 
22   respect to technology as a whole; how can we work 
23   together to get the criminal justice system 
24   appropriately automated?  How can we work together to 
25   make sure that there is communication between all the 
 1   systems, that they work together? 
 2                I don't have all the answers, but what I've 
 3   asked John, Bill and Newman to do is to work with us and 
 4   see how we can develop a package that we can sell 
 5   Congress in the years to come that would provide this 
 6   specific equipment, that would provide tools necessary 
 7   to prevent against cyber attack, that can provide 
 8   up-to-date technology. 
 9                But let me tell you where the greatest 
10   challenge is.  First of all, it's extraordinarily 
11   expensive. 
12                Secondly, to install something it has to be 
13   installed -- an information system or a case management 
14   system has to be installed with your office and mine. 
15   I've seen computer experts come charging into a local 
16   prosecutor's office not knowing what an acquittal is as 
17   opposed to a conviction and leave it in shambles and 
18   waste a lot of the state's money.  So, we have to do it 
19   smart. 
20                The third thing I'm discovering is 
21   equipment that I bought six years ago while I was a 
22   local prosecutor I'm now told is long ago obsolete, and 
23   how do we all work together as a united front, whether 
24   it be in information-sharing equipment, courtroom 
25   forensic work, cyber crime detection and 
 1   apprehension -- how do we work together to address the 
 2   problem that Dwight Eisenhower raised in his farewell 
 3   address as president?  In that address he warned of the 
 4   industrial military complex that had taken over the 
 5   nation that controlled purchasing practices and forms of 
 6   Defense Department acquisitions, and I think it's 
 7   important that we learn the lessons that the military 
 8   community has learned in terms of procurement.  How do 
 9   we provide for incentives to suppliers and to the 
10   industry to give us equipment that can be updated and 
11   made current on a regular basis rather than in very 
12   expensive chunks in which we start and stop and start 
13   again? 
14                I forgot all the chemistry that I once 
15   learned, and I never knew much about this technology, 
16   but I know enough to understand the pitfalls and know 
17   enough to suggest that we must all work together to 
18   address them for the future. 
19                Thank you all so very much. 
20                (Applause.) 
21                (The keynote address concluded.) 
 3                I, Heidi L. Jeffreys, RMR, CRR, a 
 4   Registered Merit Reporter, certify that I recorded 
 5   verbatim by Stenotype the captioned proceeding in 
 6   Norfolk, Virginia, on July 15, 1997. 
 7                I further certify that, to the best of my 
 8   knowledge and belief, the foregoing transcript 
 9   constitutes a true and correct transcript of the said 
10   proceeding. 
11                Given under my hand this ________  day of 
12   ________________, 1997, at Norfolk, Virginia. 
15                            _______________________________ 
16                            Heidi L. Jeffreys, RMR, CRR