This week, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice held its final hearings, receiving testimony on respect for law enforcement and the rule of law. The hearings were conducted via teleconference and featured expert witnesses who provided testimony and answered questions from the commissioners.
On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the commission heard from Michael Mukasey, the 81st U.S. Attorney General and a former U.S. District Court Judge, who provided an overview of the issues affecting respect for law enforcement and the rule of law. The first panel featured Rafael Mangual, Fellow & Deputy Director of Legal Policy for the Manhattan Institute; Gail Heriot, Professor of Law at the University of San Diego; and Jonathan Turley, J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at the George Washington University Law School. The panelists spoke about various issues in law enforcement, such as race and technology, specifically biometrics. The hearing concluded with a panel featuring U.S. Attorneys William McSwain of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; McGregor Scott of the Eastern District of California; and Nick Trutanich of the District of Nevada, where topics included experiences working in districts with progressive prosecutors.
On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, the commission heard first from Pinellas (Fla.) County Sheriff Robert Gualtieri, who offered an overview of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School public safety report. The following panel featured Kentucky Deputy Attorney General Barry Dunn; Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge; Stafford County (Va.) Commonwealth Attorney Eric Olsen; and Essex County (Mass.) District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, who provided the commission with the state and local prosecutor’s perspective. Five members of law enforcement also provided testimony: Prince George’s County (Md.) Chief (retired) Hank Stawinski; Santa Barbara (Calif.) County Sheriff Bill Brown; National President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Lazaro “Larry” Cosme; Detroit Police Department Lieutenant Mark Young; and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. The hearing concluded with remarks from the 75th Attorney General of the United States Edwin Meese III, who shared his experiences working on the Lyndon B. Johnson’s historic law enforcement commission.
For more information on the commission, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/ag/presidential-commission-law-enforcement-and-administration-justice.
Audio recordings and transcripts of the hearings will be posted online once available.