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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate over the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. The report provides background information and analysis over the pros and cons of the debate and gun related statistics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847641/
Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Background, Legal Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides a summary of U.S. penal policy at the federal level. The report then discusses legislation that created the current federal sentencing structure, the different types of sentencing guidelines, and analyses of departures from the guidelines under the federal system and of possible policy options the 109th Congress may wish to consider if it chooses to address this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847666/
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate over the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. The report provides background information and analysis over the pros and cons of the debate and gun related statistics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847701/
Criminal Money Laundering Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report gives a brief overview of U.S. law as it relates to the crime of money laundering by identifying bills in the 109th Congress that have amended definitions or sentencing for money laundering and predicated offenses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824813/
Proposed Change to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) under S. 113
This report discusses S. 113, a bill to extend the coverage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ("FISA") to non-U.S. persons who engage in international terrorism or activities in preparation for terrorist acts, without a showing of membership in or affiliation with an international terrorist group. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824819/
Capital Punishment: An Overview of Federal Death Penalty Statutes
This report lists the current federal capital offenses and summarizes the procedures for federal civilian death penalty cases. Several laws are relevant to the topic including: P.L. 103-322, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994; the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; and P.L. 107-197, the Terrorist Bombings Convention Implementation Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824804/
Combating Terrorism: First Emergency Supplemental Appropriations - Distribution of Funds to Departments and Agencies
This report provides background on the 2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States, P.L. 107-38 (H.R. 2888) as well as the criteria for use of the funds developed by The Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It also outlines information about supplemental fund distributions in three tables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824750/
War On Drugs: Legislation in the 108th Congress and Related Developments
This report covers significant legislative and oversight activities of the 108th Congress that concern domestic law enforcement aspects of federal anti-drug policy. It also includes an overview of significant executive branch actions and other current developments of likely interest to the congressional audience that follows this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824754/
Drug Control: International Policy and Approaches
This report discusses various U.S. international narcotics policy approaches meant to achieve two main goals: to reduce the supply of illicit narcotics flowing into the United States, and to reduce the amount of illicit narcotics cultivated, processed, and consumed worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824496/
Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes: An Overview of Legislation in the 107th Congress
This report examines legislation in the 107th Congress pertaining to federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes (mandatory minimums), which demand that execution or incarceration follow criminal conviction. They cover drug dealing and using a gun to commit a federal crime, among other crimes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820873/
Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA, H.R. 5724): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820872/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
This report examines policy issues surrounding detention of aliens, including concerns about the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention and the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Some have raised concerns about the length of time in detention for aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, issues have been raised about the amount of detention space available to house DHS detainees. Another area of uncertainty is the Attorney General’s role in the detention of noncitizens, since the creation of DHS. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820948/
The Death Penalty: Capital Punishment Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses legislation regarding the death penalty in the 109th Congress. The USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act (Reauthorization Act) contains a number of death penalty related provisions. Some create new federal capital offenses; some add the death penalty as a sentencing option in the case of preexisting federal crimes; some alter the procedural attributes of federal capital cases. Other proposals offered during the 109th Congress would have followed the same pattern: some new crimes; some new penalties for old crimes; and some procedural adjustments. Only one of the other proposals, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, passed, although at least one House approved several others. Three proposals do not fit the pattern; they either would have abolished the death penalty as a federal sentencing alternative or would have imposed a moratorium upon executions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822361/
The Death Penalty: Capital Punishment Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses legislation regarding the death penalty in the 109th Congress. The USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act (Reauthorization Act) contains a number of death penalty related provisions. Some create new federal capital offenses; some add the death penalty as a sentencing option in the case of preexisting federal crimes; some alter the procedural attributes of federal capital cases. Other proposals offered during the 109th Congress would have followed the same pattern: some new crimes; some new penalties for old crimes; and some procedural adjustments. Only one of the other proposals, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, passed, although at least one House approved several others. Three proposals do not fit the pattern; they either would have abolished the death penalty as a federal sentencing alternative or would have imposed a moratorium upon executions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818326/
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822352/
Missing Adults: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress
The first section of this report discusses demographics and record keeping of missing adults and unidentified remains, and some of the factors that may contribute to the disappearance of adults. This section also discusses federally funded databases that are used to track data on missing adults and unidentified individuals. The second section of the report describes the federal programs and initiatives to assist in locating missing adults, including funding data for FY2002 through FY2008, where applicable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc819365/
Botswana: The San (Bushmen) Rights Case
This report discusses the case of San people of Botswana against the government of Botswana. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821706/
Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Pollutants
This report discusses the section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation of this provision has been dormant until recently, when states and EPA were prodded by numerous lawsuits. The TMDL issue has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement a 25-year-old provision of the law. Congressional activity to reauthorize the Act, a possibility in the 2nd Session of the 105th Congress, could include TMDL issues, but the direction for any such action is unclear at this time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820978/
Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
This report examines federal law regarding obscenity and indecency. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In general, the First Amendment protects pornography, with this term being used to mean any erotic material. The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. Consequently, they may be banned on the basis of their content, and federal law prohibits the mailing of obscenity, as well as its transport or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821094/
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report then describes U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in the region, as well as discusses the successes and failures of some recent country and regional anti-trafficking efforts. The report concludes by raising several issues for policy consideration that may be helpful as the 109th Congress continues to address human trafficking as part of its authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821093/
Violence Against Women Act: History, Federal Funding, and Reauthorizing Legislation
This report discusses the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2000 which reauthorized most of the original act’s programs and created new grant programs to prevent sexual assaults on campuses, assist victims of violence with civil legal concerns, create transitional housing for victims of domestic abuse (administered by HHS), and enhance protections for elderly and disabled victims of domestic violence. VAWA 2000, also, created a pilot program for safe custody exchange for families of domestic violence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821580/
Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies (House)/ Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (Senate): FY2006 Appropriations
This report monitors actions taken by the 109th Congress for the House’s Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies (SSJC) and the Senate’s Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) FY2006 appropriations legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821123/
Identity Theft Laws: State Penalties and Remedies and Pending Federal Bills
This report provides an overview of state laws on identity theft. It discusses state laws that penalize identity theft, as well as state laws that assist identity theft victims, including those that permit consumers to block unauthorized persons from obtaining their credit information, known as “security freezes.” The report also includes a survey of state “credit freeze” statutes. The report concludes with summaries of federal identity theft legislation pending in the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822009/
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 107th and 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821994/
RICO: An Abridged Sketch
This report discusses the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) provisions enacted by Congress as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821985/
Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes: An Overview of Legislation in the 106th Congress
This report discusses federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes, which demand that execution or incarceration follow criminal conviction. They cover drug dealing, murdering federal officials, and using a gun to commit a federal crime. They circumscribe judicial sentencing discretion. They have been criticized as unthinkingly harsh and incompatible with a rational sentencing guideline system; yet they have also been embraced as hallmarks of truth in sentence and a certain means of incapacitating the criminally dangerous. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822475/
Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
his report examines federal law regarding obscenity and indecency. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In general, the First Amendment protects pornography, with this term being used to mean any erotic material. The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. Consequently, they may be banned on the basis of their content, and federal law prohibits the mailing of obscenity, as well as its transport or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822703/
Sentencing Levels for Crack and Powder Cocaine: Kimbrough v. United States and the Impact of United States v. Booker
This report examines the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity issue and potential legislative solutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822689/
Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Pollutants
This report discusses the section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation was dormant until states and EPA were prodded by lawsuits. The TMDL program has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement this 35-year-old provision of the law, as well as industries, cities, farmers, and others who may be required to use new pollution controls to meet TMDL requirements. In July 2000, EPA issued revisions to strengthen the program. The rule was widely criticized, and congressional interest was high. The 2000 rule did not go into effect, and in March 2003, EPA withdrew the rule to consider whether to issue an entirely new rule or other options; no timetable has been announced. Consequently, the program continues to operate under regulations issued in 1992. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822431/
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdiction and to criminalize all acts of torture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822671/
Standards For Retroactive Application Based Upon Groundbreaking Supreme Court Decisions in Criminal Law
This report discusses the Supreme Court decision to announce the “new rule”, supreme courts decision that addresses an issue of law in a new way or for the first time. In criminal law new rules apply prospectively, but they also apply retroactively sometimes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822669/
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues
This report discusses current issues related to the War Crimes Act of 1996 and Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of detainees in armed conflicts "not of an international character (e.g., civil wars, rebellions, and other conflicts between State and non-State actors). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822452/
Gang Deterrence: A Legal Analysis of H.R. 1279 With References to S. 155
This report examines the Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005, H.R. 1279, which as passed by the House, among other things, would dramatically increase the criminal penalties that follow as a consequence of a conviction for violent crimes, including gang offenses. It would expand the instances where juveniles charged with federal crimes of violence can be tried as adults and would authorize the establishment of criminal street gang enforcement teams. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821518/
The Federal Grand Jury
This report is a brief general description of the federal grand jury, with particular emphasis on its more controversial aspects—relationship of the prosecutor and the grand jury, the rights of grand jury witnesses, grand jury secrecy, and rights of targets of a grand jury investigation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820896/
Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness
The potential of terrorist attacks against agricultural targets (agroterrorism) is increasingly recognized as a national security threat, especially after the events of September 11, 2001. This report focuses primarily on biological weapons (rather than chemical weapons) because biological weapons generally are considered the more potent agroterrorism threat. This report also focuses more on the threat of agroterrorism against agricultural production, rather than on food processing and distribution, although the latter is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820903/
In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Dismissals of Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)
This report summarizes the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the recent court of appeals decision. This report examines the legal bases for those dismissals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795547/
North Korea: Terrorism List Removal?
This report discusses the issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries, which has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795342/
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdiction and to criminalize all acts of torture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795469/
Federal Crime Control: Background, Legislation, and Issues
This report discusses the prevention and control of domestic crime, which has traditionally been a responsibility of state and local governments, with the federal government playing more of a supportive role. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795457/
The U.N. Convention Against Torture: Overview of U.S. Implementation Policy Concerning the Removal of Aliens
This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), which requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795753/
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program: An Overview
This report provides an overview of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which provides financial assistance to eligible police departments to help improve community policing efforts. It includes a brief discussion of the establishment of the program, guidelines and requirements for grantees, and a summary of various Department of Justice initiatives under the COPS program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795785/
Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts
This report provides background on military base closures and an analysis of community economic impacts, planning for economic redevelopment, and environmental cleanup following closures. The most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission rejected 13 of the initial Department of Defense recommendations, significantly modified the recommendations for 13 other installations, and approved 22 major closures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795762/
North Korea: Terrorism List Removal?
This report discusses the issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries, which has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795794/
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues
This report discusses current issues related to the War Crimes Act of 1996 and Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of detainees in armed conflicts "not of an international character (e.g., civil wars, rebellions, and other conflicts between State and non-State actors). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795770/
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress
This report summarizes several emergency management and homeland security programs, and identifies and analyzes potential issues for the 111th Congress. These issues include the purpose and number of assistance programs; the evaluation of the use of grant funding; the determination of eligible grant recipients; the programs' funding amounts; and the programs' funding distribution methodologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743485/
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures. It summarizes relevant court cases and the effect of the Detainee Treatment Act, as well as pending legislation. The report also provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to detainees held at Guantanamo and elsewhere. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743639/
Department of Justice (DOJ) Appropriations for FY2008 and FY2009
This report provides a discussion of funding for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, including background information, a breakdown of funding from FY2008 regular and supplemental funding, and budget requests for FY2009. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743482/
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress
This report summarizes several emergency management and homeland security programs, and identifies and analyzes potential issues for the 111th Congress. These issues include the purpose and number of assistance programs; the evaluation of the use of grant funding; the determination of eligible grant recipients; the programs' funding amounts; and the programs; funding distribution methodologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700583/
Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement
This report examines some of the policy and legal issues that may accompany an increased role of state and local law officials in the enforcement of immigration law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700868/
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background, Legislation, and Funding
This report discusses the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Several bills introduced in the 111th Congress would either modify the COPS program, reauthorize appropriations for the program, or both. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700563/
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