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The International Criminal Court Treaty: Description, Policy Issues, and Congressional Concerns
This report discusses the events leading to the creation of a permanent international criminal tribunal and U.S. perspectives on the Court including: problematic provisions in the ICC Treaty, congressional considerations, and potential implications for U.S. foreign policy.
The Sentencing Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3713): A Summary
This report examines H.R. 3713, the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015, which addresses the sentences that may be imposed in various drug and firearms cases. It proposes amendments to those areas of federal law that govern mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for drug and firearm offenses; the so-called safety valves which permits court to impose sentences below otherwise required mandatory minimums in the case of certain low-level drug offenders; and the retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act.
Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Hate Crime and Homegrown Violent Extremism
This report examines the differences between domestic terrorism, hate crime, and homegrown violent extremism. Federal law enforcement agencies use these three distinct concepts to categorize key types of criminals whose illegal activities are at least partly ideologically motivated.
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.
U.S.-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 and S. 2830): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians.
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)—Responsibilities and Potential Congressional Concerns
This report looks at inadequacies present in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) which prevent the Center from adequately performing its duty. These inadequacies include issues with agency organization, lack of resources, and a focus on threats from Yemen over domestic threats.
Sexual Violence at Institutions of Higher Education
This report provides background information on sexual violence on campus and its prevalence, descriptions of the Clery Act and Title IX, and an analysis of prominent policy and legal issues related to these two statutes. It also includes a brief description of a related third statute focused on educational privacy.
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.
Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B
This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists (18 U.S.C. 2339A); the other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations (18 U.S.C. 2339B). They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack.
Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) passed by the House of Representative to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) passed by the House of Representative to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
Gun Control: FY2017 Appropriations for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Other Initiatives
This report provides coverage of congressional action on President Barack Obama's FY2017 budget request for his gun safety initiative. This coverage includes analysis of the ATF Congressional Budget Submission, including discussion of selected data trends that could affect ATF workloads during FY2017.
Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) intended to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
Federal Assistance for Victims of Terrorism or Mass Violence: In Brief
This report focuses solely on assistance available from Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)--the primary federal assistance available to victims of terrorism or mass violence. Jurisdictions and individuals may be eligible to receive various types of victim assistance both directly from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and indirectly from DOJ through their respective state victim assistance agencies or other programs following incidents of terrorism or mass violence in the United States.
Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Options for Independent Executive Investigations
This report analyzes the use of special prosecutors and independent counsels that were authorized under now-expired provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as well as the use of special counsels that are currently authorized by Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations. It also addresses constitutional considerations in establishing independent inquiries to address perceived conflicts of interest between investigating officials and the officials being investigated.
SORNA: A Legal Analysis of 18 U.S.C. §2250 (Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
This report describes the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) including various elements of the legislation and Constitutional considerations, with requirements and repercussions of an individual's failure to comply with SORNA.
Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations for the Department of Justice Grant Programs
This report outlines the 2017 fiscal year appropriations for the five Department of Justice (DOJ) grant programs which assist communities with various criminal justice related issues. Congress provided a total of $2.320 billion for DOJ's five grant accounts, an amount that is 6.7% less than the FY2016 appropriation and 1.8% less than the Administration's request. Funding for three of the five grant accounts decreased for FY2017, the exceptions being Violence Against Women Programs (+$2 million) and the Community Oriented Policing Services (+$10 million). However, the increase in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services account is largely attributable to Congress moving funding for the Regional Information Sharing System from the Research, Evaluation, and Statistics account to the Community Oriented Policing Services account.
Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations for the Department of Justice
This report provides a an overview of the 2017 fiscal year appropriations for the Department of Justice (DOJ) divided by department. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-31) appropriates $28.962 billion for DOJ, an amount that is 0.4% less than the FY2016 appropriation and 2.9% less than what the Obama Administration requested.
Krouse, William J.
Congress continues to debate the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. It is a contentious debate, with strong advocates for and against the further federal regulation of firearms. Gun control advocates argue that federal regulation of firearms curbs access by criminals, juveniles, and other "high-risk" individuals. Gun control opponents deny that federal policies keep firearms out of the hands of high-risk persons; rather, they argue, control often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. This report explores this issue in greater detail, including related legislation.
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
Congress continues to debate the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. It is a contentious debate, with strong advocates for and against the further federal regulation of firearms. Gun control advocates argue that federal regulation of firearms curbs access by criminals, juveniles, and other "high-risk" individuals, among other things. Gun control opponents deny that federal policies keep firearms out of the hands of high-risk persons; rather, they argue, controls often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. This report describes the details of this ongoing debate, including several pieces of legislation related to the issue.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
This report discusses terrorism in the region tri-border area (TBA) of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay has been a regional hub for Hizballah and Hamas fundraising activities. The report also examines activity by Cuba, which has been designated by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1982, and asserts that Venezuela has virtually ceased its cooperation in the global war on terror.
Terrorist Capabilities for Cyberattack: Overview and Policy Issues
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Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion of Aliens
This report opens with an overview of the grounds for inadmissibility and summarizes key legislation enacted in recent years. The section on current law explains the legal definitions of "terrorist activity," "terrorist organization," and other security-related grounds for inadmissibility and analyzes the legal implications of these provisions. The report then discusses the alien screening process to identify possible terrorists during the visa issuance process abroad and the inspections process at U.S. ports of entry. Where relevant, the report also discusses how recently enacted legislation affects these matters.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
Money Laundering: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and Related Federal Criminal Law
Money laundering is a federal crime, commonly understood as the process of cleansing the taint from the proceeds of crime. This report describes in detail the various aspects of money laundering in regards to federal criminal law.
DNA Evidence: Legislative Initiatives in the 106th Congress
DNA evidence is a powerful forensic tool in criminal cases. Its use and capabilities have increased substantially since it was first introduced in the late 1980s. That growth has led to the emergence of the following issues that were considered by the 106th Congress in legislative initiatives: eliminating the nationwide backlog of unanalyzed DNA samples, expanding the kinds of offenders who are profiled, providing opportunities for post-conviction testing of DNA evidence, and continuing development of forensic science capabilities. This report discusses those and related issues and the legislation proposed and enacted to address them. It begins by describing provisions in prior federal law and then discusses issues and the legislation proposed, including the enacted DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 (H.R. 4640, which became P.L. 106-546).
Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
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Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
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Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Recent Developments and Pending Issues
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Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Recent Developments and Pending Issues
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Gun Control Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Gun Control Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Agroterrorism: Options in Congress
Although U.S. intelligence agencies have not identified any terrorist acts targeting agricultural production (i.e., agroterrorism) in the United States to date, the events of September 11, 2001 have awakened the nation to their possibility. Some experts estimate that a single agroterrorist attack using a highly contagious livestock disease could cost between $10 billion and $30 billion to the U.S. economy. This report examines the potential threats to America’s agriculture from a deliberate biological attack, describes the current defense structure and capabilities available to respond to agroterrorism, and analyzes current congressional proposals to address the threat of biological weapons to U.S. agriculture.
Agroterrorism: Options in Congress
Although U.S. intelligence agencies have not identified any terrorist acts targeting agricultural production (i.e., agroterrorism) in the United States to date, the events of September 11, 2001 have awakened the nation to their possibility. Some experts estimate that a single agroterrorist attack using a highly contagious livestock disease could cost between $10 billion and $30 billion to the U.S. economy. This report examines the potential threats to America’s agriculture from a deliberate biological attack, describes the current defense structure and capabilities available to respond to agroterrorism, and analyzes current congressional proposals to address the threat of biological weapons to U.S. agriculture.
Victims' Rights Amendment in the 106th Congress: Overview of Suggestions to Amend the Constitution
No Description Available.
Cyberwarfare
Cyberwarfare raises issues of growing national interest and concern. Cyberwarfare can be used to describe various aspects of defending and attacking information and computer networks in cyberspace, as well as denying an adversary’s ability to do the same. Some major problems encountered with cyber attacks, in particular, are the difficulty in determining the origin and nature of the attack and in assessing the damage incurred.
Terrorism Funding: FY2002 Appropriations Bills
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Jonathan Pollard: Background and Considerations for Presidential Clemency
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Trying Terrorists as War Criminals
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Terrorism Risk Insurance: A Summary of Legislative Proposals
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Operation Enduring Freedom: Foreign Pledges of Military and Intelligence Support
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