First a little about Brian Terry, in his own words
A border patrol agent, Brian Terry is shot and killed in the line of duty, The Justice Department goes after Jamie Avila who they say purchased the weapon used in the killing. At Avila’s trial Brian Terry’s family asks to be named as crime victims.. This would allow them to make a statement at the killers sentencing;
They’re turned down cold… Not by the defense, who knows the impact a grieving family can have on his client’s sentencing, but by the US Attorney prosecuting the case, US Attorney Dennis Burke. Burke’s logic, if you can follow it is, “because the family was not "directly or proximity harmed" by the illegal purchase of the murder weapon,”
Ahhh; Dennis, It’s not society in general that got buried after Terry’s funeral. The family has a dead son. Isn’t that proximity harmed?
There’s another reason the Justice Department might not want the family to be heard.
The Justice Department realizes they’re deeply implicated in the crime they’re prosecuting. In fact the Assistant US Attorney Emroy Hurly, who penned the reply Burke argued, is himself up to his butt in the sale of the weapon to Avila. Agent Brian Terry was killed with a weapon supplied to the Mexican Drug Cartel’s by the US Department of justice in the mucked up fiasco we now know as Fast and Furious. Hurly was in the Fast and Furious operational chain of command. Sounds to me like Emroy might have more reason to not want the Terry family to make a statement then the actual defendant in this one aspect of the entire case.
Is it conflict of interest? Sure is, in my opinion, but who is surprised by anyone in Eric Holder’s Justice Department trampling all over laws, ethics or civil rights
Hurly is one of a number of Justice Department officials who are going to have to explain their actions to Congress.. US Representative Darrell Issa has already made it clear that he intends to peruse his investigation into Fast and Furious as far as necessary to find out who in government is responsible for turning over thousands of weapons to the Mexican Drug Cartels
Given the ongoing investigation by Congress into Fast and Furious, it’s possible that the US Attorney’s are desperate to give the illusion Fast and Furious accomplished something positive. They may be trying to pressure Avila into giving them the evidence they’d need to go after the Cartel’s Hierarchy. Odds are Avila knows nothing of importance, but the US Attorneys’ need something to justify themselves. If they’re able to cut a deal him, it wouldn’t do to have the family give a statement that might influence the sentencing judge
The Terry family has given notice they may sue the Government for wrongful death. Does the Justice Department believe that trampling their rights now will help later, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was the potential for some legal shenanigans on the governments part. The department might be able to make that kind of bullshit work in a courtroom. I don’t think it will work with an unfriendly Congressional Committee. With luck before it’s over Jamie Avila will have some formerly influential Justice Department employees for cellmates