The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) has been around for over 225 years, created by the first Congress to protect/serve the federal courts and make sure the orders of the President, Congress, and Judges were carried out across the United States. It is the country’s oldest federal law enforcement agency.
I never thought of US Marshals as census takers, but up until 1870 they did that in addition to arresting fugitives and serving subpoenas. Over the years they have also been asked by Congress and the President to capture fugitive slaves, swap spies with the Soviet Union, chase the bad guys, control riots – the basic idea being to help the government run more smoothly when nobody else has been quite qualified to do the job across State lines.
An interesting aspect of their history is that at first, US Marshals answered to the Secretary of State. In 1861, they fell under the Attorney General’s office and then in 1961, became an entity of their own with a Chief Marshal in charge. It has always been the enforcement arm of the federal courts and operates within the Department of Justice.
The 94 US Marshals are appointed by the President and handle the enforcement duties for the 94 federal court districts and the 12 circuits of the US Court of Appeals. They employ over 5,200 deputy Marshals, criminal investigators, administrative employees, and detention enforcement officers. They are in charge of:
Since the federal courts preside over cases that involve terrorists groups, organized crime, and other presumed seriously dangerous defendants as well as high profile extortion/fraud cases, the judges, lawyers, and even litigants involved are sometimes the target of violence.
It’s the job of the US Marshal Service to prevent the violence and also to protect the public, witnesses, jurors, prisoners, and innocent bystanders.
In addition, the USMS:
In 2015, the USMS arrested over 99,000 fugitives.
They cleared over 119,000 warrants.
The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program seeks to disrupt criminal actions by taking away the means of doing business, while returning property to its rightful owners.
The U.S. Marshals Service helps identify and evaluate the proceeds of crime. They manage and sometimes auction off items as varied as real estate, businesses, cars, jewelry, art, antiques, boats, and planes.
Proceeds from the sales go to operate the program, reimburse victims, and fund various law enforcement operations.
Some of the other agencies that participate in the Asset Forfeiture Program are: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; FBI; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Food and Drug Administration; Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General.
In 2015, over 261,000 prisoners were transported by air and on land by the USMS.
The U.S. Marshals’ Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System handles over 700 cases a day between judicial districts and correctional institutions in the U.S., for the purpose of getting witnesses to trial or prisoners to jail.
JPATS has its own fleet of aircraft to move prisoners over long distances and is the only government-operated, regularly-scheduled passenger airline in the USA. Both military and civilian law enforcement agencies can use the planes for their prisoner transport – if space is available and only if the USMS is reimbursed.
The U.S. Marshals Service operates the federal Witness Security Program, sometimes called the Witness Protection Program, or WitSec.
Its primary role is to protect government witnesses and their immediate family members (sometimes innocent bystanders and sometimes criminals themselves) whose lives are in danger because of their cooperation in investigations and trials.
For more information about the US Marshal Service, visit www.usmarshals.gov
Future posts will discuss:
*Photo credit: Wikipedia
Sheila and I eat in a lot of pubs whenever we visit Ireland. The food is tasty and in most places, is real comfort food. In order to get through those damp, cold Irish winters, food needs to be the hearty stick-to-your-ribs kind. We saw Vegetable Cobbler on the menu in a Killarney pub and thought it was a misprint. After all, we eat cobbler at home, but it’s always made with fruit – loads of different kinds of fruit, but always fruit.
We found out that Irish pubs rarely serve fruit cobbler and instead, go for a savory version and serve it as an entree. Until that day we had been served mashed potato topped stew and pie crust topped stew, but the gal told us that those were meat toppings. The cobbles (biscuits) are used primarily with an all vegetable stew. We learned something new every day!
Here’s the recipe that Sheila came up with to use with our year round hearty vegetable dishes. She modified her regular biscuit recipe and now it reminds me of those cheesy biscuits we get at restaurants here in the States.
We love that the ‘cobbles’ can also be baked on their own and eaten as an alternate bread at any meal. I taste-tested quite a few of these to make sure that the recipe was just right. 😉
If you are making the biscuit/cobbles without the stew, or have extra dough that doesn’t fit on top of the stew (as we did in the photo above) line the aluminum cookie tray with parchment paper, and increase the baking time to 13-14 minutes. Eat warm right out of the oven and serve with butter/margarine.
Ah, the joys of being a TV/movie lawyer. The lawyers wear nice clothes, have offices with great addresses and those fab coffee carts right in front of the office building always have the best bagels and croissants. The TV lawyers get hired with big bonuses at huge law firms even before they finish law school. The cases are always interesting and there’s a large, steady paycheck coming in. Only the lousy lawyers get the so-so cases and the associates do the investigating while writing all the briefs.
In reality, the average beginning lawyer is not wealthy and unless associated with a law firm before graduation (during an internship) will take a few years to get established or have the luxury of being choosy about cases and/or clients.
It differs across the country and whether located in large or small towns, but lawyers can have a variety of specialties. In general, a lawyer advises the client about the legal options available and sometimes represents them in court. They conduct research for the particular case, prepare presentations for court or business meetings, and represent individuals or businesses or organizations. Some lawyers never see the inside of a courtroom, but instead, spend their days writing and filing briefs and contracts.
A lawyer can use the degree as a path to become a judge, to teach in law school, to become a law enforcement officer, or even to become a politician. Some specialties that require special certification include child welfare, real estate, estate planning, elder law, tax law, among several others.
TV lawyers are typically criminal defense attorneys or else they handle high dollar mergers and acquisitions. After all, the real estate contracts that every real-life homeowner in the country has to have, hardly makes for exciting TV. We, as the viewing audience, would rather watch a show about something more fun than deeds and mortgages.
A Criminal Prosecutor is a lawyer that works for a State or Federal authority – sometimes elected, sometimes appointed. His/her job is to bring a case against an accused person in a criminal trial and to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In the United States justice system, a criminal defendant is always considered to be innocent until proven guilty. Law enforcement officers gather the evidence and work with prosecutors to put the bad guys away.
Some of the duties of a criminal prosecutor may include:
A Criminal Defense Attorney gives legal advice and defends criminal defendants during trial. If a criminal defendant can’t afford a lawyer, the state will provide a public defender. Many criminal defense attorneys work at private criminal defense firms and charge several hundred dollars an hour.
A criminal defense lawyer frequently offers legal services even before criminal charges have been formally filed against the suspect, by sitting in on (and giving advice during) interrogations by the police or other legal entities. In the United States legal system, a suspect is allowed to ask for an attorney to be present at all questioning sessions, bail hearings, plea bargaining, etc.
Criminal defense attorneys perform these tasks:
If you like the idea of becoming a criminal lawyer, you’ll need:
Lawyers in all areas of the private and public sectors have exactly the same list of needs. Still interested? Go for it!
Lady Justice, LOUIS J. LEFKOWITZ BUILDING, New York County, NY