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Leah R. Thomas March 15, 2013

In an update on our previous post regarding the botched ATF investigation in Milwaukee, one of the individuals prosecuted as a result of that operation went to sentencing Thursday. During that sentencing hearing, the Assistant U.S. Attorney took the rare step of criticizing how the ATF handled the investigation. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, he noted that the operation “wasn’t the best use of law enforcement resources” and it did not result in charges against those it sought: people with violent records. Not only is it rare for a prosecutor to make such an opinion known, but to take the extraordinary step of acknowledging it in open court. This is typically a position reserved for defense counsel as it is relevant to the court’s imposition of a sentence, but it may be necessary for the prosecution to state the obvious here. The article notes, however, that this individual’s case was not adversely effected by the highly-publicized errors.