Thomas A. Durkin Featured in Chicago Reader
Mr. Durkin is featured in the Chicago Reader’s People Issue.
In the interview, Mr. Durkin is quoted saying, “The war on drugs was a disaster for civil liberties in this country, and I think the war on terror has followed that template. War on anything in the criminal justice system is very dangerous, and it sends people into political postures that they shouldn’t otherwise be in. I’ve watched good judges emasculate the Fourth Amendment out of fear of looking soft. There’s virtually nothing left of the Fourth Amendment that I learned in law school.
We’re creating a two-tiered system of justice in the federal court. We have one whole level of jurisprudence for regular cases and a separate level for terrorism cases. The fear I have is that sooner or later everything’s going to become national security. I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination for the president someday to issue an executive order saying that the commodities futures market is integral to national security because it goes to the heart of our banking system, and next thing you know a commodities fraud case is going to be a national security case.
It became clear to me that, starting with the Guantanamo military commissions, the prosecutors don’t control the cases anymore. They’re controlled by the intelligence agencies, including the FBI, which has become an intelligence agency. I think it’s very dangerous to start merging intelligence into criminal prosecution.”