Putting the Death Penalty to Work

Attorney General John Ashcroft showed his softer side last week as a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman ("Top 10 Reasons John Ashcroft Would Not Sing on Our Show--No. 5: Too busy tapping my phones"). But Ashcroft isn't softening his stance on the death penalty. Sources tell TIME that the Attorney General overruled recommendations from the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, as well as from his own committee of lawyers who review death-eligible cases, and instead decided last week to seek capital punishment for Emile Dixon, an alleged drug kingpin. It's the 12th time since he took office last year...

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