A 10-year-old Missouri cross burning case played a role in the firing of a U.S. Attorney, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Four men were convicted of staging a cross burning on a lawn of a home in Rushville, Mo., where they believed a mixed-race couple was living. One of them, sentenced to 12 years in prison, reached an agreement with federal prosecutors that to be released from prison, he would be required to get counseling on racial tolerance and barred him from appearing in public under the influence of alcohol.
The Justice Department in Washington refused at first to sign it. The U. S. Attorney who negotiated it, Todd Graves, was later fired. “What you really see in this is a pattern around the country  that Justice officials wanted people who would toe the line,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond and a former Democratic staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “If the U.S. Attorneys are aggressive about pursuing their positions, they’re perceived as not being team players and then ultimately punished by being fired.”