First female US attorney general Janet Reno dies
Janet Reno, the first female US attorney general and a lightning rod for Republican attacks during Bill Clinton’s presidency, has died in Florida, US media reported. She was 78. Reno died early Monday at her Miami home due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, her sister Maggy Hurchalla told CNN. The top US law enforcement officer throughout Clinton’s 1993-2001 presidency, Reno came under fire barely one month after becoming attorney general for her handling of a botched April 1993 FBI raid on an armed religious cult in Waco, Texas.
Some 80 people died when the Branch Davidian cult’s compound went up in flames. Her other actions included ordering the Miami relatives of six-year-old Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez in 2000 to surrender the boy to federal authorities. US immigration officials determined that Gonzalez’s father had the right to take his son from his estranged exile Cuban Miami relatives, who had cared for the boy since his rescue months earlier at sea attempting to immigrate to the United States.
US agents burst into the home and retrieved the boy at gunpoint, then returned Gonzalez to his father in communist Cuba. One of the longest-serving US attorney generals, her Department of Justice handled prosecutions in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and two cases of domestic terrorism, the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing and the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski. Other cases included an anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft, and suing the tobacco industry along with several states to recover health care money spent on people who suffered the effects of smoking.
Former US Attorney General Janet Reno