Former U.S. attorney general Janet Reno died early Monday morning at the age of 78, following complications from Parkinson’s disease, Reno’s goddaughter, Gabrielle D’Alemberte, confirmed with the Associated Press.
After serving 15 years as Dade County prosecutor, Reno, who was the first female to serve as attorney general, was sworn in under the Clinton administration and held the position from 1993 to 2001.
During this time, she faced a number of decisions that earned her public scrutiny. Reno was criticized for her handling of the raid on the Branch Davidian compound outside of Waco, Texas, in 1993. Altogether, 76 people died during the raid, including four government agents and six of the religious sect’s members during an intense gun battle. The compound went up in flames and the remaining members, including religious leader David Koresh, were killed. More than 20 years later, the cause of the fire remains a controversial topic.
Reno was also criticized after she authorized the armed seizure of 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez from a relative’s home in Miami. The government stepped in to send the boy back to Cuba, but photos of the operation – which depicted heavily armed federal authorities aiming guns at the terrified boy as he hid in a closet – quickly drew serious public scrutiny.
[ KTVB ]
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