Janet Reno, former US attorney general and the first woman to be nominated and confirmed as US attorney general, died this morning following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. She was 78.
In 1993, during President Bill Clinton’s administration, Reno was nominated and confirmed to serve as the United States Attorney General. Some of the Department of Justice actions that occurred during Reno’s tenure include:
- The 51-day Waco siege standoff and resulting 76 deaths—the Branch Davidians—in Waco, Texas.
- Bringing suit against the software company Microsoft for violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
- Capture and conviction of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber.
- Capture and conviction of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols for the Oklahoma City bombing.
- Capture and conviction of those who conducted the World Trade Center bombing (resulting in life-sentences of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and four conspirators).
- The armed seizure of six-year-old Elián González and his return to his father, who eventually took him home to Cuba; Elián’s mother and stepfather had died in a dangerous trip by sea, and though his U.S. relatives had lost custody to his father in court, local officials did not enforce the ruling. Reno made the decision to remove Elián González from the house of a relative.