[JURIST] The US Marshals Service [official website] will conduct an extensive review [AP report] of courthouse security nationwide, Assistant Director for Judicial Security Michael Prout [official profile] told the Associated Press on Wednesday. The announcement of a security review comes just two days after a courthouse official was killed and a deputy marshal was wounded in an attack on a Las Vegas courthouse [Las Vegas Review-Journal report]. In his comments, Prout noted that while the Las Vegas courthouse had modern security measures that aided in reducing the potential harm from the attack, that is not the case in many courthouses nationwide. No timetable was given for the the initiation of the review.
The attack on the Las Vegas courthouse occurred the same day that the US Department of Justice released a report [JURIST report] showing that the number of threats against judges and attorneys had more than doubled over the past six years. That report was critical of the US Marshals Service for not providing an appropriate response or coordinating with other law enforcement agencies. Courthouse security has become a significant issue as judges have increasingly become the targets of violence. In 2008, Brian Nichols was sentenced to seven life terms to be served consecutively for shooting and killing a federal judge [JURIST reports] and other personnel in an Atlanta courthouse in an attempted escape. In April 2008, Ohio resident David Tuason was indicted for allegedly threatening to blow up the US Supreme Court building [JURIST report] and attack black men, including Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.