Tag: Justice

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McCormack, Gilchrist steered committee poised to make criminal justice reform

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Gilchrist, along with McCormack, led one of the state’s most comprehensive efforts to date to study and reform the state’s jail system

The Detroit News

Amid two years of divided government and a 9-month pandemic, one of the state’s largest bipartisan collaborations on criminal justice reform to date brought together Michigan’s executive, judicial and legislative branches for real change.

The Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration gathered some of the first comprehensive data from Michigan’s courts and jails, focused on the issues swelling the state’s jail populations and pushed for systemic change in the jails and courts.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist helmed the endeavor as co-chairs. But both are quick to note the task force was made up of more than a dozen bipartisan stakeholders from law enforcement, counties, the Legislature, judges, prosecutors, victims rights advocates, the

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Trump aide banned from Justice Department after trying to get case information

Stirrup is accused of approaching staffers in the department demanding they give her information about investigations, including election fraud matters, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The effort came as Trump continues to level baseless claims that he won the election and alleges without evidence that massive voting fraud was responsible for his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.

Stirrup had also extended job offers to political allies for positions at some of the highest levels of the Justice Department without consulting any senior department officials or the White House counsel’s office and also attempted to interfere in the hiring process for career staffers, a violation of the government’s human resources policies, one of the people said.

The Justice Department declined to comment. Attempts to reach Stirrup for comment were not immediately successful.

On Thursday, Trump appointed Stirrup

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Trump aide banned from Justice after trying to get case info

The official serving as President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department has been banned from the building after trying to pressure staffers to give up sensitive case information she could relay to the White House

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Pandemic has clogged NC courts, delayed justice for many

After more than eight months without jury trials, Union County is holding its first Superior Court trial this week.

Scheduling that trial — or any trial — hasn’t been easy. District Attorney Trey Robison said one felony case his office tried to schedule had to be delayed because the defense attorney was quarantined. Another — a breaking-and-entering case — couldn’t be tried because someone in the defendant’s household contracted COVID-19.

Finally, the district attorney’s office found a case that could be tried — an appeal of a DWI case. These cases tend to be less complicated than most felonies heard in Superior Court, but the pandemic made seating a jury extremely time-consuming, Robison said.

The Union County courthouse doesn’t have any rooms big enough to seat all the potential jurors while observing social distancing, so several separate jury pools had to be called.

And while some North Carolina courtrooms seated

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Obama: Criminal justice reformers ‘lost a big audience’ with defund the police rhetoric

“The key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?” he added. “And if you want to get something done in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, then you’ve got to be able to meet people where they are. And play a game of addition and not subtraction.”

The former president is the latest prominent Democratic leader to express disapproval of the politically divisive phrase, which gained greater recognition over the summer amid nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality. Supporters of defunding the police have called for taxpayer dollars to be redirected away from law enforcement and toward mental health services and other social safety net resources.

President Donald Trump and down-ballot Republicans seized on calls to defund the police ahead of the 2020 election in an

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Timothy Doherty: U.S. Attorneys can help build a more equitable criminal justice system

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Timothy C. Doherty Jr., of Burlington, who served for 10 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Vermont.  He is currently a director at the law firm of Downs Rachlin Martin, where he focuses on criminal defense and complex civil litigation.

On May 25, 2020, police in Minneapolis killed George Floyd while arresting him for allegedly using counterfeit money. People across the country reacted to Floyd’s death with anguish. In some of the largest demonstrations this country has seen since the 1960s, citizens took to the streets and demanded that the long-festering problem of racial bias in the criminal justice system be addressed.  

Prosecutors play a special role in our justice system. A prosecutor represents the community, not a specific person or organization. It is therefore the responsibility of every prosecutor to ensure that the criminal justice system treats the entire

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Bozeman criminal justice activist joins police commission | City

City commissioners have appointed a new member of the Bozeman Police Commission who has a background in criminal justice.

Courtney Smith, who is the criminal justice initiative lead for the Montana Racial Equity Project, was approved with a unanimous vote to serve a three-year term on the commission. Smith, who worked as an attorney in Arkansas before moving to Bozeman, said she has a background in criminal and civil law, and previously worked for a civil rights firm. Montana law states a police commission can examine officer applicants and hear appeals from officers who have been disciplined, suspended or fired.

Smith said she got involved with the Montana Racial Equity Project after this summer’s protests. Smith works on criminal justice issues with the organization, largely doing research and coordinating with other groups on reform efforts. Smith said they also plan to lobby at the Legislature next year.

“After the summer

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Rep.-elect Troy Nehls, Texas sheriff, offers solution to ‘broken’ criminal justice system

Rep.-elect Troy Nehls, a Texas sheriff and newly elected congressman, is in Washington preaching a message of “mutual respect” as America grapples with racial unrest, criminal justice reforms and efforts to dismantle police departments.

Nehls, who has served as sheriff of Fort Bend County for the last eight years, said his 22nd Congressional District outside of Houston should be a model for the rest of the country on how to build positive police and community relationships that are “colorblind.” While other cities are still reeling from racial tensions after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Nehls said his community — one of the most diverse districts in the country — didn’t experience civil unrest because law enforcement is respected.

“They trust us, and we, in turn, trust them. It is mutual respect,” Nehls told Fox News. “If you look at the cities where you see the civil unrest, there’s

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Criminal justice reformers ‘lost a big audience’ with defund the police rhetoric

Former President Barack Obama suggested in a new interview that “defund the police” was little more than a “snappy slogan” that polarized many Americans and was ineffectual at producing broader reforms to the criminal justice system in the United States.



Barack Obama holding a microphone: Former President Barack Obama speaks at a Nov. 2 rally as he campaigns for President-elect Joe Biden.


© AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Former President Barack Obama speaks at a Nov. 2 rally as he campaigns for President-elect Joe Biden.

In an interview that aired Wednesday on Snapchat’s “Good Luck America,” Obama likened young activists to shoe companies marketing sneakers or musicians promoting their records, arguing that such efforts to galvanize commercial support are “no different in terms of ideas.”

“If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it’s not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like ‘defund the police,’” Obama said. “But, you know, you lost a big audience

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Justice Department finds no evidence of widespread election fraud

WASHINGTON – In the most prominent break against President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the election, Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has not found evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the vote.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr on May 15, 2019.


© Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr on May 15, 2019.

Barr’s comments in an interview with the Associated Press represented an especially public retreat from Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud by one of the president’s closest allies in the administration.

Barr said federal prosecutors and the FBI have reviewed specific complaints, but they have uncovered no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the AP even as Trump continues to pursue legal challenges to an election he

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