Judicial Branch – APDA Web http://apdaweb.org/ Wed, 17 Aug 2022 04:30:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://apdaweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/apda-150x150.png Judicial Branch – APDA Web http://apdaweb.org/ 32 32 Action, more than public confession, needed to curb corruption: Daily Star https://apdaweb.org/action-more-than-public-confession-needed-to-curb-corruption-daily-star/ Wed, 17 Aug 2022 04:30:00 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/action-more-than-public-confession-needed-to-curb-corruption-daily-star/ DHAKA (THE DAILY STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) — We applaud Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique’s stark warning against corruption as he urged everyone to resist and socially boycott those involved in corruption and trafficking. This, he said, will help bring about justice in society. We can’t agree more. Corruption is not only the greatest obstacle to […]]]>

DHAKA (THE DAILY STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) — We applaud Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique’s stark warning against corruption as he urged everyone to resist and socially boycott those involved in corruption and trafficking.

This, he said, will help bring about justice in society. We can’t agree more. Corruption is not only the greatest obstacle to justice, but also to inclusive development and people’s security and well-being.

Uncontrolled corruption, including government corruption, creates economic inequalities, undermines law and order, and undermines the effectiveness of public institutions. The CJ’s testimony, weighed against reality, is also a painful reminder of how rampant corruption has become and how little is being done to prevent it.

Unfortunately, the burden of this failure lies as much on the executive branch as on the judiciary itself. For the government, preventing corruption requires a functioning administrative system with checks and balances that regulates all actions and decisions in the public sector. But to be more effective, the criminal justice system must also be proactive and preventive, rather than reactive and punitive, ensuring that not only is justice served quickly and fairly, but that potential criminals are discouraged.

How is the judiciary doing in this regard? Not very good. We still remember the frustration of a former chief justice in 2021, who, when asked whether the judiciary follows up on the implementation of its policies in cases of public interest, said that implementation can be despised by government agencies and officials, but “we are tired of declaring contempt”. He added: “Often our instructions are not carried out properly even afterwards.” It is clear that the executive branch should and is obliged to cooperate fully with the judiciary. But the court must also do so in this regard become more assertive and proactive.

The authorities’ non-cooperation is not the only problem preventing them from playing an effective role. The judiciary is paralyzed by various challenges, including a shortage of judges, executive branch interference in judicial affairs, a huge backlog of unsolved cases, and other systemic flaws. As a result, Bangladesh is better known for allowing criminals, including those accused of corruption, to go unpunished instead of being held accountable.

It is unfortunate that, despite all the talk of “zero tolerance” for corruption by government higher-ups, a practice of taking a sustained and systematic crackdown on the corrupt, including those linked to politics, has not yet been established. We urge authorities, both executive and judicial, to complement their engagement with concrete action, cooperation and, where appropriate, reform to root out corruption. The citizens also have to make their contribution here.

  • The Daily Star is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 22 news media organisations.
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Too much partisanship from Fischer in Ky Supreme Court race https://apdaweb.org/too-much-partisanship-from-fischer-in-ky-supreme-court-race/ Fri, 12 Aug 2022 14:58:36 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/too-much-partisanship-from-fischer-in-ky-supreme-court-race/ OPINION AND COMMENT Editorials and other opinion pieces provide perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our news editors.]]>

OPINION AND COMMENT

Editorials and other opinion pieces provide perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our news editors.

Judge Michelle Keller of the Kentucky Superior Court and Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Ft.  Thomas, are fighting for a seat on the <a class=State Supreme Court this November.” title=”Judge Michelle Keller of the Kentucky Superior Court and Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Ft. Thomas, are fighting for a seat on the State Supreme Court this November.” loading=”lazy”/>

Judge Michelle Keller of the Kentucky Superior Court and Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Ft. Thomas, are fighting for a seat on the State Supreme Court this November.

We are a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization formed 16 years ago to protect the integrity of the judiciary in Kentucky’s judicial elections — in part in response to court decisions expanding the First Amendment freedoms of judge-candidates and the prospect of Campaigns for impartial justice elections are more like those for executive and legislative offices, which are partisan. Now we are concerned that Kentucky’s judicial election is becoming too partisan.

Judge candidates who emphasize their affiliation with a party can lead voters to view judicial elections as a party when they are not. This trend can undermine the independence and hence the integrity of the judiciary.

Our state constitution calls for non-partisan parliamentary elections. Does a bipartisan election require bipartisan campaigns? no Federal courts have ruled that fair elections should not deprive court nominees or others of the right to freedom of expression and association. But Kentucky and most other states that elect judges try to provide safeguards, such as: B. our Supreme Court ruling which states: “A judge or candidate for judicial office shall not engage in political or campaigning activities inconsistent with the independence, integrity or impartiality of the judiciary”.

The Court also says: “The role of a judge is distinct from that of a legislature or executive branch official, even when the judge is subject to public election. Election campaigns for judicial offices should be conducted differently than election campaigns for other offices.”

The touchstone of the judiciary is its independence and impartiality. Everyone in a free society should be able to expect disputes in court to be decided by an impartial tribunal unaffected by political affiliations.

It is natural for voters to want judges whose expressed views or associations (political parties or interest groups) indicate that the candidate is inclined to agree with the voter on a particular issue. But when judge candidates emphasize their affiliation with a political party, they undermine long-held American principles of judicial independence and fairness.

For this reason, we are concerned that the campaign logo on Kentucky Supreme Court Assemblyman Joe Fischer’s website includes an end line identifying him as “the conservative Republican” in the race; that a June 29 post on his campaign’s Facebook page thanked the Oldham County Republican Party for their “generous support.”

There is a comment on a July 28 Fisher Campaign post that is misleading, if not outright inaccurate. We believe that candidates are not only responsible for their social media posts, but also for any comments that remain on those posts.

Judge candidates have First Amendment rights to publicly disclose their political affiliations and public service records, but most members of our committee feel that Fischer overemphasises his party affiliation.

While he has every right to do so, we believe campaigning as a partisan candidate in a bipartisan election undermines the independence and integrity of the judiciary. Not only can this make voters believe they are voting in partisan elections, it strengthens Fischer’s ties to his party. The main goal of any political party is to gain and maintain power through the election of its candidates. The aim of a non-partisan election is to free the judiciary from such entanglements.

Considerations such as legal knowledge, life experience, fairness, the ability to listen, a willingness to shed possible prejudice and bias, patience, humility, and a firm commitment to the rule of law are far more important than party affiliation in selecting judges.

Voters have the challenge and responsibility to uphold the highest standards of judge selection. This responsibility is best met through sound and objective determinations. We must not be distracted; We have to stay on the ball.

For background information on the Kentucky Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee, see kyjccc.blogspot.com.

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Lessons from Petraeus’ guilty plea in Trump’s secret-document investigation https://apdaweb.org/lessons-from-petraeus-guilty-plea-in-trumps-secret-document-investigation/ Wed, 10 Aug 2022 13:47:22 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/lessons-from-petraeus-guilty-plea-in-trumps-secret-document-investigation/ The FBI’s August 8 execution and seizure of a search warrant against the home of former President Donald Trump about a dozen boxes of government information is unprecedented. Important facts are still unknown to the public, namely from Asha Rangappa, Norm Eisen and Brad Moss explained It was not possible to determine exactly which federal […]]]>

The FBI’s August 8 execution and seizure of a search warrant against the home of former President Donald Trump about a dozen boxes of government information is unprecedented. Important facts are still unknown to the public, namely from Asha Rangappa, Norm Eisen and Brad Moss explained It was not possible to determine exactly which federal criminal laws may apply to Trump’s retention of government documents. Even as the facts develop, it may help to recall an FBI raid that pulled classified government information from the home of another former senior official less than a decade ago — that of former CIA director and retired US Army General David Petraeus.

The Facts of the Petraeus Case

Corresponding court documentsPetraeus, whIn 2010 he became commander of the multinational military mission ISAF in Afghanistan11, “neat bound five-by-eight inch notebooks containing his daily schedule and classified and unclassified notes.” Some of these “black books,” as prosecutors called them, “contained classified information on the identities of undercover officers, war strategies, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, citations, and deliberative discussions of high-level National Security Council meetings , and Defendant David Howell Petraeus’ conversations with the President of the United States of America.” In addition, “they contained national defense information, including top secret/SCI and codeword information.” A Department of Defense (DOD) historian had organized and submitted his materials to the DOD after Petraeus’ resignation from the DOD National Defense University, which houses the department’s classified documents. However, Petraeus “personally kept the Black Books”.

In August 2011, after finally returning from Afghanistan and a few months before being sworn in as CIA director, Petraeus emailed Paula Broadwell, with whom he was having an extramarital affair, promising her access to the books. He had previously informed her in a conversation she recorded that the books were “highly classified” and contained “code word” information. That same month, he delivered the books to her DC home, where he left them for a few days “to facilitate ‘Broadwell’ access to the Black Books and the information they contain for use as source material for his biography.” , titled Everything in it: The training of General David Petraeus.” He then kept the books at his home in Arlington, Virginia.

Petraeus had signed several non-disclosure and non-disclosure agreements during his time with the Department of Defense and the CIA. After his departure from the CIA in November 2012, when details of his affair came to light, Petraeus additionally signed a security exit form confirming that “there is no classified material currently in my possession, custody or control”. The Black Books were still in his house at the time.

In October 2012, FBI agents interviewed Petraeus and indicated they were doing so as part of a criminal investigation. Petraeus stated during the interview that he never provided classified information to Broadwell or facilitated her access to such information. The documents supporting Petraeus’ eventual plea deal noted that he “knew here and there that he had previously shared the Black Books” with Broadwell. Ultimately, Petraeus was not charged with making false statements to the FBI 18 USC § 1001(a)(2). This law criminalizes “knowingly and intentionally . . . mak[ing] any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation” relating to “any matter falling within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch” of the federal government.

In April 2013, the FBI confiscated the books based on a search warrant issued at his home.

indictment by the DOJ

Petraios reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to plead guilty to a case of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information in violation of a federal statute, 18 U.S.C. 1924which then provided the following in the relevant part:

(a) Any United States officer, employee, contractor, or consultant, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, comes into possession of documents or materials containing United States classified information will knowingly remove such documents or materials without authority and with intent to keep such documents or materials in an unauthorized location shall be liable under this title to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both.

The DOJ alleged that Petraeus “as an employee of the United States and as a result of his employment came into possession of documents and materials containing classified information” and that he “unlawfully and knowingly removed those documents and materials from unauthorized locations because he was aware that locations were not authorized for storage and custody of these materials.

The charges carried a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. (The maximum statutory sentence was increased to five years in 2018.)

convention

In the plea agreement, prosecutors and Petraios agreed to two years probation and a $40,000 fine. Certain Justice Department officials, and particularly FBI agents, were supposedly upset about the lenient terms of the plea. They feared that the case of Petraeus would set a precedent that would make it harder to receive prison sentences in future cases of government leaks.

The judge approved the probation period in Petraeus’s agreement, but increased the fine to $100,000. The court wrote adding to the recommended fine that the judgment should “reflect the seriousness of the offense” and “encourage respect for the law, provide a just punishment and an adequate deterrent”. It found that given various conviction factors and the defendant’s ability to pay, the fine along with other sanctions “should be punitive”.

IMAGE: Former CIA director and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, delivers a speech after exiting federal court after serving a criminal conviction April 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina had been. Petraeus was criminally convicted of giving secret information to his former lover and biographer. (Photo by John W. Adkisson/Getty Images)
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Colorado’s judiciary is being unjustly attacked https://apdaweb.org/colorados-judiciary-is-being-unjustly-attacked/ Mon, 08 Aug 2022 17:19:22 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/colorados-judiciary-is-being-unjustly-attacked/ No bribery. No payouts. No cover up. The headline should read: “We were wrong. We’re sorry.” It’s time to set the record straight. For a year and a half, the press has attacked the Colorado Supreme Court by repeating mere allegations to try to find a scandal. There were two allegations. One of which was […]]]>

No bribery. No payouts. No cover up. The headline should read: “We were wrong. We’re sorry.”

It’s time to set the record straight.

For a year and a half, the press has attacked the Colorado Supreme Court by repeating mere allegations to try to find a scandal.

There were two allegations. One of which was that tacit former employee Mindy Masias was granted a management contract. Second, there was a secret list of allegations of improper conduct by state court officials, including some judges.

The court, transparent at every turn, released the document containing the allegations. It called for independent investigations with investigators to be chosen by the legislature and executive. The court promised to make the results of the investigation public, and it did.

There were separate investigations into each allegation. The first investigation found that the hush money allegations were false. The second investigation concluded that while the allegations all contained a grain of truth, the “secret” list, which dates back 20 years, also included claims that were “baseless”, “unfounded” and “misleading”. As the investigative report noted, “Many of the allegations omit important context or misstate facts.”

The independent investigators found nothing criminal or unethical, but suggested ways for the Justice Department to manage its nearly 4,000 employees so the Justice Department can better address and resolve employee issues.

Established in 1958, the American Board of Trial Advocates is made up of state and federal judges and attorneys who represent both sides of the civil trial chamber—consumers and businesses. We uphold, protect and defend our rule of law so that trust in an independent and impartial judiciary remains the cornerstone of our democracy, free from political or financial interference.

The Colorado court process is safe and fair. We are disappointed that the press seems to have lost sight of this fundamental point.

Our judiciary is increasingly being subjected to harsh and unfair attacks. judge murderedfollowing and ambushing their families illustrate these extremist actions aimed at intimidating the judiciary.

Our Chapter condemns such attacks on our judges and juries, who know that one side or the other will disagree with their decisions. Losing parties have non-violent remedies. Active bullying and intimidation cannot be tolerated.

Civil courts judge facts. The trial judges indicate which laws apply to the case. Appellate judges decide whether the correct jury-making law has been provided. Seldom thanked and often despised, grand juries remain the backbone of an independent and impartial legal system.

Politicians and reporters sometimes select parts of studies, as do columnists, to mock judges and juries. Still, the jurors and judges should be applauded for their objectivity and willingness to make tough decisions based on all the facts unquestioned by the gallery.

The raw courage that our juries and judges quietly display every day cannot be overstated. Our chapter advocates dedicating a day annually as Jury Appreciation Day to say thank you.

Remember: our rule of law cannot survive without our judiciary. Without the 7th Amendment and our right to a jury trial, none of the other amendments to the Bill of Rights can be enforced.

Richard Kaudy, President of the Colorado Branch of the American Board of Trial Advocates, has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and President of the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association and represents both consumers and insurance companies in civil litigation. Tom Overton, Vice President of the American Board of Trial Advocates, has been a trial attorney for 40 years. He represents companies and individuals in all types of civil litigation.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit it online or see our guidelines for submitting it by email or post.

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Viktor Orbán turns Texas conference into transatlantic far-right love-in | CPAC https://apdaweb.org/viktor-orban-turns-texas-conference-into-transatlantic-far-right-love-in-cpac/ Sat, 06 Aug 2022 08:01:00 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/viktor-orban-turns-texas-conference-into-transatlantic-far-right-love-in-cpac/ “The globalists can all go to hell,” declared Viktor Orbán. “I’ve come to Texas!” The crowd roared, whooped and gave a standing ovation as if at a campaign rally for former US President Donald Trump. It was evident they saw in Orbán a kindred spirit – a blunt weapon to wield against liberal foes. The […]]]>

“The globalists can all go to hell,” declared Viktor Orbán. “I’ve come to Texas!”

The crowd roared, whooped and gave a standing ovation as if at a campaign rally for former US President Donald Trump. It was evident they saw in Orbán a kindred spirit – a blunt weapon to wield against liberal foes.

The Hungarian prime minister was the opening speaker at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, and perhaps the most vivid demonstration yet of the mutual and rapidly growing affinity between the far right in America and Europe.

Orbán, who has been prime minister for 12 years, boasted about his hardline stance on illegal immigration, law and order and “gender ideology” in schools. He touted a rise in marriages and fall in abortions. He was unapologetic in his defense of blood-and-soil nationalism and contempt for “leftist media”.

And extraordinarily for a foreign leader, he overtly sided with an opposition party – the Republicans – rather than the incumbent Democrats, paying homage to Trump at his golf club in Bedminister, New Jersey, while ignoring Joe Biden at the White House.

Calling for Christian nationalists to “unite forces”, Orbán told CPAC: “Victory will never be found by taking the path of least resistance. We must take back the institutions in Washington and in Brussels. We must find friends and allies in one another. We must coordinate the movements of our troops because we face the same challenge.”

He noted that US midterm elections will be later this year followed by the presidential contest and European parliamentary elections in 2024. “These two locations will define the two fronts in the battle being fought for western civilisation. Today, we hold neither of them. Yet we need both.”

Rarely has the alliance between nationalist parties across the Atlantic was so bold, overt and unshackled. CPAC was once the domain of cold warrior Ronald Reagan. But in recent years guest speakers have included the Brexit cheerleader Nigel Farage and Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, niece of the far-right French politician Marine Le Pen.

Viktor Orbán basks in the applause at CPAC in Dallas. Photographer: Brian Snyder/Reuters

On Friday the lineup included Steve Bannon, who has worked with openly racist far-right leaders across Europe and once leased a medieval monastery outside Rome to run a “populism bootcamp”.

Bannon is former executive chairman of Breitbart News, which he once described as “the platform of the ‘alt-right’”, a movement associated with efforts to preserve “white identity” and defend “western values”. He served as chief strategist in the Trump White House and is now facing prison after being convicted of contempt of Congress for failing to comply with the January 6 committee.

CPAC Texas also heard from the Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who railed against the media and told the audience: “When I said that I’m a Christian nationalist, I have nothing to be ashamed of because that’s what most Americans are.” The event will close on Saturday with Trump who, like Orbán, has faced scrutiny over his relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Peter Montgomery, a senior fellow at the non-profit group Right Wing Watch, said: “Rightwing leaders, and especially the religious right leaders in the US, love Viktor Orbán for the same reasons they love Vladimir Putin. This overt embrace of Christian nationalism, willingness to use strongman tactics and the power of the government to enforce so-called traditional values ​​about family and sexuality.”

Montgomery added: “We’ve actually seen some signs of that illiberalism and authoritarianism on the Trumpist right in their efforts to ban the teaching of racism in schools, in their aggressive attacks against LGBTQ materials and information in schools and libraries, and even their encouragement of harassment and violence that we’ve seen against election officials and school board members.

“All those signs are signs of a disturbing embrace of authoritarianism on the US right and Orbán is a model and a hero for that to them.”

Orbán has few bigger fans than Tucker Carlson, a Fox News host who interviewed him during a week-long broadcast from Hungary last year. Carlson has promoted “great replacement theory” – the baseless claim of a plot to turn white people into a minority through immigration – in 400 of his shows, according to an analysis by the New York Times.

The Fox News host Tucker Carlson delivers a speech via a video link at a previous CPAC event held in Budapest, Hungary, on 19 May 2022.
The Fox News host Tucker Carlson delivers a speech via a video link at a previous CPAC event held in Budapest, Hungary, on 19 May 2022. Photograph: Szilárd Koszticsák/EPA

Orbán’s visit to the US came amid backlash over anti-migrant remarks in which he warned that Europeans must not “become peoples of mixed race” and cited The Camp of the Saints, a 1973 French novel by Jean Raspail that portrays a dystopia in which a flotilla of south Asian people invade France. The novel has also been promoted by Trump allies such as Bannon and Stephen Miller.

Rick Wilson, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group, said: “Orbán represents a quiet part out loud element of today’s Republican party. That quiet part out loud is the overt appeal to racial politics, the not-bothering-to-hide-it white supremacy element of the global alt-right and authoritarian movement. Donald Trump was the thing that let it loose in the US.

“Orbán has struck a set of blows against the media in Hungary, which is one of their main targets here. He has overtly embraced the sort of white replacement politics that are so popular with the Tucker Carlson set and a lot of the other folks that are members of the American Maga [Make America great again] movement.”

Wilson, author of Everything Trump Touches Dies, added: “Those things have all added up to giving Orbán a kind of fanboy following in the US of people who were once conservative Republicans and who are now racially driven authoritarian wannabes. He’s the guy who’s pulling it off at a scale that Donald Trump didn’t achieve in the US.”

That appeal includes a stealth attack on democracy. Critics say that Hungary’s judiciary, media and other institutions are suffering death by a thousand cuts as Orbán slowly and surely consolidates power. His right wing Fidesz party has drawn legislative districts in Hungary in a way that makes it very difficult for opposition parties to win seats – not dissimilar to partisan gerrymandering efforts for state legislative and congressional seats in America. The process currently favors Republicans because they control more of the state legislatures that create those boundaries.

And at CPAC, purveyors of Trump’s “big lie” – the false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him – held prominent slots. Mike Lindell, chief executive of MyPillow, pushed preposterous conspiracy theories about voting machines. Several speakers denounced the congressional investigation into the January 6 insurrection as a sham.

Trump merchandise for sale at CPAC.
Trump merchandise for sale at CPAC. Photographer: Go Nakamura/Reuters

Kurt Bardella, an adviser to the Democratic National Committee, said of Orbán: “They see a blueprint for fascism. They see someone who embodies the Republican party’s values ​​of obstructing free and fair elections, of undermining democratic institutions, of expanding government power and politicizing the judicial branch, marginalizing minority communities and corrupting the pillars of a free society.

“When you talk about an autocratic regime, that’s what Prime Minister Orbán is in Hungary and it’s exactly the blueprint that Republicans are hoping to follow here in the United States of America. It’s not surprising in the least that, especially in a place like CPAC Texas, these rightwing white nationalists are embracing someone like Orbán.”

Earlier this year, when CPAC held an event in Europe, it naturally chose Hungary. Orbán remains an outlier on the continent – ​​for now. Le Pen lost the French presidential election to Emmanuel Macron, though she gained the far right’s biggest share of the vote yet. In Italy Giorgia Meloni, leader of a party with neofascist origins, is strongly positioned to become prime minister after snap elections this autumn.

Robert P Jonesfounder and chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute think tank in Washington and author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, said: “There is this identifiable movement. The difference in many of the European countries is it is represented in minority parties.

“In the US now, I think it’s safe to say that this ethno-religious vision of the country has taken over one of our two major political parties. Even demographically speaking, nearly seven in 10 Republicans are white and Christian today in a country that’s only 44% white and Christian. You can see that identity taking hold as the animating beating heart of the party. It’s a really dangerous situation.”

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Allegheny County hires a consultant to plan the prison’s transformation https://apdaweb.org/allegheny-county-hires-a-consultant-to-plan-the-prisons-transformation/ Thu, 04 Aug 2022 17:51:43 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/allegheny-county-hires-a-consultant-to-plan-the-prisons-transformation/ Allegheny County has hired a consulting firm to plan an overhaul of its prison and look ahead as the prison’s governance comes under scrutiny and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s administration nears the last of his 12 years in office. The $700,000 contract was signed on July 14 with CDI Architects, a TranSystems subsidiary. It outlines […]]]>

Allegheny County has hired a consulting firm to plan an overhaul of its prison and look ahead as the prison’s governance comes under scrutiny and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s administration nears the last of his 12 years in office.

The $700,000 contract was signed on July 14 with CDI Architects, a TranSystems subsidiary. It outlines plans for months of community engagement and an examination of the Allegheny County Jail redesign [ACJ] At the same time, the number of people going through it will be reduced and the care of people in the justice system with physical or mental health problems will be improved. An explicit goal of the project is to reduce the prison population by half or more.

In an emailed statement, Fitzgerald said his administration has “worked cooperatively and collectively to think about criminal justice in new and different ways. That [request for proposals leading to the contract] issued to explore how space in the county jail could be repurposed is the latest step in that effort.”

Fitzgerald spokeswoman Amie Downs said an initial meeting with CDI is planned and it is too early to say when work will begin or end.

In June 2021, the county issued a call for proposals [RFP], looking for a counselor to help him remodel the prison to hold drastically fewer people. The county made no public announcement about the initiative, and negotiations with CDI were not publicly announced until a public source investigation last month.

The RFP said the county was “committed to reducing dependency on incarceration” and was seeking a consultant to remodel the towering Uptown Prison to accommodate a smaller population. The prison’s population is significantly lower than it has been for much of its 28-year history. The population often exceeded 2,500 between 2017 and early 2020, but averaged 1,666 in 2022. The average population fell sharply early in the pandemic as arrests eased and many people were released to reduce crowding, and the case has not increased since.

The county sought proposals to reduce the prison’s capacity to between 500 and 1,100, and the plan presented by CDI recognizes that such a facility would not suffice for the number of people the county is incarcerating at the ACJ today.

“The success of this project relies in large part on the ongoing collaboration and active collaboration of key stakeholders,” the plan reads, including the police and judiciary. While the county government administers the prison, it is the county’s many police departments that arrest the people who end up there, and the judiciary decides who is held and for how long.

Downs said the courts and district attorney “have been involved in this process throughout the process,” citing broad criminal justice reform projects, adding that CDI will be reaching out to them.

A spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said they were not contacted by the county administration about the prison redesign project. A representative for President Justice Kim Berkeley Clark did not respond to requests for comment.

Tanisha Long, a community organizer at the Abolitionist Law Center and a frequent critic of the prison, said she is concerned that the county’s RFP has focused more on physical changes to the prison than changes in the county’s approach to incarceration and criminal justice.

“If we’re able to do things like reform the size of the prison, then we can invest in changing the culture and security of the prison,” said Long, who had yet to see CDI’s plan.

Click here to view the full project plan.

The consultants’ plan envisages a two-step process: examining and modeling the current state of the county’s criminal justice ecosystem, and then “rethinking the system – the ‘coulds’ for the future.” Both parts will involve significant engagement with the public and community groups, the plan says.

The plan says the “Could-Be” phase will produce a series of plans that include “reduced admissions, shortened length of stay, alternative placements, streamlined processing and improved facilities.”

A large part of the plan focuses on the prison’s medical services. The consultants’ approach: “Paradigm shift from custody and control to care and custody.”

A table in the contract signed by Allegheny County and CDI Architects.

Physical changes to the prison facility will be determined after planning services, population and other non-physical changes, the consultants wrote. Details on possible changes are few, apart from the fact that the decision on how to adapt or replace the new facility is one of the most important tasks before the company.

Advocates of people incarcerated at the ACJ have slammed the prison administration in recent years, citing a spate of deaths at the facility, reports of inadequate food and temperatures and a lack of time outside cells since the pandemic began. The Correctional Officers’ Union expressed no confidence in Warden Orlando Harper’s leadership, describing a toxic work environment and claiming understaffing put officers and inmates at risk.

CDI will hire a company called The People Group to host community meetings. There are no details in the contract about which groups may be invited or encouraged to participate, but the county’s RFP directed counselors to include the perspectives of those who were incarcerated in prison, family members of inmates, correctional officials, attorneys and organizations involved do this provide services in prison.

Long said she was concerned that the community engagement components “do not reflect the communities that tend to face incarceration.”

“It’s a problem that keeps coming up,” Long said. “There is never a definition of which communities are included. Will it be reflective? Will they be community leaders or local activists? Will it be people in positions of power or ordinary people?”

Corey O’Connor, the county controller and the newest member of the Jail Oversight Board, said once the county receives a final report from CDI, there should be solid public discussion about what comes next.

“This should be done in an open forum so that we can all consider where we can invest in criminal justice reform, whether it be capital investments or operational actions,” said O’Connor, who was appointed controller in July after the office was vacated became.

A flow chart in the CDI Architects work plan.

The district has done business with CDI Architects on a number of occasions in recent years, and its former parent company, LR Kimball, designed the prison in the 1990s. Both companies were bought by TranSystems in 2021.

The firm listed several prison and prison planning projects as references, including Franklin and Fayette Counties in Pennsylvania, the Delaware Department of Corrections, and Chatham County, Georgia.

It is not clear when the work will start, how long it will take, or how soon after that the recommendations will be implemented. Time estimates for each phase of the project suggest it could take anywhere from 315 to 420 days.

The imminent end of the Fitzgerald administration looms over the project. The long-serving district executive is on a temporary basis and will step down at the end of 2023, with his successor being elected in November of the same year. Based on the timeline outlined in the plan, the findings of the CDI consultation are unlikely to be implemented prior to his departure from office, and a new leader may interpret them differently or decide on a new direction.

Charlie Wolfson is PublicSource’s local government reporter and a member of the Report for America Corps. He can be reached at charlie@publicsource.org or on Twitter @chwolfson.

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Former State Court Victims Attorney Sentenced to 9 Years for Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material | USAO-CT https://apdaweb.org/former-state-court-victims-attorney-sentenced-to-9-years-for-distributing-child-sexual-abuse-material-usao-ct/ Tue, 02 Aug 2022 17:46:42 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/former-state-court-victims-attorney-sentenced-to-9-years-for-distributing-child-sexual-abuse-material-usao-ct/ Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge for the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that ROBERT ECCLESTON, 58, of Canton, was sentenced by the US District yesterday Hartford Judge Michael P. Shea was sentenced to 108 months in […]]]>

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge for the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that ROBERT ECCLESTON, 58, of Canton, was sentenced by the US District yesterday Hartford Judge Michael P. Shea was sentenced to 108 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for distributing images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children.

According to court documents and testimonies in court, undercover FBI agents at two different field offices outside of Connecticut monitored various public groups on the social media application Kik in 2020. During August and September 2020, Eccleston, using the Kik usernames “hartfordctguy” and “Mowgli100”, circulated numerous pornographic images and videos of children in these Kik groups, including images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of infant and pre-adolescent children. Eccleston also acted as the admin of two Kik groups and required potential members to send him child sexual abuse videos for group access.

Eccleston was arrested on December 11, 2020. At the time of the crime, he was employed as a victim services attorney in Hartford Superior Court in Hartford.

Eccleston has been detained since his arrest. On January 24, 2022, he pled guilty to one count of distributing child pornography.

As part of his sentence, Judge Shea Eccleston ordered a total of $25,000 to be paid to four victims of his crime, $35,000 to the Child Pornography Victims Reserve, $5,000 to the Domestic Trafficking Victims Fund and a $30,000 fine.

“This case is a stark reminder that child sexual exploitation occurs in all segments of our community,” said US Attorney Avery. “Based on the position that this defendant took while engaging in such reprehensible behavior, this case represents a tremendous breach of trust on multiple levels. We thank the FBI and our other law enforcement partners for investigating and eradicating these crimes wherever they go.” exist, and we further thank the dedicated professionals of the Connecticut State Judicial Branch’s Office of Victim Services for their support and continued service to victims throughout Connecticut.”

“This case sheds light on why we are using every available law enforcement tool to protect our most vulnerable population,” said FBI Special Agent Sundberg. “Sex crimes against children will always be a top priority for the FBI.”

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Avon Police Department. The case was prosecuted by US Assistant Attorney Angel M. Krull.

This law enforcement is part of the US Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which aims to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.

To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.

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OPINION: “Originalism” makes us Gaslighting | opinion https://apdaweb.org/opinion-originalism-makes-us-gaslighting-opinion/ Mon, 01 Aug 2022 00:45:00 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/opinion-originalism-makes-us-gaslighting-opinion/ The recent setting aside of the Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood by the Supreme Court has shattered the traditional notion of the nation’s highest court. SCOTUS was previously viewed by scholars and the public as the less political branch due to its fact judicial independence and tendencies towards consensus has now become […]]]>

The recent setting aside of the Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood by the Supreme Court has shattered the traditional notion of the nation’s highest court. SCOTUS was previously viewed by scholars and the public as the less political branch due to its fact judicial independence and tendencies towards consensus has now become another victim of the increasing polarization of the political elites. Even more farsighted in my thoughts, as well as my mate writerhowever, is the self-proclaimed “originalism” of a body of judges.

Originalism is a legal philosophy formed by Justice Scalia in response to perceived legal activism by SCOTUS. This philosophy states that when dealing with a constitutional question, one must refer to the law as originally intended. Consequently, judges draw heavily on the history and legal debate surrounding the law at the time of its writing. Of the nine members of the court, judges Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Alito and Barrett have all declared that they are originalists, and their voting results appear to support these claims.

At first glance, a philosophy that says we should just stick to the text of the Constitution, as intended, is not so far-fetched. But a closer look reveals the cracks in the theory.

Two recent decisions have illustrated these cracks. The first, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, shows a shocking lack of awareness of women’s legal history, even though its impact is felt most strongly by women. The second, New York State Rifle Association Inc. vs. Bruencompletely ignores the scholarly debate surrounding the Second Amendment and attempts to politicize the story.

In Dobbs, Judge Alito stated, “The right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the history and tradition of the nation.” In New York Rifle, Judge Thomas said something very similar about an individual’s right to own and bear a gun, saying : “The government must demonstrate that regulation is consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearms regulation.”

Alito claimed that “three-fourths of the states made abortion a crime at any stage of pregnancy” and “until the second half of the 20th century such a right.” [to abortion] was totally unknown in American law” in Dobbs. The problem with this claim is that until the mid-20th century, the notion of women as equal citizens was unknown in American law and society.

Property rights for single women did not arrive in some states until the early 19th century. Married women could not control their personal finances in many states until the late 19th century. Women did not retain the right to vote until 1920. For poor, uneducated and/or non-white women, this right is still challenged to this day. Of the many laws that suppress women’s right to bodily autonomy, this was notorious Comstock Laws of 1873, which banned all “obscene” material. This massively reduced access to things as small as romance novels to things as important as contraception.

How can Alito claim to have history on his side when the laws he mentions never had women’s approval? The laws to which he refers were written to actively suppress women’s political influence to an almost negligible level. They have no basis in modern science and actively oppose it XIV Amendments Equality clause – they should not be used to determine the constitutionality of abortion.

In case of New York Rifle versus Bruen, the court found historical evidence of an individual right to own guns and no history of regulation based on an example of the need for one. However, looking at the second amendment, the text shows no right to self-defense or the right to bear arms. As a matter of fact, Mr. William Blackstonea leading common law thinker, insisted that rights are “bipartite,” that guns inherently come with an obligation to use and own them properly.

The existence of a right therefore does not conflict with regulations for the protection of the general public. For some scholars, which means property is only within the confines of a trained militia. When examining the legal history of the United States, there are many places to look strict restrictions across the country on gun ownership.

Judge Thomas uses his originalism as an excuse to automatically block New York from enacting their gun laws, in part because he believed there was no history to support such a law. Thomas was right when he said the law was tremendously clear in its application, but his claim to have history on his side is fallacious and false. The story doesn’t take sides, it just tells what happened.

These judges are not “originalists”; they are would-be autocrats. Their form of originalism burdens history regardless of public opinion, modern science, legal philosophy, and political philosophy. She fervently seeks to collectively hold our nation back.

While it is important to consider the original purpose of the Constitution as the basis for the decision, it is absurd to look to our history for answers. Our history is muddy, covered in dark times as well as distinctly light ones. We have a history of subjugation, discrimination and bigotry. But we also have a history of resilience, courage and progress. SCOTUS decisions should never be based solely on American history, as that simply allows the court to single out history to fit into their agenda.

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Voters in Kansas decide whether state constitution protects abortion rights | news https://apdaweb.org/voters-in-kansas-decide-whether-state-constitution-protects-abortion-rights-news/ Sat, 30 Jul 2022 00:30:00 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/voters-in-kansas-decide-whether-state-constitution-protects-abortion-rights-news/ In one of the first state-level tests of abortion laws after the fall of Roe v. Wade, Kansas voters will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether their state constitution guarantees an abortion right. The voting measure is a constitutional amendment aimed at overturning a recent decision by the Kansas Supreme Court that ruled […]]]>

In one of the first state-level tests of abortion laws after the fall of Roe v. Wade, Kansas voters will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether their state constitution guarantees an abortion right.

The voting measure is a constitutional amendment aimed at overturning a recent decision by the Kansas Supreme Court that ruled in 2019 that abortion rights are constitutionally protected in the state. State law currently prohibits most abortions until the 22nd week of pregnancy when permitted only to save a patient’s life or to prevent “significant and irreversible physical impairment of an important bodily function.”

A “yes” to the measure would confirm that there is no such constitutionally protected right and it would return the issue of abortion regulation to the legislature. It could essentially allow lawmakers to push through a total abortion ban in the state after the US Supreme Court ruled in June in Roe v. Wade to overturn the 1973 case establishing a constitutional right to abortion.

A “no” to the measure would uphold the constitutionally protected right to an abortion and could prevent lawmakers from regulating the process.

The roots of Tuesday’s ballot measure date back to 2015, when the state legislature passed a ban on dilation and evacuation abortions. Two doctors who performed dilation and evacuation procedures filed a lawsuit, arguing the bill violates a patient’s right to an abortion because it prevents doctors from using the safest procedure for most second-trimester abortions, according to the Kansas Judicial Branch. The Kansas Attorney General argued that the Kansas Constitution does not provide for an abortion right.

The country’s highest court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in 2019. It concluded that Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights, which states that “(all) men possess equal and inalienable natural rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” protects a woman’s right, self to decide whether to continue a pregnancy, according to a statement by the Kansas Judicial Branch at the time.

“The Court looked at the historical record of the people’s ratification of Section 1 and concluded that the drafters and ratifiers of Section 1 should protect the right of every person to personal autonomy – and that right enables a woman to Making decisions about her body, health, family education and family life, including deciding whether to continue a pregnancy,” the Kansas Judicial Branch said in a press release at the time.

In response, the Republican-led Kansas Legislature voted in 2021 to put Tuesday’s constitutional amendment to a vote.

“Kansans don’t want an unregulated abortion industry,” said Sen. Molly Baumgardner, a Kansas City-area Republican who, according to the Associated Press, was leading other anti-abortion lawmakers in the debate at the time of the January 2021 vote.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said at the time that passing the constitutional amendment would result in a boycott of Kansas and discourage businesses from moving to the state, the AP reported. She also previously said the proposal would take the state “back to the Dark Ages.”

A simple majority of voters is required to pass the measure.

Abortion-related policies are also on the ballot this year in California, Vermont, Kentucky and Montana.

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Statement by Governor Newsom regarding the resignation of Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Cantil-Sakauye https://apdaweb.org/statement-by-governor-newsom-regarding-the-resignation-of-chief-justice-of-the-california-supreme-court-cantil-sakauye/ Thu, 28 Jul 2022 00:15:27 +0000 https://apdaweb.org/statement-by-governor-newsom-regarding-the-resignation-of-chief-justice-of-the-california-supreme-court-cantil-sakauye/ Released: July 27, 2022 SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom made the following statement today, following Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Tani cantil-Sakauye’s announcement that she will not seek re-election and will end her current term on January 1, 2023: “In her more than 10-year tenure as head of the California Department of Justice, […]]]>

Released:

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom made the following statement today, following Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Tani cantil-Sakauye’s announcement that she will not seek re-election and will end her current term on January 1, 2023: “In her more than 10-year tenure as head of the California Department of Justice, Chief Justice Tani cantil-Sakauye has led our state’s courts through times of great challenge and opportunity, championing important reforms to make our justice system fairer and more transparent, and to expand equal access to justice for all Californians. “Born and raised in Sacramento to farmhand parents, Chief Justice cantil-Sakauye learned early on the importance of knowing your rights and standing up to injustice. She served with distinction at all levels of the state courts before breaking barriers as the first person of color and second woman to serve as the state’s Chief Justice. “A fierce defender of access to justice, she fought against immigrant searches of courthouses targeting vulnerable victims and witnesses to crime. During the pandemic, their tireless efforts modernized operations and expanded access to service in California’s courts while maintaining jobs and safe personal access for those who need it. Chief Justice cantil-Sakauye has been a leading voice for bail reform, noting its disproportionate impact on low-income people and raising awareness of the unfair financial hardship imposed by fines and fees on those who cannot afford them. “From the aftermath of the Great Recession to a global pandemic, Chief Justice cantil-Sakauye has led with a deep commitment to the rule of law, California values ​​and the highest ideals of public service. On behalf of a grateful state, I thank Chief Justice Tani cantil-Sakauye for her nearly four decades of service to the people of California and wish her well in her next chapter.”

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