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The Ethics of a Sanctuary Courthouse

In light of the recent aggressive federal enforcement of immigration law, some legal and judicial leaders in the states have asserted courts as “safe harbors” for immigrants. The Maryland attorney general asserted in a letter to federal authorities in March of this year that he did not want the most vulnerable immigrants to be discouraged from seeking judicial protection and medical care. By declaring courts and hospitals “safe locations,” the attorney general’s letter reassures members of this vulnerable population that they can continue to use these services without fear.

Juror Questioning during Criminal Trials Common in Arizona

The lawyer’s were done asking the questions, and it was the jury’s turn. Steven Jones sat nervously in the witness box Friday morning as his trial on murder and assault charges raced toward a close with jurors posing their own queries to him. Sometimes jury questions can show which way a jury is leaning. Friday morning’s questions showed mostly that jurors had been paying attention. And they offered insights into areas where the lawyers didn’t go. Jones’ extensive gun training, for example, and his knowledge of first aid.

New website offers resources for high-profile trials

A high-profile case can land in your court with little or no warning. If unprepared, such cases can create chaos, absorb resources, and place your court at the center of an intense media spotlight. Judges and court professionals now have instant online access to the tools necessary to plan and manage high-profile cases in their courts. The new Managing High-Profile Cases for the 21st Century website is a joint project of the National Center for State Courts, the Conference of Court Public Information Officers, and the National Judicial College. The project was made possible through a State Justice Institute grant.