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Improving Felony Caseflow

The National Center for State Courts, in collaboration with the judges and staff of the Superior Court in Maricopa County (Phoenix) and NAPCO will present a 2.5-day workshop December 3-5, 2018, focused on hands-on, evidence-based methods to improve felony case processing and reduce needless delay. The seminar is the first time NAPCO has co-sponsored a separate educational program outside its annual conference.

Judging the Judges [in Latin America]

One morning this year, in a windowless modern courtroom, Jorge Alberto Rodriguez faced justice. He was accused of driving a stolen car with changed number plates. The judge began by explaining his rights to him. His lawyer then tried to trip up the policemen whom the prosecution had produced as witnesses. To no avail: after an adjournment to allow a missing defense witness to appear via video link, the judge found Mr. Rodriguez guilty. That seemed to square with the evidence.

There is no constitutional right to cash money bail, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court rules in NJ case

A federal appeals court on Monday, July 9, 2018, upheld the constitutionality of a New Jersey law that mostly ended the use of monetary bail in that state. The Philadelphia-based Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in a challenge by Brittan Holland, who was accused of second-degree aggravated assault for his alleged involvement in a bar fight. The New Jersey law had prioritized nonmonetary conditions of release over money bail and had called for a risk-based assessment system to determine whether a defendant is a flight risk or a danger to the community. Holland was released before trial on home detention with electronic monitoring.

AJA Statement on Separating Immigrant Children from their Families at the U.S. Border

The American Judges Association (AJA) joins our colleagues in the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) in deploring the recent policy decision to separate children of all ages from their parents at the U.S. border, without any due process of law. We are heartened to read news reports that the worldwide and bipartisan U.S. condemnation of this practice has now produced an executive order that ends outright separation, by requiring “detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.”