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Americans are divided by age and race on the fairness of the justice system, ABA civics survey finds

A new survey released by the ABA on Thursday, April 29, 2021 found stark divisions based on age and race when it comes to believing that there are racial biases built into the rules, procedures and practices of the justice system. While 45% of white respondents said they agree or strongly agree with that statement, 80% of Black respondents and 63% of Hispanic respondents agreed or strongly agreed. Additionally, the ABA 2021 Survey of Civic Literacy discovered that more than two-thirds of Americans ages 18-34 believe racial biases exist in the justice system, but only about one-third of Americans age 65 and older do.

Superior Court in Orange County California Safely Conducted 170 Jury Trials during COVID

When U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney dismissed charges against defendants in the Central District of California for the failure of the court to provide speedy trials, he cited the success of the Orange County Superior Court in conducting trials during the pandemic. Orange County courts have conducted over 100 jury trials from the start of the pandemic, which Carney says demonstrates why trials could be held in the Central District. These rulings were appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which questioned whether the numerous trials conducted by the Orange County court were safely conducted. I can say that they were indeed conducted safely.

New educational resource for courts on implicit bias

A new NCSC report, The Evolving Science of Implicit Bias: An Updated Resource for the State Court Community, is now available at the NCSC website. The report defines commonly used terms originating from the science of implicit bias; explains how the concept of implicit bias fits into broader conversations underway across the country about equity and fairness; and summarizes what is currently known from research in the psychological and brain sciences, including implicit bias interventions generally found to be effective and ineffective.

WEBINAR: Transitioning the Workforce Back to the Office

On April 22, 2021, the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers presented a webinar about tackling the legal and ethical issues facing court leaders as we transition the workforce back to the office. PRESENTERS Dr. Brenda Wagenknecht-Ivey, CEO, PRAXIS Consulting, Inc. (Denver) Dana Bartocci, Director, Human Resources & Development, Minnesota Judicial Branch…

Tracking structural racism in the North

As a teen in the 1960s, Penny Petersen saw on the news protesters for civil rights being attacked by police dogs or knocked down by fire hoses in the South. These violently racist reactions against Black people requesting their rights seemed very unfair — and quite distant from her Twin Cities life. Many years later, however, she would help reveal a hidden racism close to home.

WEBINAR: Leading Innovation While Combating Exhaustion

On March 18, 2021, the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers presented a webinar about leading innovation while combating exhaustion. This complimentary 75-minute webinar included the following topics: Closing the “Digital Divide” Designing the “New Future of Work” MODERATOR Dr. Brenda Wagenknecht-Ivey, CEO, PRAXIS Consulting, Inc. (Denver) PANELISTS Hon. Timothy Kenny, Chief…

Arizona courts launch task force to look into no-knock warrants

No-knock warrants allow law enforcement officers to enter a location without knocking and announcing their presence. Virginia banned no-knock warrants in December, making it the third state to do so. Oregon and Florida already ban the type of warrant. According to a report by The Associated Press, Breonna Taylor’s family praised Virginia’s move and stated they hope others would “get on board.” The new task force for the Arizona Supreme Court will provide recommendations to ensure there are safeguards in place and address the training of judicial officers. Recommendations could also include proposed amendments to Arizona court rules and statutes.