ABA Journal

State Government

406 ABA Journal State Government articles.

Police officers illegally use information from arrests that have been sealed, lawsuit says

When a man named J.J. was arrested in the Bronx in 2016, the public defenders assigned to represent him assumed he’d get a good plea deal. After all, it appeared to be a low-level case. J.J. had been a passenger in his friend’s car when police had pulled them over for allegedly failing to signal a turn; the officers then searched the vehicle and found an unlicensed gun inside.

ACLU sues state police, alleging they’re acting as immigration authorities

Pennsylvania State Police troopers have routinely violated the law by stopping and holding people based solely on their Latino appearance, terrifying drivers and passengers while usurping federal authority to investigate supposed immigration violations, the ACLU claims in a federal lawsuit filed recently.

Criminal cases that involved lawyers’ spitting and shoving match are resolved

Two cases brought by a personal injury lawyer and the father of another attorney after they got into a spitting and shoving match are no longer sitting in criminal court…

Lawyer charged after smuggling binders of drugs to client in prison

A Baltimore lawyer has been arrested and charged with smuggling drugs to a client in a Maryland prison.

Steven Thurman Mitchell brought two binders to his client, Mandel Brown, during…

Ongoing lawsuits delay start date for health care ‘conscience rights’ rule

A new federal rule that will allow health care workers to refuse to provide medical care based on religious or moral grounds will go into effect in November instead of…

This state is set to expunge nearly 800,000 marijuana convictions in 2020

Illinois residents will automatically receive clemency for convictions of up to 30 grams of cannabis after a new state law goes into effect in 2020.

The Cannabis Regulation &…

AG Barr announces funding, future plans to address public safety crisis in rural Alaska

A month after U.S. Attorney General William Barr visited Alaska to investigate the high rates of sexual assault and family violence and low police presence in rural communities, he has declared a law enforcement emergency in the state.

Supreme Court strikes down residency requirement for Tennessee liquor retailers

A residency requirement for liquor retailers in Tennessee violates the commerce clause, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a 7-2 opinion.

At issue was a two-year residency requirement for…

New York legislature OKs ban on gay and trans ‘panic defenses’

New York is poised to join the increasing number of states that are banning gay and trans “panic defenses” in murder cases. As the ABA Journal reported in January, legislatures have increasingly considered this type of ban.

Liberating criminal justice data: How a Florida law provides a blueprint for the nation

In a self-imposed Sisyphean task, the team at Measures for Justice travels the U.S. unearthing, collecting and publishing criminal justice data. Today, Christian Gossett, district attorney for Winnebago County, Wisconsin, says more people are being released quicker pretrial, and he’s working with researchers to improve equity in diversion, thanks to the initial data made available by Measures for Justice.

Texas governor signs bill banning shutdowns of kids’ lemonade stands

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill Monday to allow children to operate lemonade stands without interference.

The new law bans cities, counties and public health officials from blocking…

Alabama governor signs chemical castration law; it’s not the first state to authorize it

On Monday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed into law a bill that requires sex offenders whose victims were younger than age 13 to receive chemical castration as a condition of parole.

More families of murder victims will qualify for financial assistance; report helped fuel state’s legislation

Victims of crime encounter many unanticipated costs, such as funeral expenses, lost wages and hospital bills. Every state maintains a fund to help ease that burden, but under a long-standing rule in Louisiana, victims with a felony record were excluded.

ABA supports use of traditional insanity defense in death-row inmate’s petition

In an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, the ABA said it supports Kansas death-row inmate James Kraig Kahler’s petition to reverse the Kansas Supreme Court…

Florist can’t refuse to provide flowers for same-sex wedding, state supreme court rules again

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled again against a Christian florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding on the grounds that it would violate her religion.

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