By: Dylan Reynolds Amid the flagrant calls for police reform spurred by the 2020 murder of George Floyd (among countless others) is a renewed effort by both advocates and lawmakers to require that police officers wear body cameras. Body cameras are seen as essential to police reform, transparency, and increasing officer accountability. However, it turns … Continue reading Increasing Police Accountability: Body Worn v. Smartphone Cameras
By: Travis Henderson Plea bargaining lies ingrained in the American justice system. Yet, even with plea bargaining’s long history and pervasive use, it is continually criticized. Questions of whether plea bargaining should be banned or limited are ever-present. This post will illuminate some of the supports for and criticisms of plea bargaining, bringing recognition to … Continue reading The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Plea Bargaining
By: Ben Smart America has a well documented problem of racial disparity in criminal justice. The criminal justice system has racist roots. The discretion of judges, prosecutors, and even jurors, is racist (whether intentional or not). This makes perfect sense. Humans are flawed beings, incapable of objectivity. I doubt most people in America today are … Continue reading Discretion cannot be replaced. It must be improved.
By: Lisa Rode Ian Adams, the executive director of the Utah State Fraternal Order of Police, recently observed that “years of defunding community resources to treat mental illness has made society over-reliant on police.” Both the dearth of services and the over-reliance on law enforcement disproportionately burden people with mental illness. The evidence is disturbing. … Continue reading Reducing Law Enforcement Encounters with People with Mental Illness
By: Sarah Fisher In late 2021, the State of Arizona became the first in the nation to eliminate peremptory challenges. In an August order, the state supreme court released a modified version of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. Section 18.5(f) now stipulates that a “party challenging a juror for cause” must establish “by a … Continue reading Striking the Peremptory Challenge: A New Era for Arizona’s Indigent Criminal Defendants