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State officials have agreed not to pursue anyone from book sellers to Internet posters under a new “revenge porn” law, at least not for the time being.
PHOENIX -- Arizonans may get a chance to see who provided Gov. Jan Brewer some of the information for her book and what they told her.
PHOENIX -- Hundreds of immigrants in this country illegally who are locked away on state charges will now be entitled to seek bail -- at least in Maricopa County if not elsewhere in Arizona.
Hundreds of immigrants in this country illegally who are locked away on state charges will now be entitled to seek bail — at least in Maricopa County if not elsewhere in Arizona.
PHOENIX -- Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union want the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the fight over whether Arizona can deny bail to people in this country illegally, at least for the time being.
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union want the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the fight over whether Arizona can deny bail to people in this country illegally, at least for the time being.
PHOENIX -- Immigrants in this country illegally awaiting trial on criminal charges won't be getting out of jail, at least not yet.
State Health Director Will Humble said Tuesday he's not going to automatically quarantine health workers returning to Arizona from West Africa despite widespread public support for the move.
A federal appeals court rejected a last-ditch plea by an Arizona prosecutor to salvage Proposition 100, potentially paving the way for dozens of people locked up while awaiting trial to now seek bail.
Citing concerns it broke state law — and despite insistence from its superintendent to the contrary — the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board voted to redact pages from its textbooks tied to abortion and reproduction.
PHOENIX -- A federal appeals court rejected a last-ditch plea by an Arizona prosecutor to salvage Proposition 100, potentially paving the way for dozens of people locked up while awaiting trial to now seek bail.
PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery wants a federal appeals court to give him what legal foes call a "do-over'' of his bid to salvage a state law denying bail to many people not in this country legally.
Montgomery conceded in filings with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a prior county attorney did not present evidence showing that undocumented individuals were less likely to show up for court dates than citizens or legal residents. The appellate judges, citing that lack of evidence, ruled last week that lack of facts, coupled with disparate treatment of those without documents, make the 2006 voter-approved Proposition 100 illegal and unenforceable anywhere in Arizona.
But Montgomery, in his latest plea, said that was because the challengers to the law effectively admitted that to be true. So he said there was no need to present any statistical evidence.
Cecillia Wang, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said that's not true. She said Montgomery is now seeking a "do-over'' for flaws in the way his office handled the case in the first place.
"They had every opportunity to show that Proposition 100 was supported by some indication there was a flight risk issue here,'' she said. "And they didn't do it,'' Wang continued. "You know why? Because those numbers don't exist.''
Montgomery said he does have such data, even though former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, who was in office when the law was challenged, chose not to present it. And he said the appellate court should give him a chance to make the case now.
"The story is not, 'I want a do-over, Andy Thomas screwed up,' ''Montgomery said. He said it's a question of "simple fairness.''
He said if the appellate court is relying on a lack of evidence to support Proposition 100 they should direct there be a court hearing to explore that issue before voiding a voter-approved state constitutional amendment.
This is more than a question of what happens going forward.
Montgomery said there are "a couple of hundred'' people now in his own county jails awaiting trial who were denied bail because of Proposition 100. He said if the ruling is not overturned, that will allow each of those people to demand a hearing to determine if they should be released -- a process that would be repeated in each of the other 14 counties -- which will cause a backup in handling other cases.
He also told the appellate judges if do not want to give him another chance to make his case, they should at least delay implementing their ruling to let him seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The measure makes bail unavailable to those charged with "serious felony offenses'' if they are in this country illegally and if "the proof is evident or the presumption great'' that the person is guilty of the offense charged.
Proponents said that anyone who has crossed the border illegally probably has few ties to this country, making them a greater flight risk.
Voters approved the measure on a 3-1 ratio.
But appellate Judge Raymond Fisher, writing for the majority of the 11-member court, said there is a constitutional presumptive right of those arrested to be released on bail.
Fisher acknowledged that Arizona has a "compelling interest'' in ensuring that those accused of crimes show up for trial. But he said a blanket rule that those in the country illegally accused of certain crimes must be held without bond is not justified.
"The record contains no findings, studies, statistics or other evidence ... showing that undocumented immigrants as a group pose either an unmanageable flight risk or a significantly greater flight risk than lawful residents,'' Fisher wrote.
It is that evidence that Montgomery now contends he can marshal. But it may not matter.
Fisher said he and his colleagues are not saying it is up to the Montgomery to produce such evidence. But he said the absence of such evidence is a key factor in showing that Proposition 100 was not narrowly crafted to address a specific problem.
Fisher suggested there is, in fact, evidence to the contrary.
He pointed out there were undocumented individuals who had been arrested before Proposition 100 was approved who had been released without bail or after posting bond. He said they still showed up in court -- only to then be "needlessly remanded into state custody'' after the ballot measure took effect.
Montgomery has another hurdle to overcome: the breadth of the measure.
Fisher pointed out that Proposition 100 applies not just to those accused of serious offenses but "also relatively minor ones,'' like altering a lottery ticket with intent to defraud, unlawful copying of a sound recording, or theft of property worth between $3,000 and $4,000.
What Thomas did or did not do plays into this case in another way.
Appellate Judge Richard Tallman, dissenting from the majority ruling, said there was evidence of a sort presented: statements made by Thomas in favor of the measure during the 2006 campaign. Thomas argued that "far too many illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes have jumped bail and slipped across the border in order to avoid justice in an Arizona courtroom.''
But Fisher said that statement is not substantiated with any real data.
And he said "is not a credible source,'' having been disbarred two years ago on charges he used his office to "destroy political enemies'' and for filing unfounded criminal charges.
Follow Howard Fischer on Twitter at @azcapmedia.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery wants a federal appeals court to give him what legal foes call a “do-over” of his bid to salvage a state law denying bail to many people not in this country legally.
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office says a court-appointed official's critique of the agency's investigation into alleged wrongdoing by some of its officers contains mischaracterizations.
Arpaio's lawyers say in court papers Tuesday that the report alleges investigators failed to act on information provided to them while they examined shakedown allegations against a former deputy. It also says supervisors of the deputy, whose arrest led to the investigations, didn't take appropriate action against him.
The report has not been released to the public.
The lawyers say the document unfairly suggested the sheriff's department wasn't investigating allegations in good faith, and that the criticism centers on the fact that no criminal charges have been filed against officers.
"Such a conclusion, especially given the genesis of this particular investigation, presumes the guilt of MCSO deputies," the attorneys wrote.
The critique was made by Robert Warshaw, who was appointed to monitor the agency by a judge who ruled Arpaio's officers have racially profiled Latinos in its patrols.
The judge asked Warshaw to investigate allegations against a witness in the profiling case, now-deceased deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz. Eighteen months after the profiling trial, Armendariz was accused of shaking down immigrants who are in the country illegally.
Armendariz was arrested five months ago after investigators found driver's licenses, wallets belonging to other people, bags of evidence and more than 100 license plates at his Phoenix home.
Another discovery at Armendariz's home involved an estimated 900 hours of videos taken from cameras mounted on his eyeglasses and dashboard that were supposed to be turned over in the profiling case.
Armendariz told investigators he was innocent, and he implicated former colleagues on Arpaio's immigrant smuggling squad. After his arrest, Armendariz resigned and was later found dead in his home in a suicide by hanging, officials say.
Warshaw's report on the investigation into Armendariz's allegations hasn't been publicly released.
The sheriff's office has repeatedly denied requests by The Associated Press for updates on the investigations, and investigative reports and related documents sought through public records requests haven't been released.
The attorneys who pressed the racial profiling case against Arpaio's office filed a response to Warshaw's report, but that filing is under a court seal. The American Civil Liberties Union, the driving force behind the profiling case, declined to comment on the filing by Arpaio's lawyers.
The sheriff's office says in its latest filing that nearly 9,000 videos taken by officers during the course of their work have been collected in the investigation. It says the videos have generated 39 internal investigations.
Arpaio's lawyers said Warshaw's criticism underscores the monitor's misunderstanding about the distinction between investigations that examine criminal allegations and those that focus on policy violations.
The sheriff's office also said the monitor alleged that Armendariz's supervisors failed to take administrative action against him. Arpaio's lawyers said it already has an administrative investigation into the matter.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ordered that a copy of Warshaw's report be sent to county and federal prosecutors. He set a Tuesday hearing to discuss the critique.
Arpaio's attorneys have asked the judge to close discussions of the Armendariz investigations, while opposing lawyers said they should be open to the public.
Saying Tucson has been “uncooperative and evasive,” the American Civil Liberties Union wants a judge to immediately order it to turn over documents about use of a device by the police department that allows it to track cell phone users without their knowledge.
Attorneys for the state are asking a federal judge to throw out a challenge to the state's new “revenge porn” law.
PHOENIX -- Saying Tucson has been "uncooperative and evasive,'' the American Civil Liberties Union wants a judge to immediately order it to turn over documents about use of a device by the Police Department that allows it to track cell phone users without their knowledge.
In legal filings in Pima County Superior Court, attorney Dan Pochoda pointed out to Judge Douglas Metcalf that he had ordered city to provide the ACLU with a list of each document it believes it does not have to disclose "with enough information to make it identifiable.'' Metcalf also directed the city to explain why it is being withheld.
What the ACLU got, Pochoda said, was a list of documents the city already said it had given to Metcalf for him to review in chambers along with "vague, speculative, and conclusory rationales for withholding the requested items.''
Pochoda said the request, submitted by investigative reporter Beau Hodai, was very specific about wanting data about the purchase and use of device, sold by Harris Co. originally as the StingRay and later as Hailstorm, along with what appears to be a new non-disclosure agreement between the Tucson Police Department and the FBI about what it would and would not make public.
"Defendant simply chose not to address this request in its submission (to the court) and failed to submit any factual or legal reason to the court why the requested records should not be provided,'' Pochoda wrote.
He said the Police Department "simply ignores'' a subsequent request for information on requests for search warrants to use the equipment.
If nothing else, Pochoda said Arizona case law states if a document falls within the scope of the public record statute, then there is a "presumption favoring disclosure.'' He said that means Tucson must "prove specifically how the best interest of the state outweighs the public right to disclosure,'' something he said the city did not do.
"A purported speculative interest does not outweigh the presumption favoring disclosure,'' Pochoda wrote.
There was no immediate response from the city.
At issue is equipment the Police Department admits it bought in 2011 and has used at least five times.
The device tricks cell phones into believing it is just another cell phone tower operated by the owner's carrier. That causes the phone to report its individual identifying information and essentially allow police to use the mobile device to find its location.
Hodai, an investigative reporter, made three separate requests for the information. The case wound up in court, with Hodai represented by the ACLU, when the department failed to produce all the documents. On Aug. 18, Metcalf said the way to resolve this is for Tucson to produce a list of what it won't produce and why.
But Pochoda said what the city produced last month does not comply with the judge's order. So now he wants Metcalf to produce the records themselves.
In his own filing at the time, City Attorney Michael Rankin told the judge he believes the items not produced are exempt from Arizona's public records laws.
There is a catch-all category dealing with what is in the "best interests of the state.'' And in this case, Rankin argued, releasing the information would "compromise sensitive law enforcement techniques and national security interests by making the technology available to criminals.''
Rankin said the city also does not want to release "equipment worksheet'' and PowerPoint presentation to familiarize those working with the equipment with how it operates, arguing it would "compromise the effectiveness and use of this technology by both local and federal law enforcement agencies.''
In his filing with the court, Pochoda said Tucson does not dispute that records pertaining to the Counter Narcotics Alliance, of which the Police Department is a member, are public. The same is true, he said, of any communications between the department and the FBI.
"Defendant misleads the court concerning the scope of plaintiff's requests and ignores the applicable law concerning the duty to release public records,'' Pochoda told Metcalf.
Pochoda said the city's argument about the narcotics alliance records is that producing them would "easily produce thousands of pages of materials that is in no way related to the use of Harris technology.'' But he said that does not mean the records do not have to be poroduced.
"Public officials do not have the right to ignore or limit the scope of a record request based on their belief the request is too broad,'' Pochoda wrote.
Similarly, he said the city is somehow suggesting that the request for communications between the Police Department and the FBI also is overly broad. But Pochoda said the request covers less than a 12-month period.
"Despite defendant's claims that there could be 'tens of thousands of documents' responsive to plaintiff's request, defendant failed to provide plaintiff with a single responsive record,'' Pochoda argued.
Facing a lawsuit they appeared to be losing, state prison officials have agreed to improve health care for the more than 34,000 inmates in their custody.
PHOENIX -- Facing a lawsuit they appeared to be losing, state prison officials have agreed to improve health care for the more than 34,000 inmates in their custody.
The stipulation filed Tuesday in federal court here requires the Department of Corrections to live up to more than 80 specific performance standards for how it handles medical issues. These range from staffing requirements and emergency response times to ensuring that inmates get their medications in a timely fashion.
Potentially more significant for those affected, the stipulation also requires the state to revamp its rules on solitary confinement of inmates -- the department calls it "isolation'' -- with serious mental illness.
Where current regulations keep those prisoners in their cells all but six hours a week, they will now have at least 19 hours a week elsewhere. And that time also must include mental health treatment and other programs.
And the Department has also agreed to use chemical agents like pepper spray on inmates classified as seriously mentally ill "only in case of imminent threat.''
That is defined as situations that jeopardize safety or security like an attempt to escape or active physical resistance. But it specifically precludes pepper spray for things like "passive resistance to placement in restraints or refusal to follow orders.''
Don Specter, an attorney with the Prison Law Office, said this deal, which must be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa, is more than just his organization and the American Civil Liberties Union accepting on faith that things will get better.
"We will be able to tour the prisons to check ourselves to see whether they're providing adequate care,'' he said. "And we will also get a lot of documentation.''
The deal comes four months after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead for the case, alleging inadequate health care, to be handled as a class-action lawsuit.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing for the appellate court, said the attorneys for the inmates provided detailed allegations of everything from "outright denials of health care'' to improper isolation policies. And they also had information on how spending on certain services dropped by more than a third over a two-year period even as inmate population did not.
But Reinhardt, in refusing to require each inmate to prove his or her rights were violated, said the claims alleged "systemic failures'' in the prison's health care system "that expose all inmates to a substantial risk of serious harm.'' And if that is the case, Reinhardt said that would require a wholesale revamp of the agency's policies -- and not simply correcting the problems of the 13 inmates who filed the original 2012 lawsuit.
That paved the way for a trial to begin Monday.
No one from the Department of Corrections would agree to be interviewed about the decision to settle after two years of disputing the allegations. Instead, the agency issued a prepared statement from Director Charles Ryan calling the deal "positive news'' for his agency -- and essentially claiming victory.
"On the eve of trial, the plaintiffs in this case have essentially agreed that the department's current policies and practices, along with recent enhancements to programming opportunities, adequately addresses the plaintiffs' concerns relating to constitutional healthcare and conditions of confinement for maximum custody mentally ill inmates,'' the statement read.
But agency spokesman Doug Nick refused to detail what changes the department has made since the lawsuit was filed and why, if there were no problems, it took two years to settle.
The department's statement, however, suggests that money was a consideration in opting not to go to trial where a judge might have ordered some more extensive -- and expensive -- changes in inmate health care.
It says that California is spending nearly $18,000 per inmate for health care following two decades of litigation brought by the same organizations who are representing inmates here. "By contrast, Arizona spends nearly $3,800 per inmate in health care costs,'' the statement says.
The allegations made -- ones that Nick will not address -- were serious.
They include "lengthy and dangerous delays'' and "outright denials of health care,'' failure to provide necessary medication, a practice of "`employing insufficient health care staff,'' substandard dental care and denial of basic mental health care to suicidal and self-harming prisoners. The lawsuit also said that inmates in isolation units were denied adequate recreation and nutrition, constant cell illumination and inadequate mental health care staffing and treatment.
To prove their case, the inmates presented evidence of the agency's policies, internal communications and reports from four experts in prison medical care and conditions of confinement. And they provided specific incidents.
One involves an inmate who collapsed in his cell from a heart attack but where the lawsuit says officers told prisoners who asked for help to "wait and see what happens.'' While the inmate was taken, eventually, to the medical unit, he was told he had a medical appointment in a few days.
But the inmate, according to the lawsuit, had another heart attack the next day and died.
The legal papers also cite a prisoner, four months pregnant who experienced painful contractions and spotting blood. But a staffer at the medical unit told her it was nothing serious and "all in her head,'' refusing to allow her to see someone for evaluation.
She eventually miscarried.
Arizona State University officials say the school plans to return the M-16 assault rifles it acquired under a government surplus weapons program.
New water conservation initiatives enacted by Tempe’s city council earlier this month will reduce water use by an estimated 780 million gallons of water per year by 2020, although it will inevitably raise the price of the water for residents and businesses.
Arizona booksellers and others are asking a federal judge to void a new law aimed at “revenge porn” because it also could land them in prison.
Attorneys for the state are warning a federal judge that fewer “straight” couples will marry and existing marriages will become less stable if he allows gays to wed.
The chief attorney for the city of Tucson is telling a judge that national security could be compromised if it is forced to disclose some documents about how it uses equipment it has purchased to track cell phone users.
A judge has ordered the city of Tucson to provide a list of documents it refuses to make public on its possession and use of a controversial device that allows police to track cell phone users.