New Phoenix Police Immigration Procedures Adopted

The Phoenix Police Department recently revised its procedures related to immigration, including restrictions on when Phoenix officers may ask about immigration status and contact ICE. The changes prohibit officers from:

  • Asking about immigration status or contacting ICE while on school grounds
  • Asking individuals during consensual encounters about their immigration status
  • Asking victims or witnesses of crimes about their immigration status
  • Asking passengers to provide ID in order to verify immigration status
  • Extending a traffic stop to verify immigration status beyond the time necessary to resolve the original purpose of the stop (such as issuing a speeding ticket)

Jeri Williams, the Phoenix Police Chief issued this statement together with the new policy:

"The Phoenix Police Department respects the dignity of all persons and recognizes the sanctity of human life, rights and liberty. We are committed to protecting and serving every member of our diverse community and ensuring that crime victims and witnesses feel comfortable and confident when reporting crimes to our officers. As your chief, I commit to you that racial profiling will not be tolerated.  We will continue to ensure everyone's safety by continuing our crime suppression efforts and focusing on crimes that most affect our local community. As always, we will be guided by state law which dictates our responsibilities when dealing with arrested people."

New Phoenix Police Procedures on Immigration

Redlined version of the proposed changes to Phoenix Police Procedures on Immigration (Note: this version was not adopted in full, but it is useful in seeing what portions of the former procedures were changed or stricken entirely)




Bond Reform in Arizona: A Step in the Right Direction

Did you know? In the U.S., the pre-trial population (citizens who are presumed to be innocent by law) makes up 99 percent of the jail population growth over the past 15 years.

Last year, Arizona Chief Justice Bales commissioned a task force called the Task Force for Fair Justice for All to study and investigate, amongst other related issues, the effects of pretrial incarceration. The Task Force's report concluded that pretrial incarceration is correlated with a higher likelihood to reoffend due to its negative effects, like loss of a job and eviction. The Task Force recommended that "pre-trial detention should be avoided to the extent possible.”

As a result, Arizona implemented new rules in April reflecting the nationwide trend towards bond (bail) reform. The Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure now include this language: "All persons charged with a crime but not yet convicted are presumed to be innocent." 

The new rules are designed to encourage judges to consider the potential negative effects to the individual, their families, and the community before setting bond or other release conditions pending trial.

There's still a long way to go, especially in addressing in-custody treatment for the mentally ill and those who are addicted to substances, but it's a step in the right direction that I hope continues.

Can words alone kill?

A Massachusetts judge thinks so. Last week. Judge Lawrence Moniz convicted Michelle Carter of manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself over the phone. 

Matthew Segal of the Massachusset ACLU stated of the conviction: “This conviction exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the Massachusetts and US Constitutions.” If upheld on appeal, the verdict could chill “important and worthwhile end-of-life discussions between loved [ones] across the Commonwealth.” 

Read about the case and the reaction from legal scholars about the constitutional issues the verdict presents. 

Tentative Agreement on Death Penalty Procedures in Arizona

A tentative settlement has been reached between the state and a group of prisoners who sued over how executions are conducted. That’s according to lawyers representing the prisoners. The settlement would cement new execution rules published by the Department of Corrections in May.

Some of the biggest changes to the new protocol are ending the use of a paralytic drug that some say masks pain, as well as preventing the Corrections Director from closing the curtain to the death chamber if something goes wrong.

Additionally, it gets rid of the controversial provision that allows inmates to provide their own execution drugs.

Judge Posner gets frisky

Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion, which struck down certification of a class of consumers seeking to sue companies in the business of selling eye drops. The class is annoyed that these companies recommended "large" size eye drops, when the smaller cheaper sizes would work just as well.

  His reasoning? Pretty amusing:

“Suppose the class members all happened to own pedigreed cats and the breeders who had sold the cats to the class members had told them that as responsible cat owners they would have to feed the cats kibbles during the day and Fancy Feast at night and buy a fountain for each cat because cats prefer to drink out of a fountain (where gravity works for them) rather than out of a bowl (where gravity works against them) and they don’t like to share a fountain with another cat.

Then suppose the cat food got expensive, and the fountains didn’t work.

The cat owners became dissatisfied. Yet would anyone think they could successfully sue the breeders? For what? The breeders had made no misrepresentations. It’s the same here."