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Oregon criminal defendants allege violation of right to counsel – JURIST

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Four criminal defendants in Oregon on Monday filed a lawsuit against the state for violating their rights to counsel and a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment. Plaintiff’s allegation that a failing and underfunded public defense system has left them without an attorney for months. Jason D. Williamson, executive director of the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, stated in a press release: There is a public defense crisis sweeping this country…But Oregon is one of the few states that is now completely depriving people of their constitutional right to an attorney on a daily basis, leaving countless indigent defendants without access to an attorney for months. And while there may be many explanations for the current crisis in Oregon, putting defendants on a “waiting list” for an attorney is not the solution. Both the federal and state constitutions require much more. The plaintiffs’ claims are corroborated by a study by the American Bar Association (ABA), which found critical deficiencies in the funding and process of Oregon’s public defense system. The study found that a public defender would need to spend 6,632 hours a year, or 26.6 hours a day, with clients for the system to work. This lawsuit comes after a long battle to reform Oregon’s public defender system. In 2019, a group of public defenders went on strike due to low pay and lack of staff. Covid-19 has widened existing cracks within the system, leading to a letter written in April by Martha L. Walter, Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. The letter urged Governor Kate Brown, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Dan Rayfield to attend a summit of the three branches of the Oregon government to address the growing crisis. After the summit, lawmakers agreed to increase the budget for the public defender’s office, but change has been slow. The underfunding of Oregon’s public defender system comes during a significant increase in state tax revenue. Oregon also has a shortage of judges, which some have attributed to the state’s unwillingness to raise salaries. Oregon has the 36th lowest average judicial salary among the 50 states and all US territories.

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US Supreme Court Rejects Prison Clerk’s Qualified Immunity Case – JURIST

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On Thursday, the US Supreme Court declined to consider whether jail officials who “unreasonably respond” to “obvious risk” are protected by qualified immunity. Derek Monroe was placed on suicide watch while in a Texas jail by jail administrator Mary Jo Brixey. Monroe attempted suicide. Sheriff Leslie Cogdill reportedly spoke with Monroe and reflected concerns about Monroe’s mental health on his intake form. However, Cogdill and Jesse Laws, the jailer on duty, placed Monroe alone in a cell with a 30-inch rope. According to court documents, “prison policy, prison training, and common sense directed officers not to isolate an inmate known to be suicidal in a cell with an obvious potential ligation.” monroe The petition states that “[c]Requesting emergency assistance was a precaution Laws knew he should have taken. A trial court held that defendants Law, Cogdill and Brixey were not entitled to qualified immunity. However, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. Justice Sotomayor dissented from the court’s denial, calling Laws’ inaction an “inexplicable and unreasonable decision” that showed a “deliberate disregard for Monroe’s life or death.” -medical necessities of death.”

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Uzbekistan: Protests in autonomous republic over proposed constitutional reform – JURIST

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Protests erupted in Nukus, the capital of Uzbekistan’s autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan, on Friday over a proposed constitutional reform. According to a statement from the government of the region: Despite the policy of openness and free expression of will followed by the Republic of Uzbekistan, on July 1, 2022 in Nukus, a criminal group of people organized illegal actions expressed in an attempt to take over the state. administrative bodies of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. The demonstrators were protesting the planned removal of the section of the current constitution that allows Karakalpakstan the right to secede from Uzbekistan by referendum. This has caused outrage among the ethnic Karakalpak, who make up the majority of the population of Karakalpakstan. Karakalpaks from neighboring Kazakhstan held a round table discussion on the proposed change. One speaker, Rustem Matekov, stated that the day of the referendum on the new version of the constitution will be “the day of the funeral of the people of the Republic of Karakalpakstan”. However, the president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has challenged this view, saying: We, two peoples, have become one, we are blood relatives. Previously, the regions did not know the streets of Karakalpakstan or Nukus, but now we work as one people, the youth of Karakalpakstan achieve great results. […] I respect the Karakalpak people with all my heart and I can proudly say that I am a son not only of the Uzbeks, but also of the Karakalpak people. Removal is not the only proposal on the table. Other proposals include strengthening civil rights and extending the presidential term from five to seven years, which would allow Mirziyoyev to run again despite having served two consecutive terms.

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US Supreme Court overturns lower court injunctions on state abortion laws – JURIST

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On Thursday, the US Supreme Court struck down three orders issued by lower courts in Arizona, Indiana and Arkansas that had invalidated abortion at the state level based on Roe v. Wade. This follows the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe last Friday. The now-overturned Arizona ruling had stopped a state law criminalizing abortions performed on fetuses with non-lethal genetic abnormalities, of which Down syndrome is one. The injunction targeted relevant portions of four clauses of Senate Bill 1457, which makes it a felony for a physician to perform an abortion “knowing that the abortion is sought solely because of a genetic abnormality of the child.” The law also requires the doctor to sign an affidavit stating that the abortion is not performed for this reason and to inform the patient of the illegality of abortions due to genetic abnormalities. Finally, it requires doctors to inform the State when a genetic abnormality has been detected. This law was challenged in Brnovich v. Isaacson in 2021, and the injunction was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Arkansas’s 2019 ruling in Little Rock Planning Services v. Rutledge passed three laws that prohibited abortion in various circumstances. Arkansas Code, Title 20, Chapter 26, Law 493 prohibits abortions after 18 weeks of gestation, with exceptions for medical emergencies and pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Law 619 prohibits all abortions solely on the basis of having a reason to believe that the fetus has Down syndrome, with the same exceptions. Law 700 requires that the person performing an abortion be a doctor licensed in obstetrics and gynecology. The federal court order of these laws was upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Indiana, a 2017 ruling in the case of Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky had mandated a law that prohibited abortions before 20 weeks in several cases. . The law, Indiana Code Chapter 16-34-4, prohibits abortions before 20 weeks if the abortion was for demographic, sexual, or fetal disability reasons. Specifically, abortion is prohibited if sought because of the possibility of a genetically inherited disease, defect, or disorder, whether or not it has been screened for or any risk is present. This includes, but is not limited to, Down syndrome and any mental, physical and intellectual disabilities. Abortions related to the sex of the fetus, or its race, color, national origin, or ancestry, are also prohibited. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the injunction. The three laws imposed by the precautionary measures will take effect immediately. These cases will be sent back to the lower court for further proceedings.

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