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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 03-23-20)

Ohio jail releases hundreds of inmates due to concern of coronavirus spread. "The Cuyahoga County Court in Ohio released hundreds of inmates from the Cuyahoga County Jail Saturday morning due to coronavirus concerns, according to WJW.")

Defense attorneys are essential personnel: New coronavirus restrictions fail to protect lawyers who serve the accused. "Friday, through Executive Order 202.6, Gov. Cuomo ordered that any business not designated 'essential' close its doors until further notice. Yet while designating law enforcement as 'essential,' Cuomo didn’t designate criminal defense firms such as mine the same way. In fact, his executive order is devoid of the words 'attorney' or 'lawyer.' By not designating criminal defense lawyers as 'essential,' the governor is gutting the constitutional right to an attorney, guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment for those facing criminal charges."

Keep Calm and Carry On: Ethics in a Time of Stress. By Ellen C. Brotman, "Guiding clients through these troubled waters to land, at least relatively safely, is one of the many rewards of a fulfilling law practice."

How Female Lawyers Can and Should Prioritize Building Resiliency. "As the legal industry has begun to shift its attention to wellness, both mental and physical, female lawyers would do well to pay attention.")

'Ticking Time Bombs': U.S. Jails Raise Alarm Amid Coronavirus Outbreak. "Comparing crowded U.S. jails to 'ticking time bombs,' defense lawyers are urging law enforcement officials to release more defendants on bail while they await trial amid the coronavirus pandemic - an approach that has already been adopted by San Francisco and Philadelphia."

New Orleans Prosecutors Argue the Coronavirus Is a Reason to Keep People in Jail. "Jails will soon become an epicenter of the outbreak."

What Coronavirus Quarantine Looks Like in Prison. "'I cannot help but linger on the faces of the elderly prisoners and think about how they are unlikely to survive this.'"

Fired public defenders sue, alleging Montgomery County retaliated for bail practice criticism. "Montgomery County’s former top two public defenders filed federal lawsuits Tuesday accusing the county of firing them for criticizing bail practices in the county."

Court extends filing deadlines in response to coronavirus. "In the past week, the coronavirus has prompted the Supreme Court to close its building to the public and postpone its March argument session, which was slated to begin on March 23. Today the justices responded again to the emergency created by the virus and its impact on U.S. workplaces by issuing an order that (among other things) relaxes filing deadlines for petitions seeking Supreme Court review."

The U.S. wants smartphone location data to fight coronavirus. Privacy advocates are worried. "Federal health officials say they could use anonymous, aggregated user data collected by the tech companies to map the spread of the virus."

 Ohio clinics ordered to halt abortions deemed ‘nonessential’ amid coronavirus response. "The move goes against the urgings of many medical professionals."

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