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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 07-27-20)

Verdict Is in: Online Trials, Jury Selection Work in Broward "'There is no doubt in my mind jury trials can be conducted via a video platform,' Broward Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter said."


Crime Has Declined Overall During The Pandemic, But Shootings And Killings Are Up "Across the country, we've seen massive change brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, including a dramatic drop in the overall crime rate."


Judge Won’t Free Michigan Teenager Sent to Juvenile Detention After Not Doing Online Schoolwork "At a hearing Monday, Judge Mary Ellen Brennan denied a motion to release a 15-year-old from a juvenile facility. 'I think you are exactly where you are supposed to be,' Brennan said. 'You are blooming there, but there is more work to be done.'"


Cops Are Using Drones to Make Sure People Aren't Nude "The incident comes as the city voted this week to repeal an ordinance banning toplessness in parks."


National Appellate Advocacy Group Issues Best Practices for Remote Oral Arguments "While stressing that in-person argument is best, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers recommended, to get as close as possible to that experience, that courts choose video arguments whenever possible, as many members expressed 'a very strong preference for video arguments' over audio-only sessions."


One Roadblock to Police Reform: Veteran Officers Who Train Recruits "Field trainers 'are part of the old guard of the department. They teach the old way of doing things.'"


Customs and Border Protection Can Track Cars Nationwide Via Commercial Database "It turns out that U.S. Customs and Border Protection could now keep an eye on your car without even getting a warrant. This month, we learned that CBP bought access to a commercial license plate database, meaning the agency can look up the historical location of cars across the U.S., no legal red tape necessary."


Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar Alarmed by ‘Rush to Resume Normal Court Operations’ During Escalating Pandemic "The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) released a critically-important statement of principles and report in early June -- Criminal Court Reopening and Public Health in the COVID-19 Era. As multiple jurisdictions are rushing to resume criminal jury trials while the nation enters its darkest weeks thus far in the uncontrolled coronavirus pandemic, this NACDL statement of principles and report is even more relevant than when it was issued.")


Contact Tracing Might Become Cops’ Newest Surveillance Tool  “By definition, contact tracers have to ask people sometimes intimate and difficult questions. What if that information can somehow be used against them?”

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