Iowa governor signs bill that allows for arrest of some migrants

Iowa governor signs bill that allows for arrest of some migrants

It will be a state crime for a person to be in Iowa if previously denied admission to or removed from the United States under a bill signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday.

The law, which takes effect July 1, targets “certain aliens,” according to the text of Senate File 2340. It has elevated anxiety in Iowa’s immigrant communities and has prompted questions among legal experts and law enforcement on how it will be enforced. It mirrors part of a Texas law that is currently blocked in court.

In Iowa and across the country, Republican leaders have accused President Biden of neglecting his responsibilities to enforce federal immigration law, leading Republican governors to send troops to Texas and legislatures to propose a variety of state-level strategies.

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To solve Iowa's workforce shortage, look to the criminal justice system

To solve Iowa’s workforce shortage, look to the criminal justice system

Iowa is facing a critical workforce shortage. With just 67 workers available for every 100 open jobs in our state, and a third of Iowan businesses reporting vacancies, lawmakers must act quickly to implement smart policy solutions.

To develop Iowa’s workforce, help our businesses thrive, and ensure a prosperous future, we need to remove barriers to work and find creative ways to incentivize employment. Bipartisan legislation that nearly unanimously passed the Iowa House of Representatives last year would do just that. The bill, House File 349, would incentivize Iowans on probation to find and keep jobs by reducing their probation terms for every six months of verifiable employment or for the completion of various education and vocational training programs.

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Federal funding will update law enforcement information sharing network

Federal funding will update law enforcement information sharing network

Federal funding will help to update a law enforcement information sharing network based in Dakota County.

The $963,000 will help build a new “state of the art” records management system, officials say.

The Criminal Justice Network has been up and running since the early 2000s. Dakota County and several cities use the network to share information quickly between law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and probation officers.

Police say the network helps them to get quick, accurate information, which isn’t always easy if different law enforcement groups have different information or filing processes.

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Warrant Resolution Court Helps Minnehaha County Tackle Backlog

Minnehaha tackles backlog of warrants, court cases with warrant resolution court pilot program

At any given time in a year, there are roughly 15,000 warrants on file in Minnehaha County, any of which could lead to an arrest. Those crimes behind those warrants range from unpaid traffic tickets to assault or homicide.

To the criminal justice system, they’re treated the same. Some are trivial in relation to larger crimes, but the backlog can clog up the system and cost taxpayer dollars, said Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead.

For those named on the warrants, failure to pay that traffic ticket can mean being thrown in jail, which could disrupt their life, stress relationships, cause job loss or create financial stress.

The recently completed pilot of a Warrant Resolution Court in Sioux Falls aims to show how counties can alleviate that stress on law enforcement and the court system.

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Keeping kids out of the juvenile justice system in South Dakota

Keeping kids out of the juvenile justice system in South Dakota

Not every child who runs afoul of the law belongs in the criminal justice system. Pennington County State’s Attorney Lara Roetzel believes this firmly after more than 25 years as a prosecutor.

“Statistics have shown that once a kid goes into the criminal justice system, they usually don’t get out of it,” said Roetzel. She explained most young people who enter probation struggle to keep out of trouble because “kids are kids.”

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Edward Angel Named to Top 10 Lawyers This Year

Edward Angel Named to Top 10 Lawyers This Year

Tackling legal battles can feel like navigating a minefield, but fear not—this year’s top 10 legal pros are here to make the law less intimidating and a lot more accessible.

Legal jargon and courtroom dramas don’t have to be a solo journey of stress and confusion. These standout lawyers are stepping up to the plate, ready to take on any challenge thrown their way.

What sets these lawyers apart? They bring a killer combo of deep legal know-how and a real understanding of what you’re going through, ensuring you’re represented by the best, without breaking the bank.

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South Dakota no longer only state to saddle counties with all indigent defense costs

South Dakota no longer only state to saddle counties with all indigent defense costs

Gov. Kristi Noem signed legislation this week to create a state public defender office.

The proposal arose from a task force involving legislative and criminal justice officials. When the group convened, South Dakota was one of two states to saddle counties with the entire financial burden of providing legal representation to criminal defendants who can’t afford lawyers. South Dakota had since become the last state in that category.

“A strong criminal justice system supports our American way of life,” Noem said in a press release. “It upholds the rights of our people. That includes the Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel.”

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Supreme Court in Iowa case upholds mandatory prison terms for some low-level drug dealers

Supreme Court in Iowa case upholds mandatory prison terms for some low-level drug dealers

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that thousands of low-level drug dealers are ineligible for shortened prison terms under a Trump-era bipartisan criminal justice overhaul.

The justices took the case of Mark Pulsifer, who was convicted in a southwest Iowa federal case of distributing at least 50 grams of methamphetamine, to settle a dispute among federal courts over the meaning of the word “and” in a muddy provision of the 2018 First Step Act.

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New hearing ordered for woman sentenced to prison without aid of attorney

New hearing ordered for woman sentenced to prison without aid of attorney

When Tashina Abraham-Medved appeared in a Roberts County courtroom to be sentenced for felony drug ingestion in April of 2022, her lawyer asked to be removed from the case.

That court-appointed attorney, Robert Doody, said there had been a “serious communication breakdown” between himself and his client.

Judge Jon Flemmer denied the request and sent Abraham-Medved to prison.

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Emails from former North Dakota attorney general found 2 years after being deleted

Emails from former North Dakota attorney general found 2 years after being deleted

Emails from the deleted account of the late North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem have been discovered, his successor has said.

The emails, once believed to have been deleted forever, were downloaded last summer to a computer at the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Attorney General Drew Wrigley told The Forum on Monday, March 4.

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