I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Prosecuting under SB 1070.

Police may have hard time making SB1070 cases

Posted: Jul 09, 2010 10:25 PM

Reporter: Craig Smith

PHOENIX (KGUN9-TV) - The Maricopa County Attorney says he may not approve many prosecutions under SB1070 because the law requires evidence officers may have a hard time obtaining.

It might seem simple to prosecute someone under Arizona's tough new immigration law----you're here illegally---you're guilty.

But Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley says even if someone admits they are in the U.S. illegally, their word alone is not enough to prosecute.

Other parts of state law say police have to back up that confession with other evidence.

Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley says his office won't prosecute 1070 cases unless officers meet seven requirements: including evidence a suspect has been in the U.S. more than 30 days, checking with Federal immigration authorities to verify the suspect's not in U.S. legally, and proof the suspect is older than 14.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Romley: "It looks like some of these are going to be fairly high hurdles to prosecution. Are they?"

Romley: "Well, they are. Unfortunately there is a significant burden on law enforcement. I'm not sure the Legislature really looked in depth at the Federal law they were relying upon for implementing Senate bill 1070."

Romley says proving a violation of 1070 means proving someone did not comply with a Federal law from right before World War 2. Because it allows 30 days to register, Romley feels proving someone has been in the U.S. more than 30 days is a make or break prosecution requirement.

The Pima County Attorney's office is still working on the 1070 training it will give Pima County Deputies, but it has accepted the need for hard proof someone has been in the U.S. at least 30 days.

Amelia Cramer, the Chief Deputy Pima County Attorney says, "One of those has an element of 30 days presence within the United States and that's set forth in the Arizona POST training materials. That's something that must be proven."

Romley knows his requirements will bring down some heat.

Craig Smith asked Romley, "People who are real strong backers of 1070 may accuse you of throwing up obstacles to it."

Romley says, "You know, in fact they have. The truth of the matter is, this is what the law is. There's nothing political there. This is the elements of the law that was passed. If there's any fault to be laid it should be laid to the Legislature because they didn't do their homework."

Romley says proving how long someone's been here could mean trying to get something like a utilities receipt with his name, address, and a date and that could require the time, effort and expense to get a warrant for an issue that even though it's controversial is still a misdemeanor.

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