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

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thomas' Law and Arpaio's Disorder: Romley's Turn.

I wouldn't have ever expected the Maricopa County Attorney's office to recover any measure of public respect after Thomas' reign of terror, but Romley's kicking ass and taking names. I really need to meet this man - there are some people I know who need someone with integrity to take a second look at their cases.

Here's the AZ Republic's coverage of the press conference (twittered by the AZ ACLU). Everyone still needs to be careful out there - we have more racist and corrupt lawmen in town than just these two - but hopefully Thomas and Arpaio are well on their way out the door. Maybe we should start staging protests at a federal building to get the DOJ to hurry things along.


Sheriff Joe Arpaio's investigations detailed in grand jury documents released Thursday

Probes targeted court tower project, sweep for wiretaps

Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley on Thursday released hundreds of pages of grand-jury testimony and other documents showing failed attempts by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas to obtain criminal charges against county officials.

Grand-jury proceedings are secret, but a Superior Court judge unsealed the records "in the furtherance of justice."

document Hendershott letter to county risk manager
document Thomas' draft indictment against county officials
document Request to unseal Grand Jury records
document January 4, 2010, Grand Jury transcript
document January 6, 2010, Grand Jury transcript
document March 3, 2010, Grand Jury transcript

The documents say that the grand jury and an out-of-county prosecutor told Maricopa County prosecutors that prosecutors had no case against the county officials involving a sweep for illegal wiretaps and the construction of a downtown Phoenix court tower. Another prosecutor refused to hear the case.

Although they were turned away or denied several times, sheriff's top officials and Thomas still say publicly that criminal investigations continue. They allege serious misconduct by county officials.

Romley said he released the documents because the "abuse has to stop."

"These allegations of criminal misconduct have to stop if there's no evidence," Romley told The Republic. "Reputations should not be soiled and be able to be laid out there, inferring that people have committed certain types of crimes. When there's such a miscarriage of justice, the public has the right to know."

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