Tag: criminal justice

Who holds the power in Arizona’s criminal justice system?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

It’s a fair bet that most people spend little time thinking about “discretion” in the state’s criminal justice system – if they recognize the issue at all. But in fact discretion – or individual judgment – pervades the system at all levels, from the cop on the beat to the state legislature to the U.S. Supreme Court. America may be a nation of laws, but laws cannot hope to direct every aspect of every official decision.

Bill Hart

State of Our State 2015: Whitepaper I

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November 2015
David Berman

'First Aid to the Wicked': A Look Back at Penal Reform in Arizona

November 2015 / During the Progressive Era of the first two decades of the 20th century state lawmakers throughout the country gave considerable attention to penal reform. Arizona was no different, with George W.P. Hunt, the state’s first governor, taking the lead in doing what he could to combat or head off similar conditions. Hunt tried to make the prison system more humane and to use prisons for reformation rather than punishment. He also devoted much energy to the abolition of the death penalty.

Justice can be blind, but it also can be phony

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Judges are reassuring figures. Their dispassionate approach, caution and knowledge of the law bolster our confidence in America’s cherished system of justice. Except when they point out why much of that confidence is misplaced.

Bill Hart

We're shocked by NFL player's domestic violence?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Americans were shocked when they saw NFL star Ray Rice punch out his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator and drag her out, unconscious. And they were mystified when the victim not only subsequently married Rice but also stepped forward to defend him.

Shocked? Mystified? Odd, because these are everyday events.


Bill Hart

Arizona has big drop in juvenile incarcerations

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It’s rare for Arizona to shine in national rankings – other than, say, for population growth or temperature. So we should not fail to note a recent report that cites Arizona as a national leader in the field of juvenile corrections.

Bill Hart
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