Criminal Justice

N.J Supreme Court says courts should collect jury demographic data

BY: - August 16, 2021

New Jersey’s top court ruled Monday a convicted attempted arsonist failed to prove the trial court’s primarily virtual, hybrid jury-selection process deprived him of a jury representative of his diverse community. The case represents one of the first challenges to whether a defendant can get a fair trial when the pandemic has pushed so much […]

Progressive activists call for investigation into senator for alleged ‘no-show job’

BY: - August 13, 2021

Sen. Nicholas Scutari, who was the subject of several investigations into his job as Linden’s prosecutor, is facing intensifying criticism, now from a group of progressive Democrat activists who want the state’s Joint Legislative Committee of Ethical Standards to probe Scutari’s actions. One of the activists behind the ethics probe demand, Sue Altman, director of […]

New law aims to slash youth incarceration, expand community supports

BY: - August 12, 2021

Acting Gov. Sheila Oliver on Wednesday signed legislation that will pump $8.4 million into a two-year restorative justice program supporters say will keep kids out of jail and erase racial disparities in New Jersey’s expensive juvenile justice system. The money will fund community-based services intended to do two things: resolve conflicts before they lead to incarceration […]

Governor Phil Murphy speaking

Growing chorus of immigrant advocates urge Murphy to sign bill banning ICE contracts

BY: - August 11, 2021

It’s been six weeks since immigration advocacy groups began urging Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the bill on his desk banning federal immigration detention center contracts. Now, those calls are mounting — even coming from across the Hudson River — as progressive groups press the Democrat to make New Jersey the fifth state to ban […]

N.J. Supreme Court upholds decision nixing former tax assessor’s pension over $300 bribe

BY: - August 11, 2021

The New Jersey Supreme Court has upheld lower court decisions requiring a former Jersey City tax assessor to give up his pension after pleading guilty to accepting a $300 bribe. The high court found the compelled forfeiture of ex-assessor Bennie Anderson’s pension did not violate the Eighth Amendment, which bars excessive fines and cruel and […]

N.J. continuously failed to keep women prisoners safe from sexual abuse, DOJ says

BY: - August 10, 2021

After years of repeated sexual abuse committed at the hands of corrections officers in the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, New Jersey officials reached an agreement with the federal government to overhaul the women’s prison system. On Tuesday the U.S. Department of Justice announced new reforms would be implemented at Edna Mahan, the state’s only women’s […]

Police can’t secretly record phone calls, N.J.’s top court rules in win for privacy advocates

BY: - August 10, 2021

Law enforcement in New Jersey cannot secretly record telephone calls made in police stations or use any information they hear in such calls because surreptitious recordings violate constitutionally protected privacy rights, the New Jersey Supreme Court decreed in a ruling issued Tuesday. In writing the unanimous decision, Justice Barry T. Albin said a police station […]

Major police discipline now publicly reported in N.J. — but is it enough?

BY: - August 10, 2021

Monday was supposed to be the start of a “new chapter” in police accountability in New Jersey. That was the deadline the state Attorney General’s Office set for the state’s 500-plus law enforcement agencies to publicly report major police disciplinary actions. But the disclosures contain scant details. And some stragglers haven’t yet gotten their reports […]

N.J. cops can’t share immigration info with feds, appeals court decides

BY: - August 10, 2021

New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive, an order restricting authorities from sharing immigration information with federal officials, has been upheld by a federal appeals court, ending a legal battle between the state and two counties. The three-judge panel rejected the counties’ arguments that federal law pre-empts New Jersey from implementing the directive, which immigrant advocates say has […]

Hate crimes registry plan finds opposition from civil rights advocates

BY: - August 9, 2021

Civil rights advocates are voicing opposition to a proposal to create a registry for New Jersey residents convicted of hate crimes. The plan, announced last week by a trio of lawmakers in the seventh legislative district, would create a public online registry containing the names, addresses, license plate numbers, and various other descriptors for New […]

man getting vaccine

N.J. courts announce vaccine mandate

BY: - August 6, 2021

New Jersey Courts are enacting their own vaccine mandate. The judiciary will require all staff and judges presiding over state courts provide proof of their immunization or submit to weekly virus testing, acting Administrative Director of the Courts Judge Glenn Grant said. The announcement comes only days after the courts fully re-opened to the public […]

COMMENTARY

New Jersey attorney general on wrong side of license plate case

BY: - August 3, 2021

In March, then-New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal spoke with the Washington Post about his vision for police reform. Grewal said his office was focused on improving law enforcement “well before the events of this past summer,” meaning the nationwide unrest that erupted after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “We want to […]