Sim Gill, you need some wins

I’m starting to wonder what it is that Sim Gill does all day. As the district attorney for Salt Lake County, his job is to investigate crimes and, if sufficient evidence is found, prosecute perpetrators of those crimes. In the last few years it seems like he’s not very successful when it’s a high-profile case. Let’s take a look at a few examples. The first is the now completely botched investigation and prosecution of former Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow. The report compiled by the legislature was extremely…

Can policing culture be fixed?

By now everyone has heard the story of Alex Wubbels, the nurse arrested for correctly telling a police officer that she could not legally do a blood draw on an unconscious man. The most astounding part of it is that the Salt Lake City Police Department didn’t place the officers on leave until the body cam footage was publicly released a month later. Despite all of the talk of taking the matter seriously, it took national public embarrassment for the city to take what everyone agreed were the correct steps…

Changing my mind on capital punishment

The State of Arkansas is executing two convicted criminals tonight. One has been executed already. A second will be executed shortly, absent further judicial intervention. I know nothing of these men. I don’t have any opinion as to their guilt or innocence of the crimes for which they were convicted. Because they were convicted, I will assume they are guilty, though I know that assumption may not be warranted. The matter of capital punishment has been on my mind a great deal over the last week, principally because I started…

Assault

The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man; but great men sometimes do bad things.” —Judge Thomas Low Say these words out loud: Rape is bad. Rapists are not good people. If you were able to enunciate those words emphatically, then you are a better person than Judge Thomas Low. Judge Low, who presides over district court cases in Utah County, was on the bench for the criminal case against Keith Robert Vallejo. Vallejo was tried and convicted on 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse…

The Mero Moment: Civil Asset Forfeiture – July 28, 2016

Imagine you are a motel owner and local riff-raff has been using your property to sell their illegal drugs. You take every reasonable step to prevent these crimes from being committed on your property – you buy flood lights, put up fences and video cameras. But the buying and selling continues until, one day, your local police and the Feds swoop in to break up the drug ring. In the course of arresting the drug dealers, authorities confiscate your property. Yes, the Feds take your motel from you as part…

Rep. Craig Hall: Time for justice court judges to be “licensed to practice law”

With a recent report on Utah’s judicial system finding that many defendants appear before judges inadequately represented–if at all–perhaps it’s time that we take another look at another problematic area of Utah’s judicial branch: the courts not of record, or “justice courts.” Rep Craig Hall (HD 33) wants justice court judges to be licensed to practice law in Utah. Having fair, effective, and knowledgeable judges are a crucial part of just and equitable judicial system. Where other courts issues decisions and rulings of law and fact, keep a record to allow for appeal and evidentiary matters, and are subject…