‘A coward’s palace’: Australian PM slams social media amid defamation law controversy (Reuters)

Reuters: ‘A coward’s palace’: Australian PM slams social media amid defamation law controversy. “Australia’s prime minister lambasted social media on Thursday as ‘a coward’s palace’, saying platforms should be treated as publishers when defamatory comments by unidentified people are posted, pouring fuel on a raging debate over the country’s libel laws.”

Cleveland Scene: Ohio Supreme Court and University of Cincinnati to Create First-of-its-Kind Criminal Sentencing Database

Cleveland Scene: Ohio Supreme Court and University of Cincinnati to Create First-of-its-Kind Criminal Sentencing Database. “The Ohio Supreme Court and the University of Cincinnati this week announced a joint project that will create a statewide database of criminal sentencings, a first-of-its-kind across the nation. With an $800,000 allocation by the court, students and faculty at the university will begin collecting sentencings from common pleas judges in the state who opt into the program. So far, 34 of the 244 judges have done so, and more are signing up every week.”

Free Law Project: Free Law Project Creates the First Online Database of Federal Judicial Financial Disclosures

Free Law Project: Free Law Project Creates the First Online Database of Federal Judicial Financial Disclosures. “At Free Law Project, our mission is to make legal information free and open to all, and especially to journalists, researchers, and academics. That is why we are excited to announce the creation of a new, first-of-its-kind database of federal judicial financial records.”

The courts never closed: Historical Society of the NY Courts launches digital archive (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Brooklyn Daily Eagle: The courts never closed: Historical Society of the NY Courts launches digital archive. “The Historical Society of the New York Courts has launched ‘Dispensing Justice from a Distance,’ its digital archive of nearly 40 interviews with judges and court staff (including public safety and tech support), documenting their real-time experiences to keep the courts open, both virtually and in person, during the months of lockdown in New York. A timeline tracks the court system’s major milestones during the pandemic with images and documents to complete the record.”

Middle Tennessee State University: Free Speech Center offers teachers free Bill of Rights guide for Constitution Week

Middle Tennessee State University: Free Speech Center offers teachers free Bill of Rights guide for Constitution Week. “‘Each year teachers look for fresh resources to help teach young people about America’s core constitutional principles,’ said Ken Paulson, director of the center. ‘We’re pleased to provide free of charge a new and updated edition of the respected textbook “The Bill of Rights: The First Ten Amendments” written by Belmont University law professor and Constitutional scholar David Hudson.’ The book is intended for use in classes in grades 7 through 10, and gives both teachers and students a concise overview of Constitutional principles.”

Miami Herald: ‘The numbers don’t lie.’ COVID hits Miami’s justice system with deaths, staff shortages

Miami Herald: ‘The numbers don’t lie.’ COVID hits Miami’s justice system with deaths, staff shortages. “… in Miami-Dade jails, officials now say they may be extending shifts to help deal with the rising number of staff members — and inmates — who have been infected with or been exposed to COVID-19 in the latest surge in South Florida. As of Friday, 136 employees were home quarantining. That’s in addition to 188 inmates in the jail system who are positive with COVID, the department said.”

AP: How AI-powered Tech Landed Man In Jail With Scant Evidence

AP: How AI-powered Tech Landed Man In Jail With Scant Evidence. “Forensic reports prepared by ShotSpotter’s employees have been used in court to improperly claim that a defendant shot at police, or provide questionable counts of the number of shots allegedly fired by defendants. Judges in a number of cases have thrown out the evidence. ShotSpotter’s proprietary algorithms are the company’s primary selling point, and it frequently touts the technology in marketing materials as virtually foolproof. But the private company guards how its closed system works as a trade secret, a black box largely inscrutable to the public, jurors and police oversight boards.”

UChicago News: For launching JusticeText, Leslie Jones-Dove and Devshi Mehrotra named to Forbes 30 Under 30

UChicago News: For launching JusticeText, Leslie Jones-Dove and Devshi Mehrotra named to Forbes 30 Under 30. “”In 2019, a pair of undergraduate computer science majors at the University of Chicago set out to complete their capstone for the College course, ‘Entrepreneurship in Technology.’ They never anticipated that their project would later serve public defenders around the country. Shortly after the class ended, Leslie Jones-Dove and Devshi Mehrotra co-founded JusticeText, software that generates automated transcripts of body camera footage, interrogation videos, jail calls and more. JusticeText expedites the pre-trial preparation time and allows public defenders to analyze crucial data.”

The Atlantic: Zoom Court Is Changing How Justice Is Served

The Atlantic: Zoom Court Is Changing How Justice Is Served. “Last spring, as COVID‑19 infections surged for the first time, many American courts curtailed their operations. As case backlogs swelled, courts moved online, at a speed that has amazed—and sometimes alarmed—judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. In the past year, U.S. courts have conducted millions of hearings, depositions, arraignments, settlement conferences, and even trials—nearly entirely in civil cases or for minor criminal offenses—over Zoom and other meeting platforms. As of late February, Texas, the state that’s moved online most aggressively, had held 1.1 million remote proceedings.”

Free Law Project: Incorporate magistrate judges from 1990 to 2021

From the Free Law Project on GitHub: Incorporate magistrate judges from 1990 to 2021. From the resource page: “Every so often we ask the AO for stuff we can’t really get ourselves. In July of last year, we asked for a list of all magistrate judges, past and present. We already get regular updates from the FJC, but our hope was to get the historical data too. After many months of waiting, and to their immense credit, the AO did eventually deliver today. Attached please find roughly 1,000 magistrate judges that worked in the federal judiciary between 1990 and today.” I’m pretty sure that “the AO” in this case stands for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

NOLA: Louisiana doesn’t count people who die behind bars, so Loyola Law School will fill the void

NOLA: Louisiana doesn’t count people who die behind bars, so Loyola Law School will fill the void. “There’s been no shortage of needless deaths in New Orleans-area lock-ups, but until now there’s been no count. That will change thanks to an effort by Loyola University law school to create the database that Louisiana officials have not: a full list of everyone who dies in the state’s prisons, jails and detention centers. Professor Andrea Armstrong’s project aims to restore dignity to people who die behind bars while giving jailors in the world’s incarceration capital the tools to prevent more deaths.”

Argus Leader (South Dakota): Wondering when your next court hearing is? State releases user-friendly tool to find court dates

Argus Leader (South Dakota): Wondering when your next court hearing is? State releases user-friendly tool to find court dates. “A portal on the Unified Judicial System’s website homepage allows users to search for an upcoming court date by their case number or name and birth date. Judicial leaders are hoping it’s another way for those working through cases to know their next hearing and show up for court. The new tool was one of the numerous ‘natural consequences’ of the courts adjusting to COVID-19 pandemic, said Robin Houwman, the presiding judge for the Second Circuit Court, which includes Minnehaha and Lincoln counties.”