Matheson Courthouse Large Conference Room
Salt Lake City, Utah
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
11:30am - 1:30pm
Daniel Becker (Meeting Chair)
John Baldwin for John Adams
Capt. Mike Wells for Brad Slater
Lt. Tony Garcia for Sid Groll
Judge Bill Thorne
Cmsnr Dan Maldonado
Rep. Lamont Tyler
Jah-Juin Ho, Intern
Judge Tyrone Medley
John T. Nielsen
1. WELCOME, REVIEW OF MINUTES FROM LAST MEETING, & AGENDA REVIEW: (Dan Becker)
Lunch was served. Dan Becker called the meeting to order. The minutes from Meeting #5 were approved without amendment. It is noted that the following change is reflected in these meeting minutes: The Courts' PowerPoint presentation erroneously under-reported its numbers of case filings for calendar year 2001. The correct number of case filings were 298,437 in State Courts and 405,047 in Justice Courts.
2. PRESENTATION ON THE UTAH STATE COURTS IMPLEMENTATION EFFORTS:
Dan Becker (Commission member, State Court Administrator) and the Honorable W. Brent West (Chair, Court's Ad Hoc Implementation Committee) gave a PowerPoint presentation describing the Courts and its Task Force implementation process. A hard copy of the PowerPoint is in your meeting materials. Myron K. March (Deputy Court Administrator) was also present.
Noted from the PowerPoint presentation:
An overview of the courts, the eight districts, and organizational flow were provided for background
The Courts' and Judicial Council's leadership with the Task Force and the implementation were highlighted, citing that the Judicial Council adopted the courts-specific Task Force recommendations on September 12, 2000. This ensured progress towards implementation and maintaining the Task Force's momentum.
Implemented programs were highlighted, specifically in the areas of education, interpretation, and community outreach.
Also highlighted was the Courts' Implementation Committee: their projects, subcommittees, and prioritization of efforts
Responses to questions posed to the Courts:
As noted in the Salt Lake Tribune, the interpreter pay increase for this year was deferred due to budget cuts
Much discussion surrounded the Research recommendation: "The Administrative Office of the Courts should sponsor research to determine whether the absence of minorities on juries results in an ability to receive a fair trial. The study should compare conviction rates of minority defendants by juries with minority representation."
Issue was taken with the language structure of the last sentence, ranging from taking caution when implementing to eliminating it from the recommendation. It was predicted that the last sentence will lead to methodological problems, and potentially be used as a barrier to the diversification of juries. It was suggested that we separate the notion of composition of jury pools from the process of jury selection.
It was further suggested that we adjust the language, but not the concept-that we need the double comparison.
One suggestion for methodology for this study was to show a video of court proceedings to focus groups and ask about racial/ethnic bias. The discussion will continue into the future. When the courts implement this recommendation, they can call upon the discussants for their contribution.
The Battison case was mentioned repeatedly. This rule states that when a person of color is dismissed from the jury pool, a racially-neutral explanation must be provided as to why the juror was dismissed.
Issue was raised in response to the current postponement. To follow up on the progress of the study when it does occur, the Commission will be kept informed of the timeline and details.
4. COMMISSION BUSINESS
It has been noted that Christina Barrera has resigned from the Commission and the Operations Committee wrote her a letter of thanks for her services.
New member Leticia Medina was introduced. Leticia is the Director of the State Office of Hispanic Affairs and has worked in multiple capacities with many Commission members. Leticia served on the Task Force as the Chair of the juvenile subcommittee, the standing Juvenile Disproportionate Minority Confinement Committee. We are very pleased to have Leticia join us!
In effort to make the presentations more interactive with a collaborative focus, the Advisory Council members proposed improvements to the Commission meetings and presentations. These suggestions to combine a focus on implementation with synergistic and collaborative discussion were discussed and approved. These changes include:
1. The established protocol of addressing each Task Force Recommendations specific to the agency shall now be responded to in document form. The responses will be disseminated via email two weeks before the meeting to allow members to do homework and prepare questions. Also, presenters can focus on implementation, Q&A, and highlight accomplishments during their presentation rather than bog down in details.
2. Questions during the presentations will be tracked and a compilation given to the presenters. This will monitor the questions that require follow-up.
Mission Statement was discussed and then approved. Discussion points included:
1. The Commission is a political group to support legislation in the cases where a bill directly addresses a Task Force recommendation. The Racial Profiling bill is an example. Future discussion will focus on the Hate Crimes bills during the interim legislature. The first Task Force recommendation in the Administration section addresses Hate Crimes.
2. Discussion surrounded the word "leadership"
in the last sentence of the mission statement. It is intended that
the leadership will be inclusive, of both the public and private.
HB101-Racial Profiling Bill
Cmsn officially supported bill
Kal Farr organized law enforcement and met with multiple groups including the League of Cities and Towns
Leticia Medina set up meeting with Speaker Stephens: Justice Zimmerman, Commissioner Flowers, Susan Burke, Deidre Tyler, Kal Farr, and Mike Chabries all attended for the Commission
Justice Zimmerman presented with Rep Bourdeaux to the Legislative Committee; met with individual senators, sent memo to State Senate members
Approx 10 Cmsn members attended the Leg. Hearing
Letter of support/request to Speaker Stephens
A motion was approved to send a letter of thanks to the Utah Sheriff's Association and the Utah Chiefs of Police Association to recognize their critical efforts for the passage of this bill. It was proposed that the chair of the Operations Committee would sign the letters on behalf of the Commission.
The current meeting schedule was approved through April 2002. It was decided that this would be finalized at the April meeting, with the proposal that it will remain the same (fourth Wednesday of every month from 11:30am - 1:00pm at revolving locations). Issue was brought up with the May meeting conflicting with the legislative meetings. July's meeting conflicts with a holiday. This will all be discussed at the April meeting SO PLEASE BRING YOUR CALENDARS.
5. ADDITIONAL HOUSEKEEPING
The Commission's webpage is up and running. It is the previous page of the Task Force:
At the January meeting, the Bar formed a Commission subcommittee to examine the deportation issues. This will be reported upon at the April meeting.
The community Advisory Council will have its next quarterly meeting on Thursday April 11, 2002 at the State Office of Education (250 East 500S in the North & South Board Room). Keith Hamilton of the Board of Pardons and Parole will give a presentation, including a mock board hearing. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.
6. ADJOURNMENT: (Dan Becker)
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 12:58p.m.
Special thank you to Dan Becker and Judge W. Brent West for their hospitality and informative presentation.
NEXT MEETING - WEDNESDAY APRIL 24, 2002
at the POST facilities from 11:30am - 1:00pm. The Peace Officer Standards and Training will present their implementation efforts and Commission business will be discussed. Lunch will be provided, compliments of POST.