In this post, I wanted to take a look back at the top legal stories that happened in 2015, both nationally and here in Arizona.
Mike Russell and I broke these cases down on a special edition of Legally Speaking.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio
America’s Toughest Sheriff had a very tough year, to say the least, and is likely happy that 2015 is over. Arpaio found himself the subject of contempt proceedings in front of Federal District Court Judge Murray Snow that lasted the majority of the year. The good news is that the hearing is over, the bad news is that we still don’t know the decision. That is coming in 2016.
Medical marijuana is here and is not going up in smoke anytime soon. With its legalization comes a multitude of issues for Arizonans, including its connection to DUIs, probation violations and whether you can get fired from your job for smoking it. Changes are coming.
August 2015 was a scary month for freeway travelers in Maricopa County. Seemingly random shootings of vehicles kept many off the freeways, encouraged copy cats and incited fear. Someone was arrested, but only for four of the 11 shootings. What is going to happen to the alleged shooter Leslie Allen Merrit Jr.? And what about the other seven incidents?
The Syrian refugee crisis dominated part of the news cycle along with presidential campaign speeches. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey decided to get involved and speak up for us, or did he? Contrary to many wishes, Arizona may not have the legal grounds to refuse refugees.
Who can forget the bad girlfriends and mothers of the criminal court system in 2015? Two were convicted, one sentence was overturned and one just did it all wrong.
The death penalty conundrum in Arizona
The death penalty continues to drain Arizona of resources and credibility. We have had to deal with finding new and legal drugs, a botched execution and the inevitable legal challenges that come along with those. Then, top it all off with the federal government suing us because the state allegedly imported the drugs illegally!
Glendale and the Arizona Coyotes
Can’t they just get along? The answer is no! The city of Glendale dropped a bombshell on the Coyotes when it decided to cancel its contract with the team. This led to a fast and furious court battle that was thought to have resolved everything. Well, it didn’t.
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- Federal judge greenlights contempt hearing against Sheriff Paul Penzone
- Think Tank discusses new book on Arpaio, racial profiling, traffic stops
- Taxpayer costs over Arpaio racial profiling lawsuit to eclipse $200M
- Gov. Ducey signs Arizona gambling expansion, with legal sports betting
- Wife of longtime Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio dies at 89