desmoinesdem

Racism evident in Iowa justice system

Dec 30, 2018

thank you

for calling attention to these pervasive problems. Iowa has long been one of the worst states for racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

I was upset when Republican lawmakers voted to end Polk County’s pilot program that was designed to reduce racial bias in decisions on bail and pretrial detention decisions. Although the governor line-item vetoed that language, she ordered the program to continue only through December 31, 2018. Since few GOP lawmakers care about systemic racism, the chance of this program being reauthorized is close to zero, which is a shame. Studies have shown that judges often set bail higher for defendants who are not white.

The ominous footnote in judge’s ruling on contested Iowa House race

Dec 24, 2018

plenty of blame to go around

I’ve long felt the Iowa Democratic Party pushes voting by mail too much at the expense of in-person early voting.

I don’t know how much faster the postal service could have done its job. Ballots were mailed on Monday, November 5 in Winneshiek County and had to go through Waterloo before being returned to the auditor’s office in Decorah.

Regardless, someone should have made a constitutional claim: an administrative rule on mail barcodes shouldn’t be grounds for throwing out any ballot an eligible voter cast on time.

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