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Meaghan Ellis June 30, 2020 0 Comments

Judge Amy Berman Jackson is explaining why Roger Stone’s request to delay his prison sentence has been denied.

Jackson offered a five-page, opinionated response to Stone’s request and his concerns about his underlying health issues.

Last week, Stone —former adviser for President Donald Trump— was ordered to return home for immediate confinement for the two weeks leading up to him reporting to prison.

Despite Stone’s concerns about his health, Jackson said she did not see a reason for his prison sentence to be delayed because his conditions are “medically controlled.”

To support her arguments, she also cited an excerpt from the letter Stone’s doctor submitted as she questioned his ability to effectively practice social distancing amid the pandemic.

“The letter from defendant’s internist stated: I highly recommend that he maintain strict quarantine conditions. . . . . He should not be in any situations that would expose him to the SARSCOV-2 virus. He needs to maintain at least 6 feet distance from people. He should avoid closed quarters with many people,” Jackson wrote.

Tom Brenner/File Photo/Reuters

“Defendant’s response to the Court’s inquiry concerning his personal preventive practices and avoidance of public gatherings in accordance with these directives was vague, carefully parsed, and not reassuring,” Jackson said.

Jackson also noted how Stone’s situation differs from other defendants who have been granted extensions due to the coronavirus because he has already been granted a 60-day delay already approved by the Bureau of Prisons.

Jackson added, “By contrast, Mr. Stone was convicted of threatening a witness, and throughout the course of these criminal proceedings, the Court has been forced to address his repeated attempts to intimidate and to stoke potentially violent sentiment against, an array of participants in the case, including individuals involved in the investigation, the jurors, and the Court.”

Stone is scheduled to report to prison on July 14, 2020.

News Source: ijr.org

Tags: donald trump coronavirus outbreak roger stone

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As A Symbol Of Diversity, Denver Judge Urges The Need For More

DENVER (CBS4) — Compared to the communities they serve, African American judges are underrepresented nationwide. As a member of the judiciary, Denver Court Judge Gary Jackson feels it’s his responsibility to not let this situation go unchallenged.

When Hon. Gary Jackson, and University of Colorado graduate, earned an internship with the Denver District Attorney’s Office in 1969, he and three colleagues were pictured in the Denver Post. At the time, Jackson said he “had an Afro the size of an official NBA basketball.”

(credit: Gary Johnson)

He was the only Black man in the photo. Jackson says his Afro was a symbol of heritage and a badge of courage.

The week after the photo was published in the newspaper, Jackson received an anonymous newspaper clipping that read, “this hairdo is a disgrace to you, your school, and certainly the D.A.’s office.”

Since the beginning of Jackson’s career until today, he says nothing has ever shaken his confidence or made him feel he didn’t deserve the jobs he was given.

“Someone else might’ve thought that I was tokenized, but I never had the feeling that I was a token,” said Jackson.

In 1970, Jackson was the only Black deputy District Attorney in Colorado. From 1974 to 1976, Jackson was the only Black assistant U.S. Attorney.

Out of the 29 appellate court judges now, there are zero Black judges on the Colorado Court of Appeals.

CBS4’s Tori Mason interviews Hon. Gary Johnson. (credit: CBS)

In 2018, Colorado became close to having zero Black District Court judges. Jackson says he applauds Gov. Jared Polis for understanding the importance of diversity on the bench.

There are currently four African American District Court judges out of 196, with a fifth awaiting appointment in July.

“Let me give kudos to Governor Polis. He received the message of what the benefit is to the state of having a diverse bench. He’s appointed three African American judges to the District Court bench. He’s appointed one African American to the County Court bench and one African American to the Juvenile Court bench since he’s been governor,” said Jackson, a founder of the Sam Cary Bar Association.

Jackson says judicial diversity doesn’t affect the outcome of trials, but the level of trust in the decisions that are made. He says it’s positive for people of color, people who feel marginalized, to see someone in a position of power who knows understands experiences.

“Most people, when they come into court, they’re looking for their day in court. They’re not looking for any type of favoritism. When they come into my courtroom, they are going to trust the decisions I make because I look like them. If people trust you, they’re going to make a determination in their own mind that you’re going to be fair,” said Jackson.

(credit: Gary Johnson)

Diversity – whether it’s gender, sexuality or race – provides a different experience and perspective in the courtroom. Jackson isn’t the only Black man in the courtroom, but he’s still one of few Black men on the bench for miles. He says Colorado courts have miles to go.

Jason St. Julien, a Denver-based attorney, is currently the only Black federal prosecutor in Colorado. Jackson says St. Julien reminds him of himself in 1970s.

“It’s my hope that with a bench that reflects the community, everybody who comes into court will have trust in a system that’s not based on their status in life,” said Jackson. “As long as there are only a few of us, a token few of us, we’re not going to be able to change the system barriers that are.”

Jackson says we can all help work toward judicial diversity that reflects the community we live in. He says people can encourage children to go to law school, apply to be on a nominating commission, and make donations to scholarship funds that support lawyers of color.

Jackson will retire at the end of this year, and he hopes his contribution to a diverse bench doesn’t leave with him.

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