Anyone who's followed my postings on the nature of SB1070 will be aware that I am bitterly opposed to the law as it affects both personal, immediate family members and LGBT folks in general, placing them at risk for incarceration needlessly, and that it is an unfunded mandate written and devised by a group of racists who just so happen to also hate LGBT people.

Today, word comes through the Arizona Republic (not my favorite source of such) that at least one County Attorney General has essentially eviscerated the law's worst parts.

Below the fold for details… 

Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, who replaced the Joe Arpaio and Pearce close buddy Andrew Thomas mid term, has released a set of ground rules that apply to law enforcement within his Jurisdiction.

Romley and Arpaio do not get along very well, I will note, and Arpaio — who's actions this law is, in part, intended to shield since part of the reason for “the inaction” by the federal government is Joe Arpaio's screw ups, err, I mean, efforts to rid the county of persons suspected of being here without proper recognition.

Romley's  ground rules set a standard that requires “beyond a reasonable doubt” and “corpus delecti”, which essentially means a body of evidence that goes far beyond the individual themselves saying they are here illegally (which few will do willingly, one can surmise).

Offenders must have been in the country longer that 30 days, and they must be over the age of 14, which is compliance with Federal Law (although the same authors are attempting to strip citizenship from person's born in the United States).

The policy statement distributed to law-enforcement agencies reads, “In order to successfully prosecute a violation of these statutes, the State must be able to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. For most of these offenses, that includes proof that the suspect was in the United States in violation of state and federal law. To sustain prosecution, a submittal must recite sufficient evidence, independent of the suspect's statements, to sustain each and every element of the offense, including the elements of applicable federal law.”

This places not merely a much higher threshold for prosecution, but because generally speaking cops won't do stuff that isn't likely to be prosecuted as it is a waste of time and effort, it creates a much higher threshold for reasonable suspicion.

It isn't great news, mind you, as it's not nearly enough and it doesn't effectively erase the law's impact or reach beyond the borders of the most populous county in Arizona, but it does include the 5th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

And it certainly doesn't appeal to the rabble in the comments section, which is calling for Romley to be charged with a crime of not enforcing the law, voting him out of office, and worse.

I'll skip the whole part about wanting to repeal aspects of the 14th amendment.

With a bit of luck, the injunction will be granted, and all of this will become moot until the six cases against the law are resolved.  





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