Chief Justice Delivers State of Judiciary Address

Judge Zel Fischer

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Zel Fisher delivered the State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the legislature. Much of the speech focused on criminal justice. He was pleased to note that Governor Parson said he would not build another prison. Justice Fisher said we should save prison space for those we are afraid of, not just mad at. He thanked the legislature for its support of treatment courts, which he noted would make a difference in prison overcrowding and help offenders who had substance abuse and mental health issues. But he said the legislature should approve the $3.1 million to fund the courts. He was also pleased to announce there were veterans courts available in three dozen counties to serve veterans who find it difficult to adjust to life at home. 

Justice Fisher also spoke about a framework for pretrial release set to begin July 1. Program highlights include the court starting with non-monetary conditions of release, and imposing monetary conditions only when necessary. The new rule also limits how long a defendant may be detained without a hearing and ensures a speedy trial for those who remain in jail.

February 4, 2019 - 8:25am
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