The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Romley to Brewer: VETO SB 1070.

This is remarkable. 

This takes courage, Mr. Romley. 

Thank you.


Rick Romley to Governor: Veto Immigration Bill; Interim County Attorney Says He'll Enforce Law as Obligated


The harsh anti-illegal-immigrant law before Governor Jan Brewer is "tearing our community apart" and should be vetoed, Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley said today.

Romley, in his first major news conference since replacing Andrew Thomas, said that besides the negative consequences in Valley neighborhoods, he also has "significant" legal and policy concerns about the bill, which would make being in the country illegally a state crime.

Romley referred to his office's aggressive prosecution of Frank Roque, who shot a Sikh Indian store owner in Mesa back in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. Community members' emotions ran high after the terror attacks, but putting Roque behind bars sent a strong statement that violence wasn't the way to respond. Similarly, the harsh proposal passed by the Arizona Legislature is the wrong way to address the problem of illegal immigration, he said.

If the bill becomes law, Romley acknowledged, he's "obligated" to enforce it. But he's worried it represents an unfunded mandate from the state and that it has the potential to generate abuses of civil rights.

For instance, he said, the bill requires someone who's arrested to be detained until their immigration status is determined.

"What if the computers break?" he wondered.

Romley also said he's still deciding whether his office will prosecute anyone for smuggling themselves into the United States.

Thomas put more than 1,000 immigrants in jail for about three months each under his court-sanctioned interpretation of the state's human smuggling law.

Click here for more about Romley's announcements today.

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