It has been awhile since our last post so let's review a few things that have happened in the last couple of months and take a look at some things on the horizon.
Wasatch County Primary Debate and Results
We hosted a Republican Primary Debate with Alliance for a Better Utah (ABU) for prosecutor candidates in Wasatch County on June 5. All four candidates participated in the debate, and we joined ABU to discuss the debate on their Better Utah Broadcast. Incumbent Scott Sweat won the election with 35.22% (1403 votes) of the vote, beating runner-up Tyler Dow by 290 votes. These results tell us that Wasatch County wants change, but the large candidate pool diluted the votes for change.
Prosecutorial Oversight in Salt Lake County
Our Prosecutor Candidate Questionnaire prompted a discussion on prosecutorial oversight in Salt Lake County. Both prosecutor candidates, Sim Gill and Nathan Evershed, support an internal Conviction Integrity Unit and intend on creating one if elected.
Public Comment on Parole and Probation Guidelines
House Bill 291 was passed in Utah's 2018 legislative session. It required the Utah Sentencing Commission to draft Supervision Length Guidelines for individuals on probation and parole. The Utah Sentencing Commission published the drafted guidelines here. The Commission is accepting public comment on the guidelines until September 2. You may email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Commission will vote on the final draft during a public meeting on September 13, 2018, in suite 330 of the Senate Building at the Utah Capitol Complex.
Law and Justice Conference at BYU
Event description from the organizer, "As part of its recent Law and Justice Initiative, the J. Reuben Clark Law School is hosting its first ever Law and Justice Conference on Friday, September 21, 2018. This one-day conference is intended to foster discussion between various constituencies in the criminal justice system and within the BYU community, to increase public awareness of current topics in criminal justice and criminal justice reform, and to explore ways in which the Law and Justice Initiative can engage with criminal justice issues at the local level. To that end, speakers and panelists from both state and federal government, as well as those from academia and private practice, will speak on a wide range of recent and developing issues in criminal law, including pretrial reform, sentencing, the Utah Justice Reinvestment Act, and the state of indigent defense in Utah. There will also be a panel of state and federal appellate practitioners covering recent notable criminal opinions. The Law and Justice Conference is open to the public, and CLE approval is pending."
Registration details will be posted soon, and once they are you can find them on our website's Get Involved page on the Smart Justice Utah calendar.
Next Prosecutor Debates in the Works
We are currently working out details on the next debates for county prosecutors. These debates will be scheduled for mid-September. We expect to have dates, times, and locations announced within the next week, so stay tuned!