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A year into emergency, Arizona federal courts still face ‘dire’ situation

WASHINGTON – Federal courts in Arizona are still in “dire circumstances” as an emergency declaration that was supposed to help judges keep pace with a crushing caseload is set to expire. The judicial emergency declared last year in the wake of the shooting death of Chief Judge John Roll runs out Monday, but officials say the U.S. District Court for the state still faces many of the same challenges.

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More Hispanics go to federal prison

The 70 illegal immigrants, mostly men and mostly in their 20s and 30s, shuffle into the courtroom in shackles, still wearing the dust-covered clothes and shoes from when they crossed the desert into the U.S. from Mexico.

In only an hour or so, the dozens of immigrants will agree to plead guilty and be sentenced in a process that could play out for months for most federal defendants.

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