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9th Circuit hears plea to extend voting deadline for Navajo residents

A sign points to a local polling station for the Arizona Democratic presidential preference election Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A sign points to a local polling station for the Arizona Democratic presidential preference election Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

An attorney representing several Navajo Nation residents asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to give reservation dwellers more time to submit their ballots and have them counted.

Steven Sandven argued that Judge Murray Snow got it wrong last month when he concluded that the burdens on reservation residents in meeting the 7 p.m. Election Day deadline is no greater than that faced by residents of other rural areas of the state. As such, Snow concluded, the deadline does not violate the federal Voter Protection Act.

But Sandven told the appellate judges the test is whether Native Americans, as a “protected class” under federal law, have the same opportunity to vote as all other non-Indians in the state, regardless of where they live. The record, he said, shows that is not the case.

He said this is more than just the fact that mail to and from rural areas takes longer, leaving reservation residents less time to consider the issues than non-Indian voters before they have to send their ballots back.

For example, Sandven said, in Scottsdale there is one Election Day polling place for every 13.4 square miles versus one location on the Navajo Reservation for 306 miles.

On top of that, he said, there is no home delivery for most of the reservation, the distance to the post office “and the fact that many Navajo Nation members have insufficient funds to travel to a post office.”

All that, Sandven said, is that tribal members have less opportunity to exercise their right to vote than other voters.

“We don’t need to show that they have no opportunity to vote,” he said.

“There’s no dispute as to the nature of those conditions and the effect that those conditions have in terms of making it more difficult for these voters to access the ballot.”

But members of the three-judge panel hearing the case were not sure they can provide the relief he wants: requiring ballots from Navajo Nation addresses to be counted if they are postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Judge Margaret McKeown said there’s no evidence that ballot envelopes actually get a postmark, despite an order to the U.S. Postal Service in a separate case out of New York to do so this year.

Even if they do, there’s the sorting question.

Assuming county recorders could figure out which ballots came from on-reservation addresses, there are, in fact, people who are not Native American who live there and who are entitled, based on their “protected status,” to more time to turn in their ballots.

Roopali Desai, who represents Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, told the appellate judges there are even more basic questions. It starts with the fact that the lawsuit filed on behalf of six members of the Navajo Nation names only Hobbs as the defendant.

But Desai said her client has nothing to do with receiving or counting ballots — or even can tell the county recorders what to do. She said anyone seeking to change the deadline must also sue the recorders.

Desai also questioned whether the six plaintiffs even have legal standing to sue in the first place because they never claimed any actual injury from the deadline.

“There are no allegations in the complaint, nor did any of the plaintiffs testify at the injunction hearing about the fact that they intend to participate in the 2020 election, that they are planning to use themselves a vote-by-mail ballot,” she said. “And there is no evidence in the record that they have ever previously submitted a ballot that was rejected because they suffered from some sort of mail delay or the fact that their ballot was too late to be counted.”

Desai told the judge that Hobbs acknowledges the hardships that are faced by members of the Navajo Nation including poverty, isolation, problems with traveling on the reservation and unreliable mail service.

“But those harms are not traceable to the secretary or, more importantly, to the receipt deadline,” she said.

And there’s one more thing.

Desai pointed out that the lawsuit specifically seeks the extra time solely for those living on the Navajo Reservation. She told the appellate judges if they were to grant that request it likely would result in confusion.

“What is somebody who is a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribal nation in southern Arizona thought that the order … intended to allow all Native Americans in Arizona to postmark their ballot as opposed to having it returned on the Election Day receipt deadline?” she asked the appellate judges. “Would it apply to one Native American voter versus another?”

The appellate judges gave no indication when they will rule — and whether that will come in time for this year’s election.

 

Arizona election deadline legal, judge rules

judge

A federal judge won’t give reservation residents more time to submit their early ballots and ensure they will be counted.

In an order late Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow, a President George W. Bush appointee, said challengers provided no proof that requiring ballots to be received by county officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day is a greater burden on members of the Navajo Nation than anywhere else. And he said there was no evidence that votes from the reservation were discarded due to late filing at a greater rate than from anywhere else.

Potentially more significant, Snow said there was no showing that the deadline has a disparate impact on Navajos who, as Native Americans, are a “protected class” under federal voting laws. Instead, the judge said, the time it takes for Navajos to get their votes received in county offices may be no different for them than for it is for other, non-Native voters living in rural areas.

And there’s something else.

Snow said it’s not like the deadline — and slow mail service — leaves reservation voters without options. Snow pointed out that there are alternatives that allow votes to be counted even if it is too late to drop them in the mail, including bringing them to polling locations.

Friday’s ruling is a defeat for challengers who sought a ruling from Snow requiring counties to tabulate any ballot that is postmarked by Election Day.

They presented evidence showing how much longer it takes for a ballot to first get from county election officials to reservation addresses than those living in urban areas. On the other side, it also takes longer for a ballot mailed from the reservation to get to where it needs to be.

That, the attorney for challengers argued, shows discrimination which he said can be resolved by providing the extra time for ballots to be counted.

Snow said the lawsuit fails for another reason.

He said laws can be challenged if they were enacted for discriminatory reasons. But Snow said there is no evidence that the 7 p.m. deadline was put into place with the intent of disenfranchising Navajo voters.

Friday’s ruling may not be the last word.

Snow’s order simply denies a request for an order to immediately provide more time for ballots to be received. But it still leaves the door open for challengers to see a full-blown hearing on the issue in hopes of getting changes for future elections.

Court refuses to wipe Arpaio’s contempt verdict after Trump pardon

Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at the Capitol in Phoenix prior to turning in petition signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State in his bid to appear on the ballot in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake. The Republican lawman's campaign says it turned in 10,000 signatures on Tuesday so he can compete in the GOP primary on Aug. 28. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks Tuesday, May 22, 2018.  (AP Photo/Matt York)

A federal appeals court has rebuffed the bid by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to have his criminal conviction formally erased.

In a unanimous ruling Thursday a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that Arpaio was found guilty by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton of criminal contempt. That stemmed from her finding that he had willfully violated an injunction issued by another judge prohibiting him from enforcing federal civil immigration laws.

Before he could be sentenced, though, President Trump granted the former sheriff a full and unconditional pardon. And appellate Judge Jay Bybee, writing for the court, said that left them with nothing to consider.

But Jack Wilenchik, Arpaio’s attorney, said he actually sees the ruling as a win.

He said the appeal was filed because Bolton, after considering the effect of the presidential appeal and dismissing the case, refused to vacate the verdict. And Wilenchik said Bolton suggested that conviction could be used against him in some future litigation.

What the 9th Circuit ruled, Wilenchik said, is that is not the case.

And Arpaio, who was sheriff from 1993 through 2016, told Capitol Media Services that’s precisely what he wanted.

“The main issue was I want this off my record,” said Arpaio, who again is running for sheriff this year.

The issue stems from a 2007 lawsuit filed by a group of Hispanic county residents who charged “illegal, discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against Hispanic persons in Maricopa County.” They said that Arpaio and his deputies “engaged in profiling” of Hispanic motorists by detaining people based solely on their ethnicity.

In 2011 U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow issued a preliminary injunction barring the sheriff and his deputies “from detaining any person based on knowledge, without more, that the person is unlawfully present within the United States.”

Five years later, Snow concluded that Arpaio and his department had intentionally failed to comply with the injunction.

Arpaio conceded his liability for civil contempt. But Snow concluded that the sheriff had “intentionally disobeyed” the order and he “did so based on the notoriety he received for, and the campaign donations he received because of, his immigration enforcement activity.”

The case was then referred to Bolton, with the case prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. That ended with Bolton finding him guilty of criminal contempt of court.

Before he could be sentenced, though, Trump issued the pardon. But Bolton, while dismissing the charges, said that did not “revise the historical facts of the case.”

That led to the appeal.

Bybee, however, said there was really nothing to appeal.

“Arpaio never suffered a final judgment of conviction for criminal contempt,” he wrote, with no final judgment of conviction in the case. “Instead, there was a final judgment of dismissal with prejudice.”

And that, the judge said, means there cannot be “legal consequences” from the verdict, such as being able to use the conviction to enhance his sentence in any future criminal case. Nor can that conviction be used against him in any subsequent civil case.

Federal judge orders stop to enforcement of camping ban at homeless zone

FILE – A large homeless encampment is shown in Phoenix, on Aug. 5, 2020. On Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, a federal judge temporarily halted the city of Phoenix from conducting sweeps of a huge homeless encampment downtown. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

White dump trucks outfitted with City of Phoenix emblems and street sweepers lined the roads near the concentrated homeless camp dubbed, “the Zone,” this morning as part of their new “enhanced clean-up” effort in the area. 

A federal judge allowed the new cleaning procedure to go forward in an order issued Thursday night but barred the city from enforcing urban camping citations or disposing of property without notice and a 30-day holding period.  

The order and clean-up came after two separate cases levied against the City of Phoenix over homelessness went in front of judges this week.  

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the city, alleging constitutional violations in “sweeps.” Two plaintiffs in the suit, who were formerly unhoused, claimed they had IDs, debit cards, medications, tents and other survival gear seized from them and disposed of by the city.  

The ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction went in front of Judge Murray Snow on Wednesday.  

On Thursday, Snow issued a preliminary injunction. As a result the city can no longer enforce camping or sleeping bans; seize the property of an unsheltered person without prior notice unless there’s an “objectively reasonable” belief that it is abandoned, unsafe, or evidence of a crime; and can no longer destroy property without maintaining it in a secure location for a period of less than 30 days.  

The enhanced clean-up plan, which temporarily clears those camped in the Zone for street cleaning, is thought to be in response to another suit filed against the city on behalf of residents and business owners, alleging the city failed in abating the “public nuisance.”  

Yesterday, attorneys for both the city and private residents and business owners fielded a barrage of questions from Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney.  

Attorneys for the city filed a motion to dismiss the case while attorneys for the residents asked for a preliminary injunction forcing the city to “clean up and clear out.”  

Attorneys for the residents, Ilan Wurman and Stephen Tully, want the city to vacate the area, stating the “number one thing is the tents have to be gone.”  

Wurman said they are not telling the city how to achieve this goal, though they did offer some suggestions, including a “larger police presence,” in the area. 

Aaron Arnson and Trish Stuhan, attorneys for the city, maintained they are unable to enforce urban camping bans or force people out of the area using citations under a Ninth Circuit decision making it unconstitutional to prosecute people for sleeping outside when the number of unsheltered individuals outnumbers shelter beds.  

Tully at one point in the hearing, took on somewhat of mocking tone imitating the city, saying “It’s so complicated, we can’t do anything.” 

But the federal judges’ order affirms Arnson and Stuhan’s position. The preliminary injunction bars the city from enforcing camping and sleeping bans if there are more unsheltered individuals than shelter beds. 

Tully and Wurman are seeking a nuisance abatement. Stuhan said a nuisance abatement makes sense with something like a decrepit building.  

“But we’re not talking about concrete, we’re talking about people,” Stuhan said.  

Arnson said the plaintiffs were essentially employing the ‘not in my backyard’ argument and that even if the city was able to clear out the Zone, the problem would simply be shifted to another area in the city.  

The judge argued, though, that it may not be as concentrated. A ruling on the case is expected sometime next week.  

 

Federal judge rules state not required to reveal source of execution drugs

The right of the press to access executions does not imply the right to related information, according to U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow.

Charles Ryan
Charles Ryan

On September 21, Snow issued his ruling on a lawsuit filed by news organizations in 2014 against Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan and the state. The suit sought information about the state’s execution policy after the July 2014 execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood lasted nearly two hours and required 15 doses of the sedative midazolam and a painkiller.

Plaintiffs sought the identities of those supplying drugs used in lethal injections and assurances that the execution team is qualified.

To the latter point, Snow found the state’s policy requiring team members to be qualified to place an IV line was sufficient.

Furthermore, Snow determined plaintiffs had failed to show that forcing the state to disclose the IV team’s credentials would not “serve to identify those team members to their detriment.”

However, he did note the press may publish materials indicating the state does not require team members to be able to distinguish between sedation and anesthesia – the concern being that someone without appropriate training may not recognize the signs of inadequate anesthesia – or that “it may prove very difficult, if not impossible, for the state to obtain such participation.”

As for the sources of the execution drugs, Snow referred to a 9th Circuit Court opinion that held the public is not guaranteed the right to information related to executions.

“Disclosure of the sources may motivate the state to attempt to acquire high-quality drugs as an assurance that capital punishment therefore functions in a more humane fashion,” he wrote, but testimony in the case indicated there are currently no sources for the drugs in the United States.

Again, he noted nothing is preventing the press from pointing out that DOC refuses to reveal the source of the drugs used in executions, nor will the department speak to the sources’ reliability.

“The First Amendment protects the right of the people to argue against the imposition of capital punishment through many means including activism,” Snow found, “it does not oblige the State to reveal statutorily-protected information to the detriment of the state’s ability to carry out its constitutional, lawfully-imposed criminal punishments.”

News organizations represented in the suit included The Arizona Republic, Arizona Daily Star, Phoenix TV stations KPNX and KPHO, The Associated Press and Guardian News and Media.

GOP takes another bite at early ballot lawsuit losses

The Trump re-election committee is making a last-ditch effort to keep a new deadline for people to sign their mail-in ballots from taking effect this year.

In new legal filings Wednesday, attorneys for the Donald J. Trump for President organization are asking U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Rayes to stay the order he granted last week giving people who forgot to sign their ballots up to five days after the election to “cure” the problem and guarantee their votes will be counted. They contend Rayes’ ruling was legally incorrect.

More to the point, they want it reviewed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. But there is virtually no way for the appellate judges to fully consider the issue before the Nov. 3 general election, which is why they want Rayes to put his order on the shelf, at least for the time being.

It’s not just the president’s allies who want to stop the change. The same attorneys also represent the Arizona Republican Party and the Republican National Committee.

But Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who technically was the one sued, is making no such request. In fact, Hobbs took no position in the complaint by the Arizona Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee who charged that voters were being illegally disenfranchised.

Katie Hobbs
Katie Hobbs

Separately Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow rebuffed efforts by the Trump re-election committee and other GOP interests to intercede in another case on early ballots, this one dealing with how quickly they need to be received.

This involves a bid by members of the Navajo Nation to get a court order saying any ballots mailed from reservation addresses should be counted if they are postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Attorneys for the tribal members say slow mail service on reservations can result in people getting their ballots in the mail on time but not arriving at county by the deadline. The result, they argue, is they are being illegally disenfranchised.

Challengers say they are simply seeking to provide reservation residents the same amount of time as those living elsewhere. But attorneys for Republican interests, including the president’s campaign, are openly suggesting that giving reservation residents additional time to get their votes in and counted “would unquestionably affect the share of votes that candidates in the state of Arizona receive,” effectively suggesting it would affect the outcome of elections — to the detriment of GOP candidates.

Snow’s ruling does not mean challengers win by default when he hears arguments this coming week. The law and the deadline for receipt of ballots is being defended by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Central to the fight in the other case, the one before Rayes, is that Arizona law says the envelopes with early ballots have to be signed if the votes are to be counted.

Election officials already provide an opportunity — right up until 7 p.m. on Election Day — for those who forgot to sign their ballot envelopes to come to county offices. But every year there are several thousands ballots that are not “cured” by the deadline, leaving those envelopes unopened.

Rayes said last week he saw no reason for the hard-and-fast deadline.

“The state has not shown that continuing to implement these existing cure procedures for an additional five business days after an election is likely to impose meaningful administrative burdens on election officials given the relatively small number of ballots at issue,” the judge wrote.

He also noted that the state does allow five days after Election Day to “cure” situations where the signature on the envelope does not match what is on file in county records. Extending that to unsigned envelopes, the judge suggested, is hardly a stretch.

But attorney Patrick Strawbridge who represents the GOP interests, told the judge on Wednesday that the issue is not as clear as he has suggested. He said Rayes’ ruling “raises serious and difficult questions of law in an area where the law is somewhat unclear.”

Beyond that, Strawbridge said while there is a constitutional right to vote, there is no right to vote in any particular way. And he said that requiring early ballots be signed by Election Day imposes no actual burden on voting rights.

“It couldn’t, since in-person voting always remains available,” Strawbridge said.

Potentially more problematic, he argued, is the timing. He said the judge is requiring a last-minute change in election procedures

“This very much has the potential to confuse voters,” Strawbridge wrote. “And as an election draws closer, that risk will increase.”

Assistant Attorney General Michael Catlett raises similar concerns in his own arguments to Rayes asking him to set aside his order, at least for the time being. And he told the judge to ignore arguments that some people whose votes would not be counted this year might be harmed.

Catlett pointed out that Arizona has had an Election Day deadline since 1919.

It is true, he acknowledged, that state lawmakers last year did provide a five-day “cure” period in cases where the signature on the envelope doesn’t match county records.

But Catlett said it was made clear to the Arizona Democratic Party that did not extend to unsigned envelopes. And he said party officials were told last December that Election Day signatures would still be required.

Yet he said challengers waited for another six months to sue.

“Thus, any potential hardship that plaintiffs may suffer from a stay pending appeal is largely self-inflicted,” Catlett wrote.”Little harm, if any, will result from a stay of a deadline that has been in place for decades.”

Rayes gave no indication when he will rule.

 

 

 

Judge skeptical law racially discriminates against Native American voters

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The fate of a voting rights lawsuit could depend on whether a federal judge believes current practices discriminate against Native Americans or just people who live in rural areas.

Bret Healy, an expert witness for members of the Navajo Nation, testified Tuesday on how much more time it takes for an early ballot to be received at reservation addresses than in cities. On top of that, Healy said it can take up to 10 days for something mailed from certain reservation locations to make it to the county seat to be tallied.

He told Judge Murray Snow that this gives reservation residents far less time to consider their options before they have to mail them off. And in some cases, Healy said, it is physically impossible for a reservation resident to get a ballot, mark it, mail it back and have it received by the current deadline of 7 p.m. Election Day.

All that is relevant because attorney Chris McClure wants Snow to order that any ballot from a reservation address postmarked by that deadline has to be counted, even it does not arrive at county election offices for days later. He contends the current state deadline violates federal voting rights laws because it discriminates against Native Americans.

Murray Snow
Murray Snow

Snow, however, said he’s not sure it’s that clear and simple.

He said the issue of having less time to return early ballots and get them in on time applies “whether you’re Navajo, whether you’re Hopi, whether you’re Caucasian, Latinex.”

“It’s a matter of geography,” Snow said.

McClure did not dispute that point. But he said the research shows a high correlation between the reduced time to vote early and the Navajo Nation.

“And I think similar situated tribes would probably fall under the same problem,” McClure added.

The effect on Native Americans is crucial to McClure winning his case.

Federal law says that states may not take actions that have a “disparate effect” on what the law calls “suspect” classes. These are groups that have been the historic victims of discrimination.

Without that evidence of disparate effect, McClure cannot use the Voting Rights Act to demand changes to state election procedures.

Snow was clearly skeptical of the claims about this being about race, saying that non-Indians in rural areas — and even those living on reservations — would have the same burdens. McClure, however, said the issue should be seen from a different perspective.

“Just because the Native Americans live in more desolate areas, have less resources available … does not justify having it be harder for them to vote based on their geography,” he said. And McClure said it’s not like the shorter time they have to return their ballots is their fault because they chose to be further from urban areas and in places with slower mail service.

“They have done nothing to impact their opportunity other than to live on the lands that have been their tribal lands forever, essentially,” he said. “And that should not be some reason they lose the opportunity to have their votes counted.”

Attorneys for Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is asking Snow to dismiss the lawsuit, did not dispute that mailings to and from many reservation addresses take longer. But Marty Harper, one of her attorneys, said this has nothing to do with actions by the state — or the requirement for ballots to be in the hands of county officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

Harper told Snow that challengers must first show the deadline itself causes a discriminatory burden on Navajo Nation members living on the reservation. And then, he said, they have to show some connection between the deadline and any social and historical inequities that have been suffered by tribal members.

He said there is no such evidence.

And Harper said there’s another factor that Snow has to consider.

“Plaintiffs must show a discriminatory intent or purpose, or a substantial or motivating factor behind the law” which sets out the deadline for receipt of early ballots, he said. “And they don’t.”

McClure, however, argued the legal test is different. He said the key is whether members of the tribe have a way to vote in a way that gives them the same opportunity as those who are not Native Americans. And he said there is clear evidence of how non-reservation residents can mail ballots at the last minute and have them counted while those living on the reservation not only get their early ballots later but then have less time to mail them back in time to be counted.

That factor, McClure said, is further amplified by the fact that many reservation addresses have no home mail service with residents having to actually drive somewhere to pick up their ballots, bring them home, fill them out and then get them back to the post office.

State Elections Director Bo Dul told Snow that any ruling to county ballots from reservation addresses not received by Election Day would cause additional voter confusion. She said it would give voters incentive to put their ballots in the mail, even close to Election Day, “rather than taking it to a polling place where they can be sure it will be received on time.”

Snow gave no indication when he will rule.

 

Judge won’t give more time to find victims of Arpaio detentions

In this May 22, 2018, file photo, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks during a campaign event in Phoenix. A judge who ordered taxpayer-funded compensation for Latinos who were illegally detained when Arpaio defied a 2011 court order has declined to give the victims six more months to apply for the money. The ruling means the one-year period for filing claims ends Dec. 3. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
In this May 22, 2018, file photo, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks during a campaign event in Phoenix. A judge who ordered taxpayer-funded compensation for Latinos who were illegally detained when Arpaio defied a 2011 court order has declined to give the victims six more months to apply for the money. The ruling means the one-year period for filing claims ends Dec. 3. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

A federal judge who ordered taxpayer-funded compensation for Latinos who were illegally detained when then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio defied a court order has declined to give the victims more time to apply for the money.

The two-sentence ruling issued November 13 by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow in the racial-profiling case means the one-year period for filing claims will end on December 3.

Two years ago, Snow ordered the creation of a $500,000 compensation fund as a remedy for Arpaio’s acknowledged disobedience of the 2011 order to stop his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

Advocates for immigrant rights had argued that more time was needed to locate the victims.

Attorneys for Maricopa County countered by urging the judge to reject the proposed extension and accused opposing lawyers of trying to rewrite the terms of the compensation plan.

Under the plan, Maricopa County will pay $500 for the first hour of a person’s illegal detention and $35 for each additional 20-minute increment.

A $10,000 cap was imposed on such compensation, but victims can also seek money for damages such as lost wages and emotional distress.

The compensation costs are a small piece of the overall cost of the case, which so far have totaled $90 million.

Lawyers who filed the profiling lawsuit have said at least 190 people were detained in violation of the 2011 order, but they are unable to find their phone numbers and addresses.

Far fewer people than expected have filed claims because of the difficulty of locating victims.

Only one claim totaling $1,095 has been paid among the 93 filed. Twelve others are considered payable but await a rebuttal from the sheriff’s office, according to county records.

Arpaio called The Associated Press unsolicited November 14 to point out that, after all the litigation over the illegal detentions, only one person has been paid.

“Why isn’t anybody coming forward? I would like to know the answer to that question. It’s not gloating. I’m not gloating,” said Arpaio, who insisted he wasn’t responsible for causing the fund to be created.

Kathy Brody, one of the American Civil Liberties Union attorneys leading the profiling case against the Sheriff’s Office, said the claims from the 12 people whose claims are considered payable would total about $150,000 if approved.

Brody said she and others involved in the case suspect victims aren’t coming forward because they fear that doing so will lead to their deportation.

“He (Arpaio) has never shown any respect for the rights of these people and any concerns they have, so I am not surprised that this is his view,” Brody said.

Arpaio was accused of prolonging the patrols to boost his 2012 re-election campaign. He was later convicted of criminal contempt of court for violating the court order, though a pardon by President Donald Trump spared Arpaio a possible jail sentence. He lost the 2016 sheriff’s race.

Taxpayers in metro Phoenix remain on the hook for compensation for the illegal detentions made during the patrols between late December 2011 and May 2013.

Lawyers involved in the profiling case and a firm running the claims process have worked with community organizations and foreign consulates offices in hopes of finding victims. A group in Mexico has reached out to news organizations to publicize the compensation efforts.

The attorneys also watched traffic-stop videos and pored over arrest and other police records. They also did interviews

Trial seeks details on suppliers of death penalty drugs

lethal injection

News organizations will clash with Arizona prison officials over the First Amendment at a trial to determine whether the public has a right to know who supplies execution drugs and the qualifications of people who carry out the death penalty.

The Associated Press, Arizona Republic and other news operations are seeking the information in a lawsuit filed after the 2014 death of Joseph Rudolph Wood, who was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over nearly two hours in what his attorney called a botched execution.

The trial is set to begin Tuesday in Phoenix.

Similar challenges to the death penalty are playing out in other parts of the country that seek more transparency about where states get their execution drugs.

States are struggling to obtain execution drugs because European pharmaceutical companies began blocking the use of their products for lethal injections.

In the Arizona case, the news organizations say information about executions has historically been open to the public and that journalists witness executions as proxies for the general public.

They argued that the release of the information helps the public determine whether executions are carried out humanely and promotes public confidence in the criminal justice system.

“The public cannot meaningfully debate the propriety of lethal injection executions if it is denied access to this essential information about how individuals are being put to death by the state,” lawyers for the news organizations said in the lawsuit.

The Arizona Department of Corrections didn’t have an immediate comment Monday on the trial. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which is defending the state at trial, didn’t return phone calls and an email seeking comment.

State law prohibits the disclosure of information that would identify anyone serving on an execution team.

The state said that confidentiality extends to suppliers of the drugs used. An Arizona prisons official has suggested that previous disclosures about suppliers have led other vendors to refuse to provide the drugs.

Other plaintiffs in the case include the Guardian News & Media, Arizona Daily Star, CBS 5 (KPHO-TV) and 12 News (KPNX-TV).

The news organizations won a partial victory last year when U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ruled the state must let witnesses view the entirety of an execution, including each time drugs are administered.

Snow concluded that witnesses to Wood’s death couldn’t see that he was receiving additional doses of the drugs after the first ones failed to kill him.

A new execution protocol issued in January will let witnesses see the injections through a camera in a room where the drugs are loaded into an inmate’s IV line.

Last month, the state settled a separate lawsuit filed by death-row inmates who alleged that Arizona’s prisons chief had abused his discretion in the methods and amounts of drugs used in executions. The agreement limited the power of prison officials to change execution drugs at the last minute.

There are currently 118 prisoners on death row in Arizona.