Courts & Corrections

VTDigger covers criminal justice issues including Vermont legal issues, Vermont courts and the Vermont Department of Corrections. Elizabeth Hewitt covers the criminal justice system for VTDigger. She can be reached at [email protected]

Senate balks at nonbinding referendum on pot legalization

And if the Senate does not go along with a marijuana advisory commission in a bill the House passed this week, the marijuana issue is finished for the year, according to the House speaker.

Jay Peak investor files class action lawsuit against Raymond James

The plaintiff alleges the financial services company “aided and abetted” the developers of Jay Peak Resort in the diversion of $200 million in immigrant investor funds.

New York police officer admits role in opiate ring in Vermont

A New York City police officer accused of selling oxycodone for three years in Vermont pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute the powerful opiate. Andre Clarke, 37, was arrested last summer and charged by a federal grand jury in a 15-count indictment that included two others, Michael Foreste and Dannis […]

Migrant Justice: Bail granted for activist facing deportation

Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont’s members of Congress sent letters calling for prosecutorial discretion in another person’s deportation case. But none of them has made a similar public call on behalf of Victor Diaz, who has a DUI conviction.

UPDATED: House snuffs out pot legalization and homegrown proposals

The House voted down proposals to legalize retail pot sales and decriminalize homegrown marijuana. Representatives also defeated a non-binding referendum.

Bill banishing criminal history from job applications becomes law

The governor’s signing makes Vermont the seventh state to “ban the box” asking about criminal convictions, and it follows a 2015 executive order removing the question when hiring state employees.

National advocate praises, prods state on criminal justice reform

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said many of the changes he is pushing nationally are already a reality in Vermont. But he pointed to racial disparities in the state’s justice system as evidence that more needs to be done.

Police: Targeting of woman as ‘terrorist’ was hate crime

BURLINGTON — A city man is being charged with a hate crime after calling a woman wearing a hijab, or headscarf, a terrorist and pointing what appeared to be a gun at her, according to police. The incident allegedly occurred just before 5 p.m. Tuesday while the woman was walking with her child on North […]

Leahy, Booker lead discussion on criminal justice reform in Burlington

Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Cory Booker, D-N.J. will lead a panel discussion on criminal justice reform 2:30 p.m. today in Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall. Leahy and Booker are part of a bipartisan movement on Capitol Hill to enact criminal justice reforms. Leahy is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has […]

Investor says Stenger cut him a special deal

In retrospect, the Tram Haus investor says the $300,000 payback seems like “hush money.”

House to take up marijuana legalization for the first time Monday

House Speaker Shap Smith said that it is clear to House leadership that there is not consensus around legalization.

Judge grants Quiros limited reprieve from asset freeze

A federal court judge has partially modified his order to freeze the assets of Miami businessman Ariel Quiros, while the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fraud case against him proceeds. The SEC charged Quiros and his partner, Bill Stenger, with 52 counts of securities violations for running a Ponzi-like scheme in the Northeast Kingdom using the […]

SCOV Law Blog: Challenging the government’s say-so

A woman who gets a license suspension for DUI contends that the State must submit the “ticket” from the breath test as scientific evidence for her conviction, but the trial court says the police affidavit with the .0158 BAC is sufficient.

Stalking bill added to legislation on assault of social workers

A bill that began as an effort to curb threats of violence against social workers is on track to go back to the Senate in a new form. The House approved a bill Thursday that enhances criminal penalties for assaulting social workers from the Department for Children and Families. But the bill, S.154, now has […]