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]

Document: Mix of drugs led to Fair Haven woman’s death

Alexandra Rooker, whose body was found at a Poultney man’s home in March, died accidentally as a result of substance abuse, according to her death certificate.

UPDATED: Arrest made in South Burlington threat case

Threats via email and social media have targeted five teachers and 11 students. Police say they have received numerous tips and are seeking information from the public.

Senate OKs marijuana legalization amendment

The amendment, which passed on a vote of 21 to 9, would create a taxed and regulated system for marijuana sales.

SCOV Law: Defendant argues delay in bringing charges violates due process

A sexual assault investigation by the Department for Children and Families and turned over to a state’s attorney was not reactivated until the alleged victim’s mother inquired about its status three years later.

Court OKs proposed $150M settlement with Raymond James

Miami federal court Judge Darrin Gayles gave preliminary approval to the settlement. If no one objects to the terms, the agreement will move forward.

Senate approves racial justice oversight board bill

“This is not aimed at law enforcement alone, but recognizes issues present in the entire system,” said Sen. Jeanette White. The House addressed similar concerns via two other bills.

Out-of-state prison deal may have minimum bed requirement

Lawmakers and advocates are concerned inmates would be sent away to meet the quota, even if space were available in Vermont. The state says it doesn’t intend to do that.

UPDATED: House gives approval to media shield law bill

The legislation would prevent a court, police, prosecutors or defense attorneys from requiring journalists to turn over information from confidential sources.

Judge: Officials’ messages on private accounts aren’t public

Attorney General TJ Donovan, while endorsing transparency, said the request at issue here would have violated officials’ privacy. The secretary of state called the ruling “alarming.”

Rutland City denies police bias claims

The city has asked a federal judge to throw out a nightclub lawsuit. The owner alleges that police targeted African American patrons.

Threats lead to lockdown at South Burlington High School

SOUTH BURLINGTON — South Burlington High School went into lockdown Wednesday after school staff received threatening emails and phone calls this week. Superintendent David Young reported that threats were received Tuesday “through hacked student email accounts at the high school” and “a concerning phone call later in the day.” South Burlington police “identified both as […]

Frustrated by House inaction, Senate to move on marijuana

A proposal to create a tax-and-regulate system is poised to come up for a vote Friday, although the senator behind it doesn’t expect it to become law this year.

Rutland theater offers reward after laptops, Ortiz-signed ball stolen

RUTLAND — Officials with the Paramount Theatre are offering a $1,000 reward for four staff laptops stolen during a weekend burglary. In addition to the laptops, $300 in cash was taken, as well as a baseball belonging to a staff member that was signed by former Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz. It’s the […]

Senators scaling back domestic violence gun removal proposal

The Senate Judiciary Committee is paring back a House bill that would allow police to remove firearms from the scene of domestic violence incidents. Last month the House narrowly approved H.422, which would allow police to seize firearms from homes when someone is cited or arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Law enforcement could hold […]