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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

  • In Mixed Ruling, Supreme Court Overturns Parts of Arizona’s S.B. 1070, Upholds "Show Me Your Papers"

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    The Supreme Court has overturned key parts of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law S.B. 1070 but upheld the law’s controversial "show me your papers" provision. On Monday, the court struck down three of the law’s four provisions that subject undocumented immigrants to criminal penalties for seeking work or failing to carry immigration papers at all times. In each case, the majority said those powers rest with the federal government, not with Arizona. But in a unanimous decision, the justices upheld the law’s controversial Section 2B, which requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop before releasing them. We’re joined from Washington, D.C., by Marielena Hincapié of the National Immigration Law Center, a group that has filed a civil rights challenge to S.B. 1070 and similar laws in five other states, and from Phoenix by Viridiana Hernandez, an undocumented immigrant who would benefit from the Obama administration’s recent order allowing undocumented youth to apply for a two-year stay from deportation. "The fact that I can leave my house and tell my mom, 'Mom, I'll be back tonight,’ does not change the fact that she can leave the house and not tell me the same thing," Hernandez says. "That’s why we continue fighting, because our families are still at risk, and our communities are still at risk. And so, there hasn’t been [a] win unless our whole community wins." [includes rush transcript]

  • Juvenile Justice: Plaintiffs’ Lawyer, Victim’s Father Hail Rejection of Mandatory Life Terms for Kids

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    In a groundbreaking ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that states may not impose mandatory life sentences without parole on children, even if they have been convicted of taking part in a murder. The justices ruled in a five-to-four decision that such harsh sentencing for children violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. "[We’ve] been victims of the politics of fear and anger in this country for 40 years [with] tremendous investment into excessive sentences, mass incarceration," says juvenile defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, who filed the landmark Supreme Court case. "Many of the people who have been brought into that transformation have been kids." We’re also joined by Azim Khamisa, whose 20-year-old son Tariq was killed by a 14-year-old gang member, Tony Hicks, in 1995. Khamisa co-signed an amicus brief on behalf of victim family members who oppose life without parole for children. "The brain of a child is not formed at the age of 14," Khamisa says. "So I think there is a lot of potential in these young offenders, that if we create the right kind of an environment ... these kids can come back into society, and not only come back into society, but come back as contributing members." [includes rush transcript]

  • Sharif Abdel Kouddous: Historic Egypt Election Outweighed by Continued Dominance of Military Rule

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    Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi has become Egypt’s first-ever democratically elected president after beating out former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. Despite his historic victory, Morsi will face major challenges under Egypt’s ruling military council. The council recently issued new restrictions on the incoming president’s authority and will retain control of Egypt’s budget and legislation. "This has been a flawed [transition] process," says Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. "June 30th, which is when there’s supposed to be a handover of power, isn’t a real handover of power at all." [includes rush transcript]