The Associated Press 2017

POLITICS

ENVIRONMENT

CRIME

BUSINESS

The Associated Press 2016

POLITICS

SPOT NEWS

CRIME

The Economist

2017

2016

Nextgov (Atlantic Media)

Utah’s anesthesia abortion law unenforced (AP)

Last year, Utah enacted a first-in-the-nation law requiring that fetuses receive anesthesia or painkillers before elective abortions starting at 20 weeks gestation. Nine months later, the only licensed clinic providing those abortions in the state says no changes have been made in how doctors perform the procedures.

The handful of doctors who do the abortions at the clinic run by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah are trying to comply with the law passed last May but it contained no specific guidance on how to do so, said Karrie Galloway, the group’s CEO.

Dr. Leah Torres, one of five or six licensed physicians who perform these elective abortions at the clinic, said she went to legislators, the governor’s office and the attorney general’s office seeking an explanation on what treatment she’s supposed to give. She said they gave her none and recommended she speak to a lawyer.

“I guess I’m breaking the law, but I don’t know how to not break it because no one would tell me,” Torres said in an interview with The Associated Press.

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DeVos compares school choice to switching phone carriers (AP)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reiterated her push for school choice during an annual education technology conference in Utah Tuesday, comparing the issue to being able to switch between phone service providers.

She said there are many great cell phone companies, but people have the option to pick which one they want to use.

“If you can’t get cell phone service in your living room, then your particular provider is failing you,” she told hundreds of people in a packed auditorium in Salt Lake City during her keynote speech. “You should have the option to find a network that does work.”

Outside, dozens of protesters pushed back against DeVos’ education policies, including her emphasis on school choice, saying it threatens public education.

Kellie Henderson, a protester and co-founder of the activist group Utah Indivisible, said she couldn’t afford the nearly $3,000 conference tickets, but is concerned with DeVos’ support of school choice because it could take money from public education.

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Articles on a Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” (AP)

Group complains judge who called rapist ‘good man’ is biased

Apr. 20, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” during sentencing showed bias for the defendant because he was a former Mormon bishop, according to an official complaint filed Thursday by a gay rights group.

Mark Lawrence of Restore our Humanity said the group sent the complaint to the state Judicial Conduct Commission, which can recommend the Utah Supreme Court reprimand or remove Judge Thomas Low.

Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo last week to five years to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

“The court has no doubt that Mr. Vallejo is an extraordinarily good man,” Low said at the hearing. “But great men sometimes do bad things.”

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Repercussions unclear for judge after comments on rape case

April 17, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Complaints keep pouring in about a Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a “good man” during his sentencing hearing. But the chances of the judge being punished appear slim because his remarks don’t seem to fit within any of the five forms of judicial misconduct that would trigger reprimands, one expert said.

At least four of these categories of misconduct don’t apply to Judge Thomas Low’s remarks, Paul Cassell, a professor of criminal law at the University of Utah, said Monday. The fifth category would only apply if officials determined that his comments were damaging to the administration of justice, which is difficult to prove, Cassell said.

Last week, Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo, a former Mormon bishop, to up to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

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Utah judge at rape sentencing: Ex-Mormon bishop a ‘good man’

April 15, 2017

PROVO, Utah (AP) — A woman says she is shocked by a Utah judge’s comments in which he called a former Mormon bishop convicted of sexually assaulting her a “good man” during his sentencing hearing.

Julia Kirby said Friday that Judge Thomas Low appeared to care more for her attacker than he did about her.

“He only cared about the person he was convicting, and I think that is really kind of despicable,” said the 23-year-old Kirby, who has given The Associated Press permission to publish her name

Low sentenced Keith Robert Vallejo to up to life in prison this week after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape.

Kirby said she was 19 when Vallejo, a relative, groped her multiple times when she stayed at his house while attending Brigham Young University in 2013.

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