Arpaio denied jury trial: Judge to decide contempt case

Constitutional right to being tried before a jury of one’s peers denied former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton rejected arguments that a jury trial was needed to avoid the appearance of bias by Judge G. Murray Snow who recommended the criminal charge against the former sheriff.

Arpaio is charged with criminal contempt for defying a 2011 court order in a case stemming from his workplace patrols of illegals. Arpaio pleaded not guilty to the charge. He acknowledged violating the order but insisted the breech wasn’t intentional.

His trial is set for April 25. Judge Bolton, a registered Independent, was nominated to a lifetime appointment on the federal bench by Democrat Pres. Bill Clinton, based on a recommendation from then-U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, a Republican with John McCain’s concurrence. She was confirmed by a voice vote.

If convicted, Joe Arpaio, who will be 85 on Flag Day, June 14, could face up to six months in jail. His wife Ava battles a serious illness, but age and infirmities take a back seat to politics as usual. Though both of his parents were legal Italian immigrants, he was characterized in the media as being anti-immigrant for doing the job the citizens of Maricopa County reelected him to an unprecedented six four-year terms to do.

Mel McDonald, Arpaio’s lawyer, is the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Although McDonald argued that an elected official’s actions should be decided by an impartial jury of his peers, he said his client won’t appeal this latest decision. “It’s not surprising,” McDonald is quoted as saying, noting that Bolton had previously said she was leaning toward deciding the case herself. Bolton declared there is no inherent right to jury trials in cases in which potential jail sentences are limited to six months or less.

This August 2016 posprovides background on the motivation of U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow, whose temper and apparent vendetta against Arpaio were frequently on display as he initially put this unsavory legal scheme into action


7 Responses to Arpaio denied jury trial: Judge to decide contempt case

  1. East Valley Conservative says:

    As an Arizona native, I’ve seen sheriffs come and sheriffs go. None of them had the background of Joe Arpaio, who began his law enforcement career as a cop and ended up with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, living and working in places from Turkey to Mexico. Before becoming sheriff he headed DEA in Arizona. I’ve read his bio when he was sheriff and wish I had copied it so I could post it here.

    I was proud to vote for Sheriff Joe each time he ran. His commitment to the citizens of Maricopa County was evident to all of his supporters.

    This contempt trial should never be taking place. I pray for him and his wife.

    • Braveheart says:

      Both federal judges Bolton and Snow have shown their biases against Arpaio. It’s time for a clear head and fresh eyes on this case. What does it take for a new judge to be brought in?

  2. Vince says:

    There’s a vast difference between “immigrants” and illegal aliens. Immigrants come to America legally, and assimilate into our culture, learning English and making our history their own. Illegals disobey our laws, use fraudulent or stolen documents to facilitate their lives here and replicate Mexican barrios in formerly middle class neighborhoods,

    • CD 8 PC says:

      No kidding! Our home, which we watched being built, kept well maintained throughout the decades we owned it, suited us well. It was mortgage free. Then one by one they began to be sold to what were generously called ‘immigrants.’ Soon the well kept yards (all had in ground sprinkler systems) were dirt and weeds. The garages were not used for parking cars. The dirt front yards were. Tires, empty bottles and garbage littered many of the yards. We were forced to move, which was not in our retirement plans.
      THAT sums up the difference between legal immigrants, who understand the concept of pride of ownership and illegals. I not only saw this firsthand, I lived it.

  3. CD 8 PC says:

    I neglected to add that the neighborhood grade school that our now grown kids attended had a “winter holiday” production that was in Spanish and English. When the interpreter was interpreting in English, my next door neighbors whose daughter was in fourth grade, put their home on the market. We had become minorities in our own community.

  4. Saguaro Sam says:

    One day there will be a First in meteorological history:
    Snow in Hell !!