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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Does racial bias exist in ND courts?

  • The Commission to Study Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts will present its final report to Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley today, Tuesday, Nov. 20.
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  • The Commission to Study Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts will present its final report to Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley today, Tuesday, Nov. 20.
    The presentation will take place at 1 p.m. in the Governor’s Conference Room on the ground floor of the North Dakota State Capitol building, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., in Bismarck, N.D.
    The Commission’s co-chairs, N.D. Supreme Court Justice Carol Kapsner, Bismarck, and Northeast Judicial District Judge Donovan Foughty, Devils Lake, will make the presentation to Wrigley.
    In addition to Kapsner and Foughty, the following Commission members will be attending the presentation: South Central Judicial District Judge Sonna Anderson; Leann Bertsch, the director of the N.D. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; Scott Davis, the executive director of the N.D. Indian Affairs Commission; Tom Disselhorst, legal counsel for United Tribes; Lisa Jahner, the juvenile justice program manager for the N.D. Association of Counties; William Neumann, the executive director of the State Bar Association of N.D.; Chief Deputy Attorney General Tom Trenbeath.
    The 25-member Commission was created Oct. 30, 2009, under a resolution issued by N.D. Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle.  It was assigned to investigate bias and the perception of bias in the state courts and to propose solutions for any issues discovered.
    The Commission’s final report includes information on jury selection, criminal and civil courts, and issues surrounding the need for language interpreters in courts. Minority representation was also examined in the juvenile system, among North Dakota attorneys, and among state court employees.
    A copy of the final report including findings and recommendations, will be available to the public for download at:  www.ndcourts.gov/court/committees/bias_commission/FinalReport2012.pdf

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