Friday, September 23, 2022

U.S. Government Drops Prosecution of Massachusetts Judge on Obstruction Charges in Immigration-Related Case


Federal prosecutors yesterday agreed to dismiss a criminal case against a Massachusetts state court judge accused of assisting an undocumented immigrant evade apprehension when federal immigration officers showed up to arrest him in the judge's courtroom.   Chris Villani ·for Law360 reports that federal prosecutors dismissed the criminal case against the Massachusetts judge.

Under the agreement, Judge Shelley Joseph agreed to refer herself to the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct, which makes recommendations to the state's top court on discipline for judges. 

"She also agreed to admit to certain facts related to the April 2018 day at issue, including that she violated U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy by instructing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to wait outside the courtroom and ran afoul of the state's rules of court by instructing a clerk to turn off a recording of the proceeding involving the immigrant.

The controversial prosecution was brought during the Trump administration and had been stalled on the docket in recent months, leading to speculation that the U.S. Department of Justice was trying to resolve the case.

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins, a staunch opponent of civil arrests in courthouses by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was recused from the prosecution."


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