Justice

Patients from Texas overwhelm New Mexico abortion funds

BY: - September 8, 2021

Abortion rights and health care access advocates in New Mexico described a sense of heaviness as they took an influx of calls from people seeking abortion services in the fallout of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court order. In a one-paragraph, unsigned order issued just before midnight on Wednesday, Sept. 1, the court did not strike […]

In court, drug middlemen fight to limit pharmacies insured patients can use

BY: - September 7, 2021

In the first test of a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, drug middlemen last week argued that federal law gives them a crucial right to limit which pharmacies patients with health insurance can use — or at least make it more expensive if patients get their medicine at a shop that isn’t preferred by the […]

Court tosses out breath test, but upholds Iowa woman’s OWI conviction

BY: - September 6, 2021

After finding that blood-alcohol tests shouldn’t have been admitted in the drunken-driving trial of an Oskaloosa woman, the Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the woman’s conviction based in part on incriminating statements she made before being advised of her rights. According to court records, Dawn Loryne Chambers’ car was found in a Mahaska County ditch […]

COMMENTARY

Should government be merciful as well as just?

BY: - September 6, 2021

Springfield, Ill. – Should our government temper its justice with mercy? I’ve been pondering that question for at least three decades, ever since I was a young reporter and heard a Texas prosecutor stand before a jury and say, “These aren’t halls of mercy; these are halls of justice!” Justice is rendered when people receive […]

Lawsuit: Iowa’s school mask mandate ban violates disability rights

BY: - September 3, 2021

Eleven families have partnered with a disability rights group to sue the state of Iowa over a law that prevents school districts from requiring face coverings.  “Getting HF 847 blocked is urgent for the state of Iowa, because this law puts vulnerable kids in a dangerous situation,” said Rita Bettis Austen, legal director for the […]

Court upholds Iowa man’s conviction for killing his grandmother with a bayonet

BY: - September 3, 2021

The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a Muscatine man who killed his grandmother with a bayonet. According to police and prosecutors, 19-year-old Darian Lensgraf entered the Muscatine home of his grandmother, Diana Lensgraf, early on the morning of Dec. 12, 2018, her 66th birthday. Darian stabbed his grandmother multiple […]

Convicted domestic abuser loses one appeal, wins another

BY: - September 2, 2021

The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the domestic-abuse conviction of a Polk County man, despite the fact that his accuser failed to appear at trial. The court, however, sided with the defendant in tossing out his conviction for suborning perjury. In June 2019, Gary Charles Wood of Polk County was arrested and charged with […]

Biden administration launches civil rights investigations of Iowa and other states banning school mask requirements

BY: - August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal education officials have launched civil rights investigations in Iowa and four other Republican-led states that have prohibited school districts from mandating mask-wearing, saying those policies could amount to illegal discrimination against students with disabilities. The Biden administration notified the education chiefs in Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, Utah and Oklahoma of the investigations through formal letters Monday. The new investigations […]

Supreme Court rejection of eviction ban increases pressure to dole out rental aid money

BY: - August 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing — and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]

Iowa college accused of unfairly firing soccer coach and his wife

BY: - August 26, 2021

The wife of a fired soccer coach is taking the Iowa Civil Rights Commission to court, claiming it unjustly dismissed her complaint that she was fired by Hawkeye Community College after voicing support for her husband. Lawyers for Maren Carroll, the wife of Robert Carroll, are seeking judicial review of the commission’s actions. In the […]

Iowa mom sues Reynolds over law banning mask mandates in schools

BY: - August 26, 2021

A Council Bluffs mother is suing Gov. Kim Reynolds and the state of Iowa over the law prohibiting schools from mandating face masks as a protective measure against COVID-19. Frances Mierzwa Parr is asking the court to order the state to issue a universal mask mandate for all students and school personnel, at least until […]

County jail released at least 100 inmates too early, state auditors allege

BY: - August 18, 2021

A former Buchanan County Jail administrator deliberately released inmates before their sentences were served and in some cases kept them in jail past their court-ordered sentence, according to a new report from the Iowa Auditor of State’s Office. The audit of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail, covers a two-year period from […]