12:37 PM JAABLOG email to SAO PIO:

Mr. Pryor stated he was in favor of DUI diversion, similar to Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade, as supported by MADD.

Is this still the case, and when can a DUI diversion program be expected to be in place?

SAO PIO response at 5:06 PM:

The goal is to have a DUI diversion program, supported by MADD, established in 2022. Senior prosecutors and others are still meeting and gathering data and information to establish a program that emphasizes public safety and fairness.

5:15 PM JAABLOG response:

In the meantime, shouldn’t there be some consideration given to those with open DUI’s who are first offender’s, and who meet the necessary requirements for the anticipated diversion program, which will likely mirror the neighboring MADD approved, long standing diversion programs in Miami and Palm Beach? Is it necessary to fully prosecute these individuals who happen to have the misfortune of being charged while awaiting the new program, instead of offering breakdowns?

(JAABLOG will update Monday with the SAO’s reply)

Independent – Baltimore ends war on drugs

” … What surprised many people – including Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison – was that the reduction in low-level prosecutions appears to have triggered a decline in nearly all categories of crime in the city … As violent crime skyrocketed in cities across the nation, those crimes in Baltimore – a city that is still among the most violent in the country – did not.”


Sent by BACDL President Bill Barner, earlier today:

The Chief Judge held a meeting today to update everyone on the courthouse reopening. Here are my notes:

  • Throughout the reopening, the courts will continue to use zoom
  • Hybrid Hearings: there are eight courtrooms equipped to allow zoom appearances and spectatorship during in-person jury trials.
  • County criminal jury trials began today, and the courthouse has also begun grand jury proceedings.
  • First week in May, in-person hearings at the satellite courthouses will begin to be phased in.
  • Felony jury trials will begin in mid-late May. Judge John Murphy and/or Judge Martin Fein will have their own floor for murder trials.
  • Masks must be worn everywhere at all times
  • Normal courthouse activities are expected to resume by late July or early August.


Jury Box, side view with dividers between the individual jurors/inmates …
Court staff with “The Owl,” a super sensitive listening device for Zoom and record purposes …
APD Nawal Bashimam, today before the first hearing litigated in-person to evidentiary findings in Broward since the shut-downs. Notice the telephone, the only way counsel is allowed to speak with an in-custody client. Inmates are sequestered in the jury box, and attorney’s may not approach. The judge said it’s because BSO doesn’t want inmates being infected by outside people, potentially causing an outbreak in the jail …
Inmate phone extension in the jury box …

(County courtrooms outfitted for misdemeanor, out of custody jury trials set to commence next week, were locked and unavailable for inspection this morning)