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AG Reyes applauds passing of First Step Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2018

 

AG REYES APPLAUDS SENATE PASSING THE FIRST STEP ACT

SALT LAKE CITY – As the vote count was announced that the First Step Act had passed through the U.S. Senate and was headed to the U.S. House of Representatives, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes stated the following: 

This is a big win for the Trump Administration, for justice reform leaders like our own Senator Mike Lee, and most importantly, for the American people. 
 
Allowing more discretion in sentencing empowers judges and the system to personalize the punishment to the crime. Giving inmates who meet strict criteria a chance at redemption and an opportunity to become productive citizens benefits all of us. Not only does it reduce an overcrowded prison population, it provides a workforce eager to contribute to society. 
 
I’ve been honored to work over the past year with the White House, Senator Lee and other leaders to get this bill passed. As a former co-chair of the Civil Rights Committee for the National Association of Attorneys General, and in various positions over a decade before that, I have advocated for reform to our criminal justice system; a system that disproportionately affects minority communities and inflexibly captures certain individuals who may not deserve to be there in the first place. 
 
Again, I applaud the U.S. Senate’s approval of the historic ’First Step Act.’ But this legislation is just that – a first step. I will continue my work with Utah leaders and attorneys general from other states to expand reform beyond just the federal system in order to reduce recidivism, save taxpayer dollars, provide treatment for mental health and substance abuse and providing some nonviolent offenders a second chance. We can find these humane and balanced solutions while still aggressively protecting Utahns from violent crime and keeping our communities safe. 
 
The bi-partisan political support for this bill along with diverse buy-in from groups such as law enforcement, civil rights leaders and academics speaks to the need for such reform. 
 
 

Photo by Hédi Benyounes

Utah AGO Wins National Recognition for Attorneys, Supreme Court Briefs

Laura Dupaix Honored as Staff of the Year; Strieff Brief Receives “Best Brief Award”

SALT LAKE CITY June 24, 2016 – The Utah Attorney General’s Office has been recognized for its appellate advocacy by the National Association of Attorneys General.  The awards were announced and disseminated on Thursday, June 23 during the NAAG Summer Meeting in Burlington, Vt. Recently retired Attorney General Laura Dupaix was honored with one of two Attorney General Career Staff of the Year Awards for extensive work on several multi-state cases. Additionally, Solicitor General Tyler R. Green, Deputy Solicitor General Laura B. Dupaix, Criminal Appeals Director Thomas B. Brunker, and Search & Seizure Section Director Jeffrey S. Gray were recognized for excellence in brief writing for the U.S. Supreme Court with the 2016 NAAG Supreme Court Best Brief Award. The award recognized the brief submitted for Utah v. Strieff.

“Congratulations to Solicitor General Tyler Green, our former Deputy Solicitor General Laura Dupaix, Criminal Appeals Director Thomas Brunker, and Search & Seizure Section Director Jeffrey Gray and their staff who contributed to writing this brief,” said Attorney General Reyes. “To be recognized by NAAG for their Supreme Court brief is quite an accomplishment. This only reinforces my belief that the Utah Attorney General’s Office has some of the top appellate advocates in the world. Supreme Court advocacy is a rare opportunity in the practice of law, and I congratulate our appellate section for not only rising to the occasion but for also distinguishing our office in the process.

“Additionally, we wish to extend our congratulations to Laura for the honor of Career Staff of the Year and the recognition it represents from her peers at the National Association of Attorneys General,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Laura is a rare talent. She is a brilliant writer, meticulous editor, an articulate advocate and a beloved leader who has served the citizens of Utah with distinction and honor.”

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