Arguments over commutation legality go before Idaho judge

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Idaho District Judge Jay Gaskill heard arguments from Gerald Pizzuto Jr.’s attorney on Thursday, asking the judge to stop the state from executing his client. Pizzuto, 65, has been on death row for more than 35 years and last month the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole recommended his sentenceContinue reading “Arguments over commutation legality go before Idaho judge”

Idaho Supreme Court hears oral arguments over redistricting challenges

The Idaho Supreme Court heard legal challenges to the state’s adopted legislative redistricting plan on Friday, Jan. 14. Arguments in a separate case challenging the congressional redistricting plan are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Monday, January 24. Here’s a writeup of the courtroom action by Clark Corbin of the Idaho Capital Sun: Idaho Supreme CourtContinue reading “Idaho Supreme Court hears oral arguments over redistricting challenges”

Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports It took five years, but the Idaho State Police Forensic Services lab has tested the last previously untested sexual assault kit in Idaho. The final test came after 2016 legislation, pitched by Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, identified a backlog of not just untested sexual assault kits, but kits that hadn’tContinue reading “Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years”

New chief judge appointed to the Idaho Court of Appeals

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan appointed a new chief judge Wednesday for the Idaho Court of Appeals. Judge Jessica M. Lorello will take over as chief judge on Jan. 1, replacing former Chief Judge Molly J. Huskey, who remains on the court.  The Court of Appeals consistsContinue reading “New chief judge appointed to the Idaho Court of Appeals”

Idaho Supreme Court says parents have standing to sue over fees for full-day kindergarten

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports On Monday, the Idaho Supreme Court issued an opinion on standing in the case of Gifford v. West Ada Joint School District #2, in which plaintiffs question the constitutionality of charging fees for full-day kindergarten. The opinion doesn’t rule on the constitutionality of the fees, remanding the case back toContinue reading “Idaho Supreme Court says parents have standing to sue over fees for full-day kindergarten”

Ex-legislator accused of rape pleads not guilty

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports District Judge Michael Reardon accepted a not guilty plea Monday in the case involving a former legislator accused of raping a legislative intern.  Aaron von Ehlinger, 39, of Juliaetta, is charged on accusations of rape and forcible penetration with a foreign object, both felony charges.  He pleaded not guilty toContinue reading “Ex-legislator accused of rape pleads not guilty”

Idaho Supreme Court hears execution procedure arguments in death row case

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports On Monday, the Idaho Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Gerald Pizzuto Jr., who narrowly avoided execution this summer. Pizzuto, 65, has been on death row in Idaho for more than 35 years after he was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in Idaho County. Pizzuto’s attorneyContinue reading “Idaho Supreme Court hears execution procedure arguments in death row case”

Update: Ex-legislator’s criminal case moves forward after rape accusation

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Editor’s note: This story may be disturbing to some readers due to discussion of alleged sexual violence. Ada County Magistrate Judge Kira Dale on Friday heard evidence in the case of the former Idaho legislator accused of sexually assaulting a legislative intern. The judge moved his case forward to DistrictContinue reading “Update: Ex-legislator’s criminal case moves forward after rape accusation”

Legal fees over ballot initiative bill will cost taxpayers over $150,000

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports After a citizen’s advocacy group prevailed at the Idaho Supreme Court this year, Idaho taxpayers will pick up the tab for legal fees. The Constitutional Defense Council met Monday to discuss approving funding for the legal expenses accrued after they lost a lawsuit revolving around a ballot initiative bill thatContinue reading “Legal fees over ballot initiative bill will cost taxpayers over $150,000”

Von Ehlinger makes first Idaho court appearance

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The former legislator accused of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern appeared in front of an Idaho judge for the first time Wednesday morning. Ada County Magistrate Judge John Hawley scheduled Aaron von Ehlinger’s preliminary hearing for Oct. 29 during a brief virtual hearing. Von Ehlinger, 39, of Juliaetta, faces chargesContinue reading “Von Ehlinger makes first Idaho court appearance”