Rhode Island Judiciary

Don Boorman / RIPR

After the Rhode Island court scandals of the 1990’s, the state changed the way judges are chosen. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay explains why lawyers with Statehouse connections keep getting appointed to the bench … despite the reforms.

Common Cause of Rhode Island, the good government group, the Rhode Island Bar Association and a past president of the NAACP skewered Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently when he elevated former Senate President Joe Montalbano to a coveted judgeship on the state superior court bench.

Natalie Jablonski / RIPR

Denise Dallaire served ten years in prison before being abruptly freed a few months ago by the same judge who sentenced her.

She was convicted in 2003 on a minor drug dealing charge, but because of mandatory sentencing laws in effect at that time, she received a 15 year sentence.  When her sentence was reversed, the judge apologized to her.

Ms. Dallaire sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.

More from Elisabeth Harrison's interview with Denise Dallaire.

The Rhode Island Judiciary is working to overhaul a media policy last updated in 1981 -- when manual typewriters remained in widespread use.

As it stands, trial justices have some latitude on the technology that reporters can and can't use in their individual courtrooms.