The Riverton Circuit Court is stationed in a small, pre-fab building with thin walls. After a bullet was shot from outside the building into the courtroom last summer, Fremont County stationed industrial shipping containers around the building to protect it. The Fremont County Board of Commissioners has requested funding from the State Loan and Investments Board to build a new circuit court facility.
Laramie County District Court’s Judge Campbell granted Andrew Johnson a new trial today, based on fresh DNA evidence. Johnson has served 24 years of a life-in-prison sentence. He was convicted of sexual assault of a Cheyenne woman in 1989. The woman’s rape kit contained semen, but Innocence Center Managing Attorney, Elizabeth Fasse, says it wasn’t until 2008 that anything could be done with that evidence.
The State Senate has approved a bill that gives the Wyoming Supreme Court the authority to reduce the number of full time Circuit Court magistrates. A magistrate is appointed by a Judge to oversee court duties when the Judge is not present. In rural areas a magistrate handles minor judicial duties.
A federal judge will allow Eastern Shoshone Tribe to challenge the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s plan to sue for the right to kill bald eagles on the reservation they share.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a permit to the Northern Arapaho Tribe allowing them to kill two bald eagles annually for religious purposes, as long as they do so outside the reservation they share with the Shoshone. Because Wyoming state law prohibits the killing of eagles on state land, the Northern Arapaho are suing Fish and Wildlife for the right to kill the eagles on the reservation.