New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore ordered an independent review of the state court system’s response to issues of institutional racism in light of the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minnesota, reports the New York Law Journal. Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, now in private law practice, will lead the effort. Recommendations are due by Oct. 1. “The death of George Floyd, and the issues it has brought into harsh focus, are a painful reminder of the repeated injustices and institutional racism that have long undermined the values and unity of our nation. The court system’s commitment to these values is especially vital,” DiFiore said.
The evaluation will include a review of “court policies and programs to ensure they are free of racism.” It’s also expected to include a review of “bias education and training practices” and the appointment practices for judicial and nonjudicial personnel in the system. The court system says recommendations will focus on court operational issues and not on police practices.