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Controversy Over Whether Newton Judge Helped Defendant Evade ICE

What started out as a routine court hearing in Newton has turned into a federal investigation into Judge Shelley Joseph, probing whether she helped a man evade federal immigration agents. Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for her to be removed from all criminal cases as the investigation proceeds.

As reported this week by the Boston Globe, at a bench discussion during an April hearing, the defense attorney, prosecutor and Joseph discussed the fact that ICE agents were outside the courtroom waiting for defendant Jose Medina-Perez, cutting out the audio for part of the conversation. Neither of the charges required Medina-Perez to be held in custody, but when he left the building, he left through the back door, thus evading federal immigration agents. This led to the current investigation into Joseph’s actions.

Jim Braude was joined by former state Attorney General and former Democratic candidate for governor Scott Harshbarger, who is now senior counsel at Casner and Edwards; and John Bennett, an attorney at Goodwin Procter, who represented MIT custodian Francisco Rodriguez, who was detained and held by ICE for more than five months.

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