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Trial's second day begins for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio

28 June 2017

About a decade ago Arpaio, dubbed "America's Toughest Sheriff" in conservative circles, started instructing his deputies to make traffic stops and detain any unauthorized immigrants they encountered.

Arpaio, who served six terms as Maricopa County sheriff, faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal contempt for failing to abide by a federal judge's order to stop conducting immigration raids targeting Latinos.

The 85-year-old retired lawman faces up to six months in jail if convicted, though lawyers who have followed his case doubt that he'll ever be put behind bars. The former longtime sheriff of metro Phoenix will go to court Monday, June 26, 2017, to defend his reputation at a trial in which he's charged with purposefully disobeying a judge's order.

Arpaio's hard-line rhetoric against undocumented immigrants gained him a popular following across Arizona and the United States.

Snow previous year asked the US Attorney's Office to file the criminal contempt charges against Arpaio and several subordinates.

Attorney Tim Casey was forced to testify Monday at Arpaio's trial on a criminal contempt-of-court charge for prolonging the patrols after a judge ordered them stopped.

Unlike other local sheriffs, who left immigration enforcement to other U.S. authorities, Arpaio made hundreds of arrests in traffic patrols targeting immigrants.

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The defense attorney called the case against Arpaio "shameful and outrageous", and said Arpaio was the only one "to get it right".

Arpaio spent nine of his 24 years in office doing the sort of local immigration enforcement that President Donald Trump has advocated.

Opponents argue, however, that it was not up to Arpaio to undertake federal deportation matters - and that defying a federal judge's order is illegal.

The criminal trial of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio has opened with a federal prosecutor using the former lawman's news releases and TV interviews against him.

Goldman could not be reached for comment.

It's not known whether Arpaio will testify in his defence.

However, Arpaio's defense attorney Dennis Wilenchik said he thought his cross examination of Casey proved their main point of contention on the order. I mean, you know, it is not a secret that former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a strong supporter of Donald Trump, a very early and very ardent supporter.

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Joe Arpaio is in court this week. He blamed former President Barack Obama for the loss, claiming Obama ordered the Justice Department to announce the charges shortly before Election Day. As of now, Monday's trial is to be a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.

Critics hope the trial in federal court in Phoenix will bring a long-awaited comeuppance for the defiant Arpaio, who escaped accountability while leading crackdowns that divided immigrant families. An initial decision by the Supreme Court is anticipated on Monday.

Several key rulings have preceded Monday's trial.

During his opening remarks to the court, federal prosecutor Victor Salgado said the controversial traffic stops continued for about 18 months, with 170 people wrongfully detained.

After the charges, Arpaio's legal team begged for more time and requested multiple delays to buy even more time.

The federal criminal case is the second against Arpaio on the issue. So what is the Justice Department's stance on this case?

Bolton has not yet ruled on the three motions.

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Trial's second day begins for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio