• Rhode Island US District Court Chief Judge to step down

    Updated:
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The head of U.S. District Court in Rhode Island is stepping down a year short of his full term and a colleague is taking his place.

    Chief Judge William Smith announced at the 2019 District Conference in federal court Friday that he's turning his job over to U.S. District Court Judge John McConnell Jr.

    The Providence Journal reports that among the changes made to the court under Smith's tenure was the establishment of a supervised alternative court program to help offenders reintegrate into society, as well as a post-guilty-plea program aimed at rehabilitation.

    Smith allowed reporters for the first time to bring cellphones and other electronic devices into court to provide real-time coverage.

    Smith said, "I pretty much got everything done I wanted to get done."

    McConnell starts Dec. 1.

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    Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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