Jury nullification doesn’t get the attention it deserves—you may have not even heard of it. To some, it’s a way of skirting the “proper” route of justice, but to others it’s a powerful statement to the courts that the people are opposed to the ethics of the case at hand. Discussions about jury nullification are rare, but stories of elected officials actually urging it are unheard of. Until now. [Read More...]
When a judge orders you to do something, most of us know you really need get it done. And if a three-judge panel orders you to do something, it’s a pretty serious matter. This is true whether you are a “regular joe” or the Governor of California. Failure to follow through on a court order could lead to civil fines or even arrest and jail time on contempt charges, and that’s exactly what some inmates are hoping for when it comes to Governor Jerry Brown. [Read More...]
License plate scanners are growing increasingly popular. It’s due in part to this growing use of the small cameras, that privacy rights groups are putting their feet down, demanding accountability and better regulations on the scanners to ensure the rights of innocent people are not taken for granted. To this end, the ACLU of Southern California has filed a lawsuit against both the LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
It took almost 25 years since a L.A. Councilman said he wanted 10,000 officers on the force before it was reality. But now, the goal has been reached. And though the Mayor says it’s his effort to reach this “magic number” that has held crime rates at their lowest since the 1950s, others say it’s just a waste of money. [Read More...]
When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling mandating that California officials reduce the state prison population, it was pretty obvious which offenders needed to be cut from the population first. The War on Drugs in California and across the nation has served to dramatically increase the number of citizens in prison, making us the most incarcerated nation in the world. Yet, it’s these offenders that are largely nonviolent and would stand to benefit from community based alternatives like probation and treatment. [Read More...]
When a police officer fires his weapon upon a civilian, they have to have pretty significant justification. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, they have to be acting in reasonable self defense or in the defense of another. But, when an officer in Oakland shoots a civilian, the public isn’t convinced this standard is being met, and understandably so considering they are being investigated by one of their own. [Read More...]
Governor Jerry Brown is defying federal orders, orders approved by the Supreme Court. But, he’s not only defying them, he is doing it loudly, and claiming that any progress that’s been made towards the fulfillment of those orders should be seen as good enough and justification to abandon them altogether. [Read More...]
A woman was tragically killed last week. The killer was a former inmate. Outrage over the killing has been swept up in the politics of Governor Jerry Brown’s prison realignment program, and most of those blaming the program are missing the mark entirely. [Read More...]
The Justice Department (and the federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies underneath it) aren’t really sure how they want to treat medical marijuana dispensaries. One moment we hear they are a “low priority” and the next we see agents raiding them with weapons drawn. In their wishy-washy behavior, it’s not surprising to see they are now seeking to seize a building that once housed a dispensary. It’s not surprising, but it’s still troubling and enraging. [Read More...]
Reform of drug possession laws is always an uphill battle against entrenched interests and bureaucracy. But public opinion is more open than it has been in years, so it just might take a few tries to make progress.
According to the Huffington Post, last year, State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced legislation that would have made possession of any controlled substance a misdemeanor. It was defeated. Now, he’s trying again. This time, however, he is giving local officials more leeway in determining how to charge the offenses. [Read More...]