A new law passed in Richmond, California could become the model for other municipalities across the nation that hope to allow ex-offenders to become productive and employed members of their communities. According to the Huffington Post, this latest in what’s known “ban the box” laws (referring to the box on job applications that ask about previous convictions) is the most permissive one in the country. [Read more…]
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…]
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.
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…]
Three months after California voters approved Proposition 36, to lessen the impact of the draconian-applied Three Strikes Law, one Los Angeles County judge is sifting through more than 1,000 cases, trying to determine who can be freed. [Read more…]
When someone spends years or even decades in prison, things change. Both in the outside world and within that person—things change. So, as an estimated three dozen former-three-strikers are now among us after changes in the law, it would be good to give them some reentry assistance. Instead, however, because the laws of California make them ineligible for parole “benefits”, these former-inmates are left to fend for themselves.