Law enforcement agencies across the country are using federal dollars to purchase militaristic equipment, all in the name of Homeland Security. Many of these tools are being bought with the stated intention of fighting domestic terror. But, anyone with half a mind knows that these agencies are using their new-found, high-tech toys for far more than terror investigations. [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.
Governor Jerry Brown called the prison emergency in California “over” this week in a press conference. He said that– though the state is a long way from reducing the prison population by 30,000 as the feds mandated—California can’t stop shoveling money into the “rathole of incarceration.” But according to critics, Brown has a lot of work to do and perhaps more responsibility than he realizes in putting a stop to the “rathole”. [Read more…]
The pressure is on county jails with the new imprisonment law. The law requires low-level offenders to serve their sentence in jail rather than prison, and it’s sending an influx of inmates into the county systems. In an effort to cope with the crowding, some county judges are doing their part to reduce the burden—by using something called a “split sentence.” [Read more…]
When California voters overwhelmingly supported a measure to soften the state’s Three Strikes Law, Mike Reynolds, the man whose daughter was an inspiration for the law called the passage “a great day for criminals and their attorneys.” He said he believed voters were misled and that the new, softer legislation would prevent some of the more dangerous criminals from being locked up. While he isn’t alone in his disapproval of Proposition 34, he is of the minority. And the majority spoke in favor.
While marijuana might be called medicine by advocates of its medical benefits, and while medical marijuana might be legal in the state of California, it certainly isn’t like any other medical treatment under California law. This was made even more evident when a state court of appeals ruled last week that trial judges can bar people from getting their “medicine” if they are convicted of a marijuana-related offense. [Read more…]
The ACLU and advocacy groups agree that California jails could reduce crowding and expenses without sacrificing safety by releasing more people without requiring bail. The idea seems to be working in areas like San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, but many lawmakers and the bail industry are opposed—saying it undermines the bail system, which they say is designed to keep California safe, according to the San Francisco Gate. [Read more…]
When the police seize property, it is usually evidence of a crime. And when this is the case, the property is held while the criminal case makes its way through the courts. Even if it is not criminal evidence, so to speak, the owner of said property is given routes to obtain their stuff back from the department. This is how it works on a regular basis—but the homeless population of Sacramento was treated far differently by local police and Sheriff’s deputies. [Read more…]
Alesia Thomas was killed a few weeks ago while in the back of a LAPD patrol car. It’s what happened in those moments preceding her death that officials hope to get more information on. [Read more…]