Friday, February 5, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Bay City News Service

A former San Francisco lawyer has lost her bid to a federal appeals court in the city to overturn her second-degree murder conviction for the fatal dog-mauling of an apartment neighbor 15 years ago.

Marjorie Knoller, 61, took her appeal to the federal court system through a habeas corpus petition after the state courts upheld her conviction in the death of St. Mary's College lacrosse coach Diane Whipple.

Whipple, 33, was attacked and killed Jan. 26, 2001, in a hallway of her Pacific Heights apartment building by two powerful Presa Canario dogs kept by Knoller and her husband, Robert Noel.


Phillip Reese, The Sacramento Bee

It's been exactly a decade since California last executed a murderer. But since then more than 180 California criminals have been sentenced to death.

The sentences have not been uniformly distributed. Some counties have stopped or almost stopped sending murderers to Death Row. Others continue to condemn prisoners with relatively high frequency.

It's unclear whether these criminals will ever be executed. California halted executions in 2006 following a court order related to whether the state's drug protocol constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. State officials have worked to resolve that question. Late last year, they unveiled a new lethal injection method that for the first time in state history calls for the use of only one drug to execute inmates.


Lake County News

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A man sent to state prison for a 1990 homicide in Clearlake Park has been denied parole for the fifth time following a hearing this week.

On Wednesday, the California Board of Parole Hearings denied parole for convicted murderer Kevin Coy Iloff, 50, according to the Lake County District Attorney's Office.

Deputy District Attorney Alan Upton attended the lifer hearing at California State Prison in Corcoran on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office to argue against Iloff’s release.


Aly Tamboura and Kevin D. Sawyer, The San Francisco Chronicle

NOTE: Aly Tamboura is a frequent contributor and Kevin D. Sawyer is a staff writer for the San Quentin News.

In 1966, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale planted the seeds of a black nationalist movement in Oakland that spread rapidly to the rest of America. Now, after 50 years, the Black Panthers’ theme of armed militancy has been expropriated by the radical right. The Panthers’ calling card of carrying weapons openly in public has become a disturbing part of American daily life in communities from Florida to Oregon.

Razi Syed, The Fresno Bee

A Friant doctor has been restricted from practicing medicine until an evaluation regarding his alleged substance abuse is completed, the Medical Board of California said.

Dr. Emmanuel J. Fantone worked at Coalinga State Hospital from 2013 until April 20, 2015, when an officer noticed Fantone staggering while walking through a checkpoint, according to a 17-page report by the medical board. The facility is a maximum-security forensic hospital housing mentally disordered offenders and is on the grounds of the Pleasant Valley State Prison.

Jonathan Webb, BBC News

A new species of black tarantula that lives near Folsom Prison, California, has been named after Johnny Cash.

The famously black-clad country singer wrote a song about the prison, and also played a historic series of concerts for inmates there in the 1960s.

Aphonopelma johnnycashi is among 14 new tarantula species from the southern US which have been described by biologists in the journal ZooKeys.


The San Diego Union-Tribune

For decades, social scientists have lamented how the U.S. criminal justice system works. Instead of having a system of law and order in which people who make mistakes are punished appropriately and then given a chance to establish productive lives, America seems all too ready to throw people away. Long prison sentences with limited or no chance of parole are a recipe for human misery — costly not just to the individual but to society.

Now Jerry Brown has reached the same conclusion. Last month, the governor announced plans to sponsor a November initiative that would make it easier for prisoners convicted of nonviolent crimes to be given early release, based on a framework in which they receive credits for good behavior and for participating in rehabilitation and education programs.

The Press Democrat

The differences between Democrats and Republicans, progressives and conservatives are vast, as anyone paying even cursory attention to the unfolding presidential campaign can attest.

So it’s noteworthy when there are signs of common ground on anything more controversial than motherhood or apple pie.

One such subject may be criminal justice reform.

With about 4 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has about 20 percent of its inmates. That’s largely a by-product of tough-on-crime legislation passed in the 1980s and 1990s that produced budget-busting incarceration costs, stubbornly high recidivism rates and plenty of human misery.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Hoa Quach, Times Of San Diego

An investigation was underway Wednesday into an assault that injured three corrections officers at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

About 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, inmate Timothy Green allegedly hit one of the guards in the face at the Otay Mesa penitentiary, knocking him out, prison spokesman Philip Bracamonte said.


Imperial Valley News

Imperial, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointment:

Raymond Madden, 50, of Imperial, has been appointed warden at California State Prison, Centinela, where he has been acting warden since 2014 and has served in several positions since 2010, including chief deputy warden and associate warden. Madden served in several positions at Calipatria State Prison from 1991 to 2010, including captain, lieutenant, sergeant and correctional officer. He was a correctional officer at Pelican Bay State Prison from 1990 to 1991 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1983 to 1987. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $143,604. Madden is registered without party preference.


Anne DI Grazia, Kern Golden Empire

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 109, to help reduce California's prison population and cut down on recidivism rates – keeping inmates who are released from re-offending.

To help that cause, eight sober living facilities in Kern County receive state funding earmarked specifically for A.B. 109. But results have been mixed, including allegations of mismanagement of the money.

After Women of Worth recovery home was shut down in November, many questioned the integrity of the other homes that receive A.B.109 funding. Those other facilities reassure these funds are being put to good use.

Lance J. Rogers, Bloomberg BNA

Feb. 1 — Requiring sex offenders to wear satellite-based tracking devices as a condition of their release from civil commitment doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment and may be imposed on offenders whose crimes occurred years before the monitoring law was enacted, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Jan. 29.

The decision is the latest word on an issue that has divided state and federal courts and attracted the attention of privacy advocates.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in 2015 in Grady v. North Carolina, 2015 BL 88171 (U.S. 2015) , that attaching a GPS device to a sex offender qualifies as a “search” for purposes of a Fourth Amendment analysis, it left open the question of what circumstances would meet the reasonableness test and also left unaddressed the question of whether the GPS requirements may be retroactively imposed.


Magnus Lofstrom, Brandon Martin, PPIC

Governor Brown has proposed a ballot measure—the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act—that could significantly alter sentencing in California. If it qualifies for the ballot—which seems likely—and is approved by voters in November, the measure would allow non-violent felons who have earned enough credits for good behavior to spend less time in state prison. It would also shift the power to determine whether juveniles should be tried as adults from prosecutors to judges. The measure follows the path of decreased reliance on incarceration that California has been on since 2009.

Motivated primarily by a federal court’s 2009 mandate to improve health care and reduce overcrowding in the state’s prison system, California has implemented a number of measures that have considerably reduced the prison population. Since reaching a historic high in 2006, the prison population has dropped by 45,000, a decrease of about 26 percent, and the state’s overall incarceration rate is down to levels not seen since the early 1990s.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips



A correctional officer working at High Desert State Prison (HDSP) was killed Feb. 1 in a solo-vehicle accident near Reno.

Officer John Abraham began his career with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) as a cadet at the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center on Oct. 6, 2014.


Cathy Locke, The Sacramento Bee

Q: Can you tell me the status of Richard A. Jiron, who was convicted and incarcerated around January 2009?

John, Sacramento

A: Richard Albert Jiron admitted to a dozen felonies and misdemeanors in more than 20 attacks on women in midtown and downtown Sacramento in 2002 and 2003.


The Sacramento Bee

At 11,459 pages, the political action committee finance statement filed by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association Monday night is a hefty tome and quite possible a record-setter for the largest disclosure ever filed by a PAC.

More importantly, the $8.2 million the document reports that the association collected the last six months of 2015 indicates the union is ready to play in California’s election-year politics.

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Bollywood Trade

NOTE: Tim Robbins is the founder of the Actors’ Gang, which operates the Prison Project arts program in several state prisons.

The Berlinale Camera has been awarded since 1986. Until 2003 it was donated by Berlin-based jeweller David Goldberg. From 2004 through 2013 Georg Hornemann Objects, a Dusseldorf-based atelier, sponsored the trophy, which goldsmith Hornemann then redesigned for the Berlinale in 2008: Modelled on a real camera, the Berlinale Camera has 128 finely crafted individual components. Many of these silver and titanium parts, such as the swivel head and tripod, are movable.

Since 1986 the Berlin International Film Festival has presented the Berlinale Camera to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks.At the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, three personalities will be awarded the Berlinale Camera: producer, cinema operator and film distributor Ben Barenholtz (USA); actor, director, writer and producer Tim Robbins (USA); and cinema operator Marlies Kirchner (Germany).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


ABC 10 News

Inmates at Folsom Prison created 450 license plates being used this week on official Super Bowl 50 cars in the Bay Area.

The black and gold plates were paid for by the Super Bowl host committee, and are not available to the public. They will be used on official vehicles, and are only allowed to be in use on California's roadways until February 12.

The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Officials say three fewer California inmates were sickened by a Legionnaires' disease outbreak last year than originally reported.

The federal official who controls prison medical care reported Monday that 78 inmates became ill at San Quentin State Prison in August and September.

Spokeswoman Joyce Hayhoe says medical experts reduced the count after


Jessica Calefati and Tracey Kaplan, Bay Area News Group

SACRAMENTO-  Conceding that a tough-on-crime law he signed four decades ago had failed miserably because of “unintended consequences,” Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday unveiled a ballot measure aimed at allowing nonviolent felons to seek early release and shrinking the number of juveniles tried as adults.

If voters approve the initiative in November, thousands of state prison inmates who have already completed their basic sentence and passed a public safety screening would become eligible for parole. And for the first time, offenders who complete rehabilitation programs while behind bars could earn credits for their efforts.


David Grieder, The Triplicate        

More than 5 dozen protesters rallied Monday afternoon in front of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Sacramento to voice their opposition to a controversial policy implemented at Pelican Bay State Prison this summer.

Lawyers, activists, former prisoners as well as family members of those currently behind bars came by caravans from across the state to speak outside CDCR on the 6-month anniversary of PBSP’s “welfare check” policy affecting inmates of the prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU).


Joel Fox, Fox & Hounds

Which area of government gets the most money in the California General Fund budget? Not a trick question. I’d guess that nearly all of my readers know that the answer is K-12 education. But… most Californians cannot answer that question correctly.

Nearly 42% of Gov. Brown’s proposed budget is dedicated to K-12 education, by far the largest share of the state budget. However, in the Public Policy Institute of California poll released last week only 15% of adults and 17% of likely voters could