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.