Monday, June 29, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


CDCR NEWS

Note: CDCR played a large role in this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Representatives joined the run, Secretary Jeff Beard spoke on the steps of the Capitol about CDCR’s commitment to Special Olympics, and Dr. Diana Toche, Undersecretary of Health Care Services, and Undersecretary (A), Administration and Offender Services, lit the Special Olympics Cauldron at the Summer Games opening ceremony. CDCR was recognized as the top fundraising agency in 2014, raising $133,000 for Special Olympics.

KCRA 3 News

The opening ceremony of the Northern California Special Olympics was held at UC Davis Friday evening, and welcoming the athletes to the games were a line of law enforcement officers.

KCRA 3 News

Dozens of law enforcement officers ran with the Special Olympics torch from Folsom Lake to the state Capitol.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – State prison officials may be violating a transgender California inmate’s rights by denying her sex reassignment surgery, a federal appeals court ruled Friday as it revived the prisoner’s lawsuit against the state.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not rule on the merits of Philip Rosati’s case, but it said her allegations were plausible and sufficient to warrant further review by a court. The 9th Circuit overturned a lower court’s decision to dismiss Rosati’s lawsuit.

Tevis Stephens found at McDonald's near Salinas Valley State Prison
Daily Midway Driller

A Taft man serving a prison sentence for a drug conviction walked away from a minimum security prison facility in Monterey County last week but was was recaptured about less than two hours later.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported Tevis Stephens, who was serving his sentence in the minimum support facility of Salinas Valley State Prison in south Monterey County, near Soledad, was discovered missing at 9:15 p.m. on June 22

The San Francisco Chronicle

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A man serving 25 years to life for a drug-related killing has been sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for running an eastern Montana drug ring from a California prison using smuggled cellphones.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters sentenced Jason Neel of Taft, California, on Wednesday. Neel, 32, earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. » Gov. Jerry Brown decided Friday to block parole for the killer of a developmentally disabled California man who was buried alive.

Brown decided Friday that 52-year-old David Weidert still is too dangerous to be released, despite the recommendation by a state panel that parole should be granted.

John Ellis and Troy Pope, The Fresno Bee

The parole of David Weidert, who was convicted of torturing Mike Morganti and burying him alive in 1980, has been reversed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the governor’s office announced Friday.

Weidert lured Morganti from his Clovis apartment and drove him to a remote foothill location. There, he forced Morganti to dig his own grave, and then Weidert beat him with an aluminum bat and stabbed him with a knife before burying him in the shallow grave.

DEATH PENALTY

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has upheld the use of a controversial drug that has been implicated in several botched executions.

The justices on Monday voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News

For three decades, Sandy Verna Jackson has longed for the day her husband’s killers would be executed.

Raynard Cummings and Kenneth Gay were convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting Los Angeles police motorcycle Officer Paul Verna six times during a traffic stop in Lake View Terrace in June 1983. The parolees, who authorities said were trying to avoid arrest for a series of violent robberies in the San Fernando Valley, were sentenced to death in 1985. Gay’s death verdict was overturned for a second time in 2008.

Josh Dulaney, Long Beach Press Telegram

Santiago Martinez Jr. has been sitting on death row at San Quentin State Prison since Dec. 7, 2009.

With the state’s slow-churning appeals process, he may outlive the 67-year-old mother of one of his victims, who says the sooner Martinez dies, the better.

“I think it’s a real shame for families that have to go through years of waiting for something to happen,” said Loraine Wilkerson, the mother of one of the two women Martinez murdered last decade. “Whether it’s an appeal or an execution, I think it’s really hard on the family.”

Stephanie K. Baer, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

For Claude Chenet, the lasting effects of his daughter’s murder have been immeasurable.

But as the man who killed his 23-year-old daughter more than 10 years ago sits on death row in San Quentin State Prison, Chenet is trying to regain his spirit.

“It was tough for me to get through,” said Chenet, 56, who fell into a spiral of crack cocaine and alcohol after the notorious Azusa 13 gang enforcer Ralph “Swifty” Flores fatally shot his only daughter and mother of his three grandchildren.

Sarah Favot, Los Angeles Daily News

Chivalry and traditional roles between men and women influence jurors when deciding whether to issue a death sentence, according to a researcher who studies capital murder.

Steven Shatz, a University of San Francisco law professor, studied 1,000 California murder cases where the defendant was eligible for the death penalty and found that killers of women were seven times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed men. The data rang true when Shatz examined 404 similar cases in Los Angeles County between 2003 and 2005.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Stephanie Stone, abc 30 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An already unusual case takes another unusual turn. The teen mom who left her young kids to fend for themselves in a Southwest Fresno apartment fire pled guilty to three counts of child abuse.

Jamela Brown, 19, was arrested in January after firefighters rescued her children from their burning home.

OPINION

Tammerlin Drummond,  Oakland Tribune Columnist

Xitlally Lupian took her very first steps in the visiting area at Corcoran State Prison. When she was little, her mother explained her father's absence as a "big people timeout" for breaking the rules.

She is 16 now, and her father is still serving a 38-year, nine-month sentence for gun-related felonies. He has been in prison since she was 8 months old. Yet the soft-spoken teen from Oakland is determined to maintain her relationship with her father despite all the obstacles. He's now in Pelican Bay State Prison, in Crescent City, a seven-hour haul by car. She says he's in solitary and can't make phone calls. Visits are rare because it costs a lot of money for gas and to stay in a motel near the prison. Lupian saw her father three weeks ago through a thick plate glass window, when she talked to him on a static-filled prison phone. Before that, she hadn't seen him in three years.