Thursday, July 30, 2015


Lexington Leader

On Sunday, July 26, at 5:30 p.m., Giddings Police Officer G. Carter received a call that there was a possible wanted subject at Veterans Park that GPD had been looking for. When Officer Carter arrived, he noticed a group of people playing volleyball and recognized Rafael V. Palazuelos, 34 from Oxnard, California.

By Adam Herbets, Eyewitness News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A man sentenced to more than 10 years in prison is now suing the state of California for an alleged hate crime.

Glenn Towery argues that the prison system is responsible for his diagnosis of valley fever.

Because he’s African-American, he thinks he should have never been transferred to Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, because his race makes him more susceptible.

Now, the question is whether that argument will hold up in court.

By Pablo Lopez, The Fresno Bee

Thirty-five years ago, Donald Griffin was given the death penalty for raping and murdering his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Janice Kelly Wilson, whose mutilated body was found alongside a rural road north of Kerman near the San Joaquin River.

On Wednesday, Griffin’s lawyers were in Fresno County Superior Court, asking a judge to spare his life because he is intellectually disabled.


Why San Bernardino County jails are harder to manage today: Guest commentary

By James Ramos, John McMahon and Greg Devereaux, SBSun

 Because of Assembly Bill 109, also known as prison realignment, jails are not what they used to be.

Jails in California are more dangerous and a greater challenge to manage than they were before AB 109. That isn’t just the case here in San Bernardino County.

It’s true for jails in nearly all of California’s 58 counties. This is because our jails are not simply jails anymore. The state has essentially transformed them into prisons, and the transition has been understandably difficult.

By Monica Vaughan, Appeal Democrat

Yuba and Sutter county probation officers are working under the theory that addressing the root causes of criminal behavior will decrease the chances former felony convicts will reoffend.

State law that went into effect in 2011 to keep lower-level felony offenders out of state prisons placed the responsibility of managing those offenders in the hands of county jails and probation departments. The changes are noticeable, both in the number of offenders managed and the approaches to managing them.

While chief probation officers in Yuba-Sutter say their departments are embracing the shift, and they think it's working, lack of clear county- and state-level data limits their ability to compare pre- and post-realignment recidivism rates. However, crime rates in both counties have remained stable, and in some cases, declined.

California's criminal justice system underwent a striking shift by prioritizing efforts to rehabilitate people convicted of low-level felonies, as opposed to sending them through the "revolving door" of state's prison, officials said.


FOSTER CITY -- For the second time in three years, Gov. Jerry Brown has reversed a decision by the parole board to release a prisoner who brutally murdered a Foster City woman in 1990.

In a letter dated July 10 but released this week, Brown said he was concerned about the explosive rage behind the killing and claimed Abel Leo Sapp, 47, would pose "an unreasonable danger to society" if set free.


Carimah Townes

“It’s not better than the death sentence because it is the death sentence,” said Kenneth Hartman, a maximum-security inmate serving life without parole. “The outcome of the death penalty is death — it’s never being free again.”

So begins Toe Tag Parole: To Live And Die On Yard A, a new HBO documentary about 600 men who are sentenced to life without parole and participate in an innovative rehabilitation program created by the California Department of Corrections in 2000. The film dives into the sentencing of children to life without parole, who have to confront the ‘other death penalty.’ It follows Wilber Morales, who received three life sentences plus five years at age 16 for a murder conviction and currently lives in a single cell while he adjusts to prison culture. Viewers also meet Daniel Whitlow, who was locked up when he was 17 for a murder conviction.