Friday, August 7, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA INMATES

Emily Pritchard, News 10

LAKE COUNTY – Wildfires continue to burn across the state of California and that means firefighters are working around the clock. At the Rocky Fire, hundreds of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmates are also on the front lines battling the blaze.

Those inmate firefighters are from at Konocti Camp, which houses 110 male inmates. The low level offenders live there year round. About 85 percent of them fight fires, while 15 percent do other jobs around the camp, including: cooking, welding, automotive work and even waste water treatment.

Governor Jerry Brown’s policies reducing the number of inmates in the state have not affected the number of firefighters fighting fires.
William Bigelow, Breitbart News

But Bill Sessa of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told Capital Public Radio, “…all of the predictions up to now of having a reduced prison inmate population to work the fires have kind of fallen through– because even though we have fewer inmates than we used to have, we still have enough.”

200 state prison inmates are participating in fire camps this week, out of a total of almost 4,000 California inmates.

Cal Fire explains, “CAL FIRE is currently authorized to operate 39 Conservation Camps statewide that house nearly 4,300 inmates and wards. These camps are operated in conjunction with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Through these cooperative efforts CAL FIRE is authorized to operate 196 fire crews year-round.”

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

San Antonio Express-News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing whether to grant parole to a transgender inmate who is trying to force California to become the first state to pay for a prisoner's sex reassignment surgery.

Brown will decide whether 51-year-old Michelle-Lael Norsworthy should be released 30 years after she fatally shot 26-year-old Franklin Gordon Liefer Jr. following an argument in a Fullerton bar in 1985.

Arnold Friedman, LA Observed

Voltaire Alphonse Williams could be Exhibit A in demonstrating how memories of the culprits in notorious crimes fade as time passes in a city the size of Los Angeles and a state as populated as California.

Unlike what happens in smaller states and communities, the names of perpetrators, even of the most egregious crimes in LA and California's other urban areas, generally are forgotten or scarcely remembered with the passage of time.

DEATH PENALTY

Frank R. Baumgartner, The Washington Post

On Aug. 31, the death penalty will go on trial at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The oral argument stems from a judgment in 2014, in which Federal District Judge Cormac Carney ruled that California’s death penalty system was unconstitutional.

Carney argued that because of the extremely low likelihood of execution and long delays on death row, the system was actually a penalty of life without parole with the remote possibility of death. His ruling declared that execution after such a long delay serves no retributive or deterrent purpose beyond the long prison term, and is therefore arbitrary and unconstitutional (see Jones v. Chappell, 2014). As Carney wrote in his California decision, no rational jury or legislature would design a system that functions as the system actually works.  But, he argued, we must evaluate the system we do have, not the one we might prefer to have.