Thursday, November 5, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


Veronica Rocha, The Los Angeles Times

Deputies are searching for a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmate who escaped custody Wednesday while working with a fire crew in Highland, authorities said.

Aided by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s helicopter and police dogs, deputies were scouring residential neighborhoods, canyons and foothills looking for Kent Lesporavsky, near Highway 330 and East Highland Avenue in Highland, Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.

He will serve term at Stockton youth facility; lawyers appeal verdict in sister's slaying
Roger Phillips, Record

SAN ANDREAS — Still not budging one month after his conviction and more than 2½ years since his 8-year-old sister’s brutal murder, Isiah Fowler maintained his innocence Wednesday afternoon as a Calaveras County judge sentenced him to spend the next eight years at a youth correctional facility.

Defense attorney Mark Reichel immediately filed an appeal of Judge Thomas A. Smith’s verdict, rendered Oct. 6.

Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News

A California man who spent 19 years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit is free after a jury acquitted him on Monday.

Richard Alex Williams, 37, was imprisoned for the fatal 1996 shooting of a driver in south Sacramento. Prosecutors said he was driving the green Mustang that pulled up to the victim and opened fire on him; Williams maintained he wasn't in the Mustang.


Paige St. John, The Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown used a forum for federal judges Wednesday to make the case in strong terms that California's crime laws have gone too far and inmate behavior should play a greater role in determining the length of a prison stay.

Over the course of half an hour, he outlined his belief that the fixed-length criminal sentences he approved as governor three decades ago have glutted state prisons with long-stay offenders.


Megan Burks, KPBS

Wednesday marks one year since California voters approved Proposition 47. The measure made some low-level felonies misdemeanors in an effort to reform the criminal justice system.

Wednesday marks one year since California voters approved Proposition 47. The measure made some low-level felonies misdemeanors in an effort to reform the criminal justice system.

Dave Marquis, ABC10 News

It's been one year since California voters approved Proposition 47 with 60 percent support.

The measure reduced the majority of drug and property offenses in California from felonies to misdemeanors, with many offenders no longer facing prison time and most able to have prior convictions removed from their records.

But one year later, critics call the voters decision almost an invitation for crime statistics to jump.


On the anniversary of a landmark California criminal justice reform law, the singer shares a success story

I have sung many songs in my life, but one of the fondest memories is a recent occasion where I sang Happy Birthday a woman at a community fair in Los Angeles.

This was not your typical community fair. Its goal was to help people remove low-level felony convictions from their old criminal records – part of the largest such effort in U.S. history, thanks to Proposition 47.  And the recipient of the song was not your typical woman, as I will later explain.

David Horsey, The Los Angeles Times

In my experience, drinking with a nun is not an ordinary occurrence, but, two weeks ago, I had the honor of sharing a bit of whiskey on the rocks with an extraordinary woman of fatih, Sister Helen Prejean, as she wound down from another evening of agitating against the death penalty.

Sister Helen is widely known for her book “Dead Man Walking,” an autobiographical account of her emotionally wrenching work as a spiritual advisor to death row inmates — a story that was made into a movie of the same name starring Susan Sarandon as the justice-seeking nun. As a leading advocate for the abolition of capital punishment in the United States, Prejean was in Los Angeles for the opening of “Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls” at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The works on display include paintings and drawings by death row inmates, as well as cartoons from top editorial cartoonists (including one I drew for The Times).


After entirely too many studies and public relations pitches about the wonder and magic of prison realignment in California, it was refreshing to hear a more realistic side to the story.

That came in Tuesday’s newspaper, when reporter Andre Byik asked Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey to explain a dramatic increase in “failure to appear” charges.