Monday, November 9, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

California published its proposed new rules for lethal injection of condemned prisoners on Friday, moving the state a step closer to resuming executions after nearly a decade of not doing so.

The proposed regulations, released for public comment Friday morning, would instruct prison officials to use a single drug for lethal injections, rather than the three-drug cocktail that was declared unconstitutional by a California court because it may not block pain to the recipient.

Maura Dolan and Paige St. John, The Los Angeles Times

California unveiled a new method for executing prisoners Friday, proposing a “humane and dignified” single-drug injection protocol that could restart capital punishment after a nearly 10-year hiatus.

The regimen would replace a three-chemical method the state used in the past. That mixture was struck down in 2006 by a judge who said it could cause inhumane suffering if one of the drugs failed to work.

Christopher Cadelago and Sam Stanton, The Sacramento Bee

California prison officials unveiled Friday a new lethal injection method that for the first time in state history calls for the use of only one drug to execute inmates, a move designed to jump-start capital punishment after nearly a decade without an execution.

The new method, which still must be the subject of a public comment period and public hearing before the state’s final adoption of it, would establish that any one of four specified barbiturates, in a 7.5 gram dose, could be used in executions. The drugs listed are amobarbital, pentobarbital, secobarbital and thiopental.


Crime Watch Daily

Meet the convicted criminals rehabilitating their lives by protecting civilians on the front lines of forest fires.

Daniel Cásarez, Merced Sun-Star

CHOWCHILLA- Leobardo Campos could be a hardened prisoner having served 16 years of a 50-years-to-life sentence for murder, but a playful Jack Russell terrier is helping with his rehabilitation at Valley State Prison.

Campos – with fellow inmate Jered Pillsbury – is part of a dog-training program, a first at the Level 2 men’s facility southeast of Chowchilla.

Regan Foster, The Pueblo Chieftain

As a teenager, Robert Chan had his sights set on Princeton. On a career. On life unbridled.

Today, the 40-year-old is looking forward to graduating from Colorado State University-Pueblo next spring and hopes to pursue a master’s degree from California State University. Those are high aspirations for any student; they’re nearly unreachable for a man who may never again set foot outside of prison walls.

Chan is a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in the California State Prison in Los Angeles County. He is a college student. And he is the winner of a $500 Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity grant for an essay he wrote on the ethics of using public dollars on postsecondary education for life-sentenced inmates.

Cathy Locke, The Sacramento Bee

A: Michelle Cummiskey, dubbed “Batgirl” because of her tattoos, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, plus one additional year for extreme violence, for the slaying of 58-year-old Philip Inhofer of Sacramento.

According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, she stabbed Inhofer 32 times, bludgeoned him with a blunt object and stuffed his body into the closet of his South Natomas mobile home on March 5, 1991. She then took his red 1975 Mercedes-Benz. Investigators said she was dating Inhofer.

William Roller, Imperial Valley Press

CALIPATRIA — A tribute to this country’s veterans will be bestowed by Calipatria State Prison staff upon all service personnel present and past on Tuesday on prison grounds.

Prison staff will be dedicating a granite memorial stone commemorating the veterans’ many sacrifices and valor at the prison’s Veterans Memorial Site. The staff raised $21,000 for the monument. The memorial ceremony will also display 100 “service bricks” with the names of staff members who are also veterans.

Central Valley Business Times

The incident began Thursday evening when an inmate was attacked by two other inmates in a dayroom. The fight escalated into a riot within the dayrooms of the maximum-security building, the California Department of Corrections says.

When staff saw an inmate attacking another with an inmate-made weapon, two guards fired twice, with one round striking the inmate in the lower torso. He was transported by helicopter to an outside hospital, where he is reported in stable condition, the department says. Officers used nine foam rounds and four pepper spray grenades to quell the incident. The inmate-made weapon was recovered at the scene.


Stephen Magagnini, The Sacramento Bee

Filmmaker David Llauger-Meiselman calls himself “a Heborican, born to a Puerto Rican mom and Jewish dad.” He grew up in the gang-plagued Humboldt Park neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side, an experience that inspired his latest film, the cautionary tale “Strike One.”

On Monday, Llauger-Meiselman will share that story with hundreds of young Sacramentans ages 14 to 20 who have been invited to fill Crest Theatre as part of the movie’s nationwide tour of schools, universities and Boys & Girls clubs. Starring Danny Trejo, of the “Machete” movies and countless other action flicks, the film tells the story of a Latino teen trying to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, a former gang member who spent years in a state prison after gang-banging in Los Angeles.

Meghan Walsh, OZY

When a North Carolina women’s prison asked Stephanie Covington to design a trauma treatment program, she agreed on one condition: They let her try on the shackles for a few days. The psychologist wanted to understand personal freedom, and what it felt like to not have it. But one of the most memorable takeaways surprised even her. Toilet paper — specifically, how little of it she and her fellow inmates were given.

Decades and almost a dozen curricula later, Covington is credited as a pioneer of what’s known as gender-responsive treatment. “She was the first person to say it’s different for women,” says Carol Ackley, a treatment center director in Minnesota who began putting Covington’s ideas into action in the ’90s. But Covington hasn’t stopped there. At an age when most are packing for Florida, she has taken on the prison industrial complex. And with success here too: Covington’s approach to rehabilitating female prisoners, from more communal spaces to, yes, more toilet paper, is being embraced by corrections administrators around the world. The fundamental insight? Women and men have different needs in prison.


The Los Angeles Times

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has finally settled on four barbiturates — amobarbital, pentobarbital, secobarbital and thiopental — as the poisons of choice for its proposed new method of executing people. A single dose from any of the four would replace the previous three-drug protocol, which a state judge threw out in 2011 — not because killing someone by lethal injection would be cruel and unusual punishment but because the state failed to follow the proper administrative rules in adopting the old protocol.

That doesn't mean the state is about to execute its first prisoners in nearly a decade, however. Friday's posting of the proposed new, simpler protocol is just the start of a fresh review process that will inevitably draw lengthy legal challenges. Meanwhile, the state continues to appeal a ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney last year that barred executions in California. Carney found the state's system for determining whom to execute unconstitutionally arbitrary and so slow that executions ultimately serve no retributive purpose.

The Sacramento Bee

When it comes to the fight for basic rights and acceptance, few people have it tougher than transgender Americans. They are marginalized, mocked and misunderstood. Evidence of their struggle shows up in frighteningly disproportionate statistics about depression, anxiety and suicide.

And yet, change is happening. Last month, responding to successful lawsuits by two transgender state prisoners and rumblings about transgender rights from the U.S. Justice Department, California became the first state to allow transgender inmates to qualify for taxpayer-funded, sex reassignment surgery.

John Phillips, The Orange County Register

California is a place where voter apathy is king. There are a million reasons why so many of us don’t vote or closely follow politics, but geography probably plays a bigger role than anything else. Southern California is so far removed from the halls of power in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento that most people prefer to live their lives in willful ignorance and hope for the best.

Well, I’m here to tell you we need to wake up. Bad policy can completely wreck your life.