Thursday, December 31, 2015

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA INMATES

Maggie Sharpe, San Jose Mercury News

Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont will showcase the artwork of San Quentin State Prison inmates at the "Art and Poetry for Peace" exhibit opening Jan. 9. The paintings were created for the prison's annual "Day of Peace."

"The 'Day of Peace' is an annual event started by the prisoners themselves five years ago in response to violence both inside and outside the prison," said Dvora Gordon, a Kehilla member who heads the synagogue's Art Gallery Committee. "About 10 of the men will be represented in the show."

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Kristina Hernandez, Redlands Daily Facts

REDLANDS-  Aaron Mercado, one of the two Redlands teens convicted of the 1992 slaying of Justin Paul Hopper, was released from prison on Oct. 23, confirmed the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Tuesday.

His release follows the passage of Senate Bill 260, which requires the Board of Parole Hearings to consider the release of “offenders who committed specified crimes prior to being 18 years of age and who were sentenced to state prison.” Mercado had been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

He was previously convicted and served in state prison in a spousal abuse case
Gail Wesson And Ali Tadayon, The Press Enterprise

A 38-year-old Moreno Valley man made his first court appearance Tuesday, Dec. 29, to face charges that he fatally shot his girlfriend in Colton, then killed his father and wounded his sister in Moreno Valley on Dec. 23, before he was caught in San Diego early the next day.

Jason Lynn Barton did not enter pleas to the charges in Riverside County Superior Court and Judge Ronald L. Taylor continued the arraignment to Jan. 5.

DEATH PENALTY

Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal

As a visitor enters San Quentin State Prison’s massive East Block — where 500 of the prison’s condemned inmates are housed in five towering tiers — plaintive, querulous cries come cascading down from above.

“They’re giving us spoiled milk. We don’t want to be in these cages. They’re treating us like animals in here. We aren’t supposed to be in handcuffs. All they ever give us to eat is pancakes. They’re killing us with cold pancakes.”

The complaints come from death row inmate Andre Burton, who was convicted of murdering an elderly Long Beach woman in 1983 during a convenience store robbery that he committed at age 19. Burton was just one of about a dozen inmates who chose to speak to reporters who participated Tuesday in the first extensive tour of San Quentin’s death row in a decade.

abc 7

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. -- The media was given a rare inside look at San Quentin State Prison's death row, which houses 725 inmates.

Prison officials allowed the rare glimpse inside the country's largest death row as a final decision is made on a proposed one-drug execution method.

There are two proposed initiatives for the November 2016 ballot, one that would ban the death penalty in California and another that would speed the process up.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

The Associated Press

HAYWARD, Calif. A San Francisco Bay Area judge granted a restraining order against a woman now charged with a hate crime and battery after being recorded making anti-Islamic slurs and throwing coffee at a Muslim man who was praying in a park.

KNTV reports (http://bit.ly/1To28f8 ) Tuesday that Judge Jeffrey Brand ordered Denise Slader to stay 200 yards away from Rasheed Albeshari, as well as Lake Chabot Regional Park.

Vending machine-style kiosks are replacing parole officers, which means less rehabilitation work and more surveillance.
Michael Thomsen, New Republic

America’s mass incarceration problem is often described as a crisis, something that may actually have caused more crime than it’s prevented. In 1980, some five hundred thousand Americans were in prison or jail; by 2013, the number had surpassed 2.2 million. Less well known, though arguably no less important, is the country’s post-incarceration crisis, with more than 4.7 million Americans living on probation or parole in 2013, a nearly four hundred percent increase over the number in 1980. This increase has created a huge administrative challenge for the probation and parole system, and many cities and states have started turning to computer kiosks to help deal with caseloads that would otherwise be unmanageable. While these computer-driven efficiency gains have helped keep the system from collapsing, they’ve also helped build one of the largest and most punishing civilian surveillance programs in the country, creating a second-tier citizenry that lives under constant threat of re-arrest for a missed appointment or failed drug test.

OPINION

Mercury News

California cannot consider itself a progressive state as long as it shares the values of countries such as North Korea, Pakistan, Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia in its choice of punishment: the death penalty.

No other Western nation has a death penalty. Nineteen states more enlightened than California have abolished it. It's time to join them.

A referendum on capital punishment is in the works for 2016, with supporters and detractors gathering signatures for competing propositions on the ballot. Voters should make California the 20th state to abolish the death penalty.