Monday, January 11, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Alex Witt, MSNBC

Is it time for criminal justice reform? Richard Lui is joined by MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff to take a look ahead at the Iowa Black and Brown forum where 2016 Democratic presidential hopefuls will address the concerns of Latino and African American voters and the need for criminal justice reform.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

The San Francisco Chronicle

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A federal appeals court secretly overturned the death penalty for a Southern California man who has spent nearly three decades on death row and is the subject of an online petition to free him.

Kenneth Clair was convicted for the 1984 murder of a babysitter in Santa Ana and sentenced to death in 1987. In March, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction but overturned his death penalty, citing incompetence by his defense attorney, the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/22S7NjM) reported this week.

Dan Watson, Signal SCV

Workers from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and members of a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation hand crew labored Friday to clear mud and debris from a stretch of Lake Hughes Road.

A stretch of the road — from 10 miles south of Elizabeth Lake Road to Newvale Drive in Lake Hughes — has been closed since Tuesday after rainstorms caused mud and debris to flow onto the roadway.

Sally Schilling, The Reporter

With the help of the community, the Dixon Family Services building got a face lift Saturday. About a dozen volunteers came out to help plant sage, lavender and bottle brush, among other drought-tolerant plants to replace of the old turf that used to surround the building.

The new plants are a big improvement from the “ugly” lawn, said DFS Executive Director Cookie Powell.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Maria Sestito, Napa Valley Register

A man convicted of an Angwin student’s murder in 1979 was denied parole this past week, according to the Napa County District Attorney’s Office.

Randall Maluenda, 59, was sentenced in 1980 to 15 years to life in prison for the murder of Holly Ganir who was a 21-year-old student at Pacific Union College in Angwin.

Maluenda had stalked Ganir, his ex-girlfriend, after their five-month relationship was over. When she went to get some of her belongings from him, Maluenda shot her six times.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Sean Robinson, The News Tribune

Dr. Lee Wong, the Pierce County Jail’s new mental health director, is learning the ropes of his new position after five weeks on the job.

He oversees mental health treatment for the jail’s 1,200 inmates in an environment where mental illness among the incarcerated has gained new legal attention.

Wong, 45, succeeds Judy Snow, who retired last year. Wong, a soft-spoken man, spent 20 years working with California inmates, most recently as mental health director of the state’s corrections system.

The News Tribune sat down with Wong recently to discuss his first impressions of the jail, his views on mental illness among inmates, and how he hopes to approach his new duties.

Marisa Gerber, The Los Angeles Times

At the foot of a fence around a small house in the desert, a protester cleared her throat. She wanted to scream loud enough for the man inside to hear.

“Raaaaaapist!” she shouted. “Go away, rapist!”

“No one in this world loves you,” her friend yelled. “You are a sexually violent predator!”

Bruce Weber, The New York Times

Rick Cluchey had never been in a theater — “not even to rob one,” as he was fond of saying — before he was convicted of armed robbery when he was 21 and sentenced to life in prison.

But his life began to change for the better when the San Francisco Actors Workshop performed “Waiting for Godot,” directed by Herbert Blau, at San Quentin State Prison in November 1957. Thus began the unlikely redemptive arc of Mr. Cluchey’s adulthood, one that led him out of jail and toward a career as an actor and playwright, most notably as a protégé of Samuel Beckett and an interpreter of his cryptic work.

Small flags honor law officers, firefighters and victims of the Dec. 2 terrorist attack.
Sandra Stokley, The Press Enterprise

When it came time to plan this year’s Flags for the Fallen ceremony, it seemed natural to include tributes to the 14 people killed in the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

“Something of that magnitude has never happened in the Inland area,” said Dani Medrano, president of the Eastvale-based Wives of Law Enforcement and Firefighters, which sponsored Friday’s event. “It was horrific.

OPINION

The Press-Enterprise

Ronald Harold Seaton – sentenced to California’s death row in 1989 for his role in a Riverside County murder – drew his last breath this past September.

It was not because the 69-year-old inmate at San Quentin State Prison died of a court-approved lethal injection. Rather, it was because the convicted murderer succumbed to natural causes.

The Los Angeles Times

To the editor: The Times' description of the plight of California's convicted murders, languishing at San Quentin State Prison with no real prospects of execution, is quite moving. ("A revealing look at California's death row," Jan. 5)

The single-occupant cells seem unpleasant, and the lifestyle of the condemned appears constrained. The lack of what the fashion industry calls “pops of color” in prison design is troubling. One prisoner paces behind bars without purpose, while another who has only robbed, murdered and attacked corrections officers bemoans their insistence on restraints any time he must leave his cell.