Friday, January 22, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

DEATH PENALTY

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

Californians face a watershed year as they prepare to decide whether to resume executions that stopped a decade ago or end them entirely.

While advocates jockey to put both choices before voters this fall, officials overseeing the 746 condemned inmates on the nation's largest death row are pushing ahead with plans to use a single lethal drug to meet legal requirements amid a nationwide shortage of execution drugs.

They will hold a public hearing Friday on their proposal to let corrections officials choose from four types of powerful barbiturates to execute prisoners. About 12,000 people have submitted written comments ahead of the hearing.

Jeremiah Dobruck, The Los Angeles Times

The California Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence issued in 2009 for Billy Joe Johnson, a Costa Mesa native and white supremacist who was convicted of murdering another gang member in 2002.

A jury found Johnson guilty of luring fellow skinhead Scott Miller from a party in Costa Mesa to an Anaheim alley, where he was shot to death.

The white supremacist gang Public Enemy Number One had put out a hit on Miller after he spoke to the media about the gang, which he helped form, according to court documents.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Paulette Cohn, Parade

Becoming an aid worker isn’t the safe career that it might have been in another generation. These days, if you listen to the news, the workers are suspect as potential spies by enemy combatants, and sometimes kidnapped and held for ransom. It takes a certain amount of badassness to even want to apply for the job.

But in A Perfect Day, starring Benecio Del Toro and Tim Robbins, we learn that dealing with frustration can be as dangerous a part of the job as the bombs and the bullets when people, who allegedly want the same things you do, make a simple task 100 times more difficult than it needs be due to rules and regulations.

Martin Kaste, NPR

An experiment has been underway in California since November 2014, when voters approved Proposition 47: put fewer lawbreakers in jail without increasing crime. The measure converted a list of nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors, which translated into little or no jail time for crimes such as low-value theft and possession of hard drugs.

Police didn't like Prop 47 when it was on the ballot, and now many are convinced they were right to oppose it.