Monday, May 2, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Jimy Tallal, The Malibu Times

A fund was set up on March 2 to support the family of Shawna Lynn Jones, the 22-year-old inmate firefighter who died battling a brush fire in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu two months ago. Following her father’s death from cancer last year, she is survived by her mother Diana and two younger siblings, Daniel and Ashley.

The “Shawna Lynn Jones Fund” is being administered by the charitable hand of the Firefighters First Credit Union in response to the Malibu community’s desire to help. According to Robin McCarthy, an employee at the fund, “about $4,000” has been collected so far.

DEATH PENALTY

David G. Savage, The Los Angeles Times

The U.S. Supreme Court, over a dissent from Justice Stephen Breyer, turned down a challenge to California's death penalty system from an Orange County murderer who said that waiting decades on death row results in "psychologically inhumane stress."

His appeal pointed to what it called the state's "dysfunctional" system of capital punishment. With 743 inmates facing death sentences, California has by far the nation's biggest death row, but it has carried out only 13 executions in 40 years, and none since 2006.

Richard Boyer was sentenced to death in 1984 for the robbery and murder of an elderly couple in Fullerton. The state Supreme Court overturned his conviction because of a police error, but he was tried and convicted again and sentenced to death in 1992.

OPINION

W. Kamau Bell, CNN

(CNN)I had a great time in prison. That's something I never thought I'd say. The day-to-day discomforts of prison life, combined with the big-picture realities of mass incarceration, do not add up to a party.

But as a comedian, I'm also attuned to what American audiences enjoy. And America loves what I call, prison pornography. I'm not saying that America loves adult films set in prison. Well, at least I'm not saying that exclusively. I'm saying that America "gets off" on seeing people in prison. And our country really "gets off" on seeing people in prison living like freaks and feral animals. We love watching it on the news and in narrative film and television. We especially love those "real" cable documentaries about how gross and punitive prison is and how crazy and twisted and criminal the inmates are.

Well, this week, on my new CNN docu-series "United Shades of America," I'm headed to prison. And I abso-double-F-bombing-lutely did not want to make one of those prison porn documentaries. I didn't want to make a show exotifying prison while at the same time it creating the impression that we, as a nation, are doing a good job at prison.

Shirlee Smith, Pasadena Now

Maria may never see her children again. They were born in America but she was not. When released from the sentence she is serving in a California State Prison she, according to speculation by folk knowledgeable with these situations, will be deported to her home country.

Celebrating Mother’s Day is pretty much a no-no for her as it is for most of the inmate mothers I spend Saturdays with, presenting successful child-raising practices and understanding that though the women were charged with a crime, the crime most times has nothing to do with their relationship with their children.

Julia Stasch and Rebecca Rimel, Special to The Mercury News

With 2016 already in full swing, legislators across the country are beginning the difficult task of allocating limited taxpayer dollars to programs that will have the greatest benefit for the most people. Our organizations have worked with states for many years, and we know that determining which programs to fund -- and at what level -- is no easy task. Legislators too often lack critical information, such as an inventory of existing state programs, the cost of these initiatives, evidence of their effectiveness and the expected outcomes each would generate if continued. Without this information, lawmakers are handicapped in meeting their primary responsibility to ensure that constituents receive an appropriate return on public dollars.

State and local leaders certainly recognize that their citizens -- and their bottom lines -- would benefit from a focus on maximizing return on investment. To help, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation created the Results First initiative in 2010. Today, legislators and managers from 22 states and four California counties have partnered with Results First to bring evidence-based decision-making to their constituencies. Earlier this year, Pew and MacArthur committed an additional $18 million to continue this important work, bringing our shared investment in Results First to more than $30 million.

Lloyd Billingsley, The Daily Caller

Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s last Republican governor, claimed his Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 would set an example for the world. That outcome remains uncertain, but the former governor may have set a new standard in cronyism by reducing the prison sentence of a violent criminal.

In early April, the California Department of Corrections released Esteban Núñez, 27, involved in the fatal stabbing of college student Luis Santos in 2008 and sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. That term was much shorter than the life sentence Núñez would have faced if convicted of murder.