Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

George Lavender, MarketPlace

At the prison hospital inside the California Men’s Colony near San Luis Obispo, 75-year-old Floyd Masterson is waiting to pick up some medication. He carries a walking stick in one hand and a pink appointment slip in the other.  Like the rest of the inmates around him, he’s dressed in a dark blue prison uniform. He has something else in common with many prisoners: hepatitis C. The disease affects about 1 percent of the country’s population as a whole, but 17 percent of those in prison.

About 17,000 prisoners in California have tested positive for hepatitis C and health officials suggest the actual number is probably much higher. Liver cancer as a result of chronic hepatitis C infection is the most common cause of cancer death in the state’s prisons. Like many prisoners, Masterson said he probably caught the disease when he was using drugs. Intravenous drug use is a common way infection occurs, though sex and sharing needles for tattoos also play a part in spreading the disease.

Hillary Jackson, My News LA

A 58-year-old San Quentin inmate who killed two Fullerton residents more than 30 years ago has lost his bid to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his death sentence.

Richard Delmer Boyer had petitioned for a “writ of certiorari” to overturn his death sentence, which was handed down 32 years ago in Orange County. The denial, with Justice Stephen Breyer dissenting, came on Monday.

Boyer was convicted on June 24, 1992, of fatally stabbing 67-year-old Francis Harbits and 68-year-old Aileen Havitz in their Fullerton home. Boyer took the victims’ wallets and fled the scene following the Dec. 7, 1982, attack.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Matthew Adkins, Times Herald News

NOTE: The Prison Outreach Program of California State Prison-Solano was honored as Service Club Champion.

Child advocates and political dignitaries from across Solano County gathered with their families and friends to honor those who have dedicated their services to help benefit the lives of children at the second annual Champions for Children Awards Thursday evening at NorthBay Conference Center in Green Valley. Before awards were announced, healthy portions of a Mexican style meal catered by La CabaƱa were doled out to those who attended. People also had a chance to bid on a variety of gift baskets in a silent auction.

As the event began, the first person honored was Linda Seifert, who won the Lifetime Champion Award.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

CBS

HIGHLAND (CBSLA.com) — The bag from her wedding day, her pearl earrings, the stories told over and over – that is all Jenny Py-Swafford has from her husband’s aunt, who was a victim of domestic violence.

Jill Swafford, 26, was murdered on March 21, 1986 in Big Bear Lake. She was nine months pregnant with twins.

“She thought that being a mother was the greatest thing a woman could do in her life,” Jenny said as she wept.

DEATH PENALTY

Wills Robinson, Daily Mail

Without any experience or medical training, Dan Vasquez was employed by the government to kill other human beings.

As warden of San Quentin, one of the most notorious prisons in the world, put inmates to death in the gas chamber - known by his staff and those on death row as the 'coughing box'.

The day before an execution he would bring in a psychologist to help his team prepare to watch a condemned criminal die, in a bid to avoid post-traumatic stress.

Then, just hours later, he would ask the prisoner for his last words as he was strapped into a chair inside a tiny metal green room.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Sandhya Dirks, KQED

For 18 years, the San Francisco County Jail in San Bruno has run a program aimed at keeping inmates from committing more crimes. It invites victims to meet with perpetrators, with the idea that hearing the voices of victims will force perpetrators to face their own actions. The meetings can be hard, but healing — especially when they’re between father and son.

Delia Ginorio runs the Resolve To Stop Violence Program (RSVP). In a room just off the jail hallway, Ginorio talks with the day’s speakers, outlining the work they do here. In addition to survivors’ talks, they also run an on-site charter school, substance abuse recovery program, creative writing classes, yoga classes and meditation. It’s not a quick fix nor a guaranteed one, but Ginorio says that in the 18 years since they started, it’s proven incredibly effective at interrupting cycles of violence.

Lee Stranahan, BreitBart

The current political push for “criminal justice” reform is picking up bipartisan support in Congress, but the history of the “prison reform” shows movement shows the leftists driving the effort have a dangerous agenda rooted in revolutionary communism.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy recently described the sentencing reform bill currently working its way through Congress as “the worst combination of bad elements coming together.” McCarthy, currently a Senior Fellow at National Review, told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon that the bill was sponsored by an alliance of groups including the Black Lives Matter movement.

OPINION

Big Bear Grizzly

On Page 1 of this week’s issue is a story about a family’s fight to keep Jill Swafford Evans’ killer behind bars. Sam Evans was convicted in 1988 of beating his wife, Jill, to death with his service revolver. She was pregnant with twins and near term. The babies didn’t survive either, and Sam Evans was convicted of three counts of murder.

Sam Evans is being considered for parole even though he was sentenced to 75 years, with eligibility for parole after serving 50 years. It’s been 30 years and because he is now 60 and has served at least 25 years, Sam Evans is eligible for parole consideration. The law was passed in 2014 in response to prison overcrowding.