Monday, June 13, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Jenna Lyons, The San Francisco Chronicle

A Death Row inmate housed at San Quentin State Prison slipped out of handcuffs Thursday evening and used his shackles to attack a correctional officer, officials said.

Jesse Manzo, a 27-year-old gang member, was being escorted to his cell after a shower around 5 p.m. when he somehow got loose from his handcuffs and used them as a weapon, said officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The Associated Press

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. Officials say a prison guard is recovering after he was attacked by a condemned inmate on California's death row.

They say 27-year-old Jesse Manzo assaulted the San Quentin State Prison correctional officer Thursday evening as he was being escorted back to his cell after taking a shower.

Manzo slipped his wrist out of an open handcuff and used the handcuff to hit the officer several times.

Corona's Kimberly Long, who was convicted of killing her boyfriend in 2003, was released on bail.
Gail Wesson, The Press Enterprise

After about seven years in state prison for a murder she says she did not commit, a Corona woman was released Friday from Riverside County Jail to await a possible third trial in the bludgeoning death of her boyfriend in 2003.

A judge on Friday vacated her conviction and ordered a new trial following concerns over the fairness of her second trial. The first trial ended in a hung jury.

After a weeklong hearing, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Patrick Magers found that Kimberly Louise Long’s public defender, Eric Keen, did not provide effective legal counsel for his client.


WASCO, Calif. - A Wasco man is dead after he was transported to a hospital with unknown injuries, according to the Kern County Coroner's Office.

Cedric Williams, 39, was transported from Wasco State Prison on June 4th, to San Joaquin Community Hospital, where his condition worsened.

Williams passed away June 8th around 6:30 a.m. The investigation by the California Department of Corrections, is ongoing.


Wadi Reformado, Norcal Record

SACRAMENTO – A mother alleges her son was fatally wounded during a riot at a correctional institution.

Maria Aguirre, as personal representative of the estate of Jonathan Velarde, filed a complaint on June 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against State of California; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; California Correctional Center; Donald Maydole, and Does 1 through 100 alleging negligence and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Aug. 16, 2015, Jonathan Velarde was fatally shot during a riot at the California Correctional Center in Susanville. The suit states he was incarcerated on a conviction of marijuana possession.


Rob McMillan, abc

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- There were many hugs and tears for a Corona woman set free in court Friday morning, after she served close to seven years in state prison for the death of her boyfriend.

A Riverside judge threw out the murder conviction for Kimberly Long and ordered a new trial.

Kimberly Long's mother, Darlene Long, reacted with gratitude after the hearing.

"She is getting freedom, and that's what we've been waiting for for 13 years," she said.

The case goes back to October 2003, when Kimberly Long had a fight with her boyfriend in Corona.

Razi Syed, The Fresno Bee

An operation targeting crime throughout Fresno County involving more than a dozen law enforcement agencies resulted in 60 arrests during a 10-hour period on Friday and Saturday.

“The message is this: If you’re a law-abiding citizen, welcome us into your community because we’re going to take care of business,” Sheriff Margaret Mims said before Operation Gold Star began. “If you’re not a law-abiding citizen, now’s the time to turn yourself in. Otherwise, we’re going to be knocking on your door.

“In 2015, burglaries were up 26 percent, robberies were up 23 percent and theft was up 8 percent,” Mims said. “So far in 2016, burglaries are up again, and so is auto theft.”

Edward Moncrief, The Californian

Everything grows better with structure — even people.

Just ask Sylvia Gonzalez. Sylvia’s new employer is Quiedan Company, an Ag structures design, manufacturing, and distribution company. Quiedan’s two large warehouses in Prunedale and the surrounding yard abound with boxes of fittings, stacks of aluminum tubing, stakes, roles of plastic sheeting, and samples of portable greenhouses, nurturing demonstration crops. The enterprise sells hoop houses and high tunnels for fruits and vegetables, trellis systems for grapes, and a variety of other agricultural related products.

Sylvia sat in its second-floor conference room.

“I don’t mind sharing my story,” she began, her calm eyes and easy smile supporting the statement. “I was ashamed at first. Now, I’m comfortable with how I’ve handled things, and I do continue with the counseling provided under AB109.

Workshop focuses on those with criminal records
Brandon Castillo and Barry Brown, KION

APTOS, Calif. - About 50 thousand people in Santa Cruz County have a criminal record, according to the California Department of Corrections, and when inmates get out, finding a job isn't easy.

"Here I am, trying to change my life now as far as seeking better employment or whatever it is,” said John Murillo, a former inmate. “And for them to judge me by my past is something that I thought I already paid for."

Ninety percent of companies do background checks before hiring employees, but at Friday's “Building Futures” seminar in Aptos, employers were told to give them a second chance.

Stephen Baxter, Santa Cruz Sentinel

APTOS >> Leaders from the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, nonprofit groups, county agencies and other organizations made a pitch to employers on Friday to hire more people with criminal records.

There are tax incentives for employers such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, but advocates said that providing jobs to former offenders also helps reduce crime, lift families and foster more productive residents and taxpayers.

“Most crimes are drug and alcohol fueled,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said during a panel discussion Friday. “Once you get beyond that, they’re regular people.”

Trevor Montgomery, Valley News

According to data collected by cities and counties throughout California, crime is up across the board. Law enforcement agencies, government organizations and citizens alike have felt the dramatic increase in crime and are beginning to question what caused the drastic fluctuation and how to stop what law enforcement officials from across the state are calling an increasing crisis.

“I’m sure the hundreds of violent crime victims and their families would agree that we are in crisis,” David Brown, Chief of Police for the City of Hemet said. “It’s a lethal formula when you release thousands of violent criminals in a county with a severely undersized jail system and understaffed police departments.”

A problem decades in the making, only recently-passed legislation, mandates and laws help residents understand how California came to be in its current situation.


The Los Angeles Times

California’s death penalty system has been broken for so long, you could forgive people for thinking that it no longer exists. The last person executed at San Quentin was Clarence Ray Allen, who arranged the murders of three people in Fresno — one who revealed details of a burglary Allen had planned, and two others who testified against him. His January 2006 execution came 23 years after his conviction.

Since then, legal challenges have left California without a constitutional method of executing prisoners. The state has proposed a new lethal-injection protocol, but more lawsuits will likely stall the resumption of executions for the foreseeable future, and an initiative headed for the fall ballot would ban it outright. It’s unclear how many executions have been forestalled by the freeze. Of 747 people on California’s death row — most of them men held at San Quentin — only 18 have exhausted their appeals and could be slated for execution should the “machinery of death,” as Justice Harry A. Blackmun once described it, ever be turned back on.