Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Dan Noyes, abc

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (KGO) --In just three months, voters have the chance to abolish the death penalty in California or speed up the process. With interest running high on the issue, San Quentin State Prison, home to the state's only death row, opened up and let ABC7 I-Team Reporter Dan Noyes and our cameras in for a rare look inside.

The first impression one gets of San Quentin is how old the place is. Much of it was built 100 years ago and there's nothing automatic about it. Each cell has to be locked or unlocked by hand.

Within the different housing units -- North Segregation, East Block, Donner, and The Adjustment Center -- there are 725 murderers, cop killers, child killers and serial killers.

Californians will be able to vote to repeal or alter the death penalty ruling in the 2016 elections.
Alex Wheeler, International Business Times

San Quentin State Prison is California's oldest penitentiary, and is the state's only death row facility for men. Opened in 1852, the prison is the largest in the United States and is located north of San Francisco, in the town of San Quentin, Marin County. Any man condemned to death in the California state must be held at San Quentin, with some exceptions, while women are held at Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla. Currently, San Quentin is housing over 700 condemned inmates.

Yet despite high numbers, those on death row are more likely to die from old age than be put to death. This is due to a 'backlog' of prisoners who have been given such a penalty, which occurred since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978. More than 900 people were sentenced to death in the last 38 years but only 13 executions were carried out. Los Angeles has not put any criminals to death for 10 years, and currently has more than 740 people awaiting execution on death row. During an interview with ABC News, one inmate Jamar Tucker, who is on death row for killing three men, highlighted the issues with the imprisonment system "Man, I'm wrong and this what I got coming to me. Give it to me. Don't sit me, have me sitting on the shelf 20 and 30 years. You told me you're were going to kill me. Kill me already."


A California program hopes to decrease recidivism by offering inmates creative classes.
Jillian Frankel, takepart

Drumming, dance lessons, painting and theater classes—thanks to Arts-in-Corrections, a joint effort of the California Arts Council and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, those are just some of the artistic offerings available to inmates at 19 of California’s 34 state prisons.

The project, which launched this summer after a two-year pilot, aims to reduce recidivism rates, decrease violence in prisons, and improve inmates’ self-confidence before they are released.

A-Town Daily News

As of Aug. 16, at 6 a.m., the Chimney Fire burning near Lake Nacimiento is 10-percent contained and has grown to 6,400 acres. 12 structures have been destroyed, and 20 have been damaged; 200 structures are still threatened

Evacuations have been called for the communities of Running Deer Ranch, Tri-County, Cal Shasta, Rancho de Lago, and South Shore Village.

Currently there are 1,675 personnel battling the blaze and providing aid from agencies across the state including: USFS, California Highway Patrol, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff, Red Cross, CAL-OES, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Conservation Corps, PG&E, San Luis Obispo Air Quality Board, San Luis Obispo Public Works, Paso Robles Fire Department, Monterey Co. Water Resource Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Army Camp Roberts.


SF Gate

JASPER, Ala. (AP) — A woman convicted of kidnapping a Jasper lawyer whose body has never been found is seeking parole after 25 years behind bars.

Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/2aQjbL3) 54-year-old Karen McPherson, who is serving a life sentence in the kidnapping of Carrie Smith Lawson, will go before Alabama's parole board on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old attorney was abducted from her home in September 1991. She had recently graduated from the University of Alabama law school.


2 opposing initiatives to appear on ballot
Tom Miller, KCRA 3 News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —California voters will decide the fates of two competing death penalty ballot initiatives in November.

Prop. 66 would speed up the appeals process so that inmates face the death penalty sooner, while Prop. 62 would eliminate the sentence.

Both initiatives promise to save the state money. Prop. 62 supporters believe $150 million will be saved annually under their plan, while Prop. 66 supporters tout an annual savings in the tens of millions of dollars.

Maura Dolan, The Los Angeles Times

The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday to overturn the death sentence of a man convicted of killing two former co-workers at a Target store in 1993 after he had been passed over for promotion.

Sergio Dujuan Nelson was 19 when he shot and killed Robin Shirley and Lee Thompson, who had worked with him at a Target store in La Verne.

Nelson rode his bike to the Target store and shot the victims as they sat in a car in a parking lot. He had quit his job but the victims still worked at the store.

Nelson, who had no prior criminal history, admitted the killings but argued they stemmed from depression.


Nashelly Chavez and Ryan Sabalow, The Sacramento Bee

Authorities arrested a Clearlake man Monday on suspicion of setting numerous fires in Lake County over the past year, including the Clayton Fire, which has burned 4,000 acres and destroyed at least 175 structures since it started Saturday.

Damin Anthony Pashilk, 40, was booked into the Lake County Jail on 17 counts of arson after an investigation by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. He will likely face enhanced arson charges for allegedly setting fires that caused the destruction of homes and businesses, authorities said.


STATE ISSUES: Solitary confinement is part of a systemic reluctance to treat prisoners humanely, but early release may be a step toward rehabilitative justice
The Daily Californian

David Maldonado graduated from UC Berkeley in May, but just eight years before, he was in prison. Stories like Maldonado’s are rare: The country’s justice system does not serve to nurture the people behind bars, leaving most prisoners acutely unprepared to reintegrate and contribute to society once their sentences conclude.

Last week, the California State Assembly passed a bill on to the state Senate that would allow those held in solitary confinement to earn early release for good behavior. Currently, California prisoners held in solitary confinement, or Security Housing Units, are unable to earn credits for good behavior. Though this is a step toward creating a more restorative justice system, we have a long way to go to ensure prisoners are treated in a way that will help them reintegrate into society.