Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Ashleigh Panoo, The Fresno Bee

An inmate who was found dead at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville on Monday was transferred there from Fresno County in 1986, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. The death is being treated as a possible homicide.

The 66-year-old male, who was not named by authorities, was found in a dormitory face-down in a pool of blood, the department said. He was transported to the facility’s medical clinic where he was pronounced dead.

The man had been serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder with great bodily injury.

Mike Eiman, The Sentinel

While the Todd Pate trial ended in a hung jury and no verdict, Kings County has had a number of other homicide cases that were much more straightforward.

Perhaps the most well-known Kings County murder case of the past decade is that of Dave Hawk, who was convicted in 2009 for killing his ex-wife, Debbie Hawk, 47. The case was featured on “Dateline NBC” in 2010.

On June 13, 2006, Hawk’s ex-wife, Debbie Hawk, failed to pick up her three children from a scheduled weekend visit with their father. Dave Hawk dropped the children off at Debbie Hawk’s home in Hanford where the children found the house ransacked with blood trails on the floor. Debbie Hawk and her tan Ford Freestar van were missing.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Paige St. John, The Los Angeles Times

Condemned murderer Michael Jones was acting strangely and profusely sweating when guards escorted him in chains to the San Quentin medical unit that doubles as the psych ward on death row.

“Doggone, I don’t think you’re ever going to see me again,” he told a fellow inmate, Clifton Perry.

Hours later, Jones was dead.

Toxicology tests later found that he had toxic levels of methamphetamines in his blood.

The condemned inmates on California's death row are among the most closely monitored in the state. Death row’s 747 inmates spend most of their time locked down, isolated from the rest of the prison system under heavy guard with regular strip searches and checks every half-hour for signs of life.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

Sabrina Biehl, My Mother Lode

Sonora, CA — Despite the California Board of Parole finding convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt suitable for parol he will remain behind bars. Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg announced today that Gov. Brown has reviewed and reversed the Board of Parole’s decision.

Krieg presented arguments opposing Hayatt’s release to the RJ Donovan State Prison Board of Parole in San Diego on April 7, 2016. The board granted Hyatt a release date but late last week Governor Brown found in light of all of the evidence Hyatt currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Rick Anderson, The Los Angeles Times

When she scooped up the cash after allegedly robbing a US Bank branch in Cheyenne, Wyo., Linda Patricia Thompson seemed resigned to the punishment that awaited her.

A 59-year-old transgender woman, Thompson had endured nothing but trouble since arriving in Wyoming weeks before. She had been turned away from a Cheyenne homeless shelter, then was beaten in a park, landing in a hospital where she was treated for facial fractures.

OPINION

Advocates are hopeful that the Justice Department's move will offer a road map for states.
Rebecca McCray, Take Part

With the Justice Department’s announcement last week that it will phase out its reliance on controversial private prisons to house roughly 22,000 inmates, advocates are hoping states and other federal agencies will follow suit. The Department of Homeland Security is the biggest federal customer of for-profit prison companies The GEO Group and the Corrections Corporation of America, and the majority of prisoners confined in private facilities are at the state level. But neither DHS nor state governments are bound by the announcement.

So is there reason to believe the states might follow suit? For the more than 91,000 inmates housed in private state prisons, advocates say a change could be on the way.