Thursday, September 15, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CDCR NEWS

KERO

14 local California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) employees will be honored at the 31st Annual Medal of Valor ceremony.

The ceremony recognizes heroism and service above the call of duty.

More than 100 CDCR employees will be honored in Elk Grove.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Nashelly Chavez, The Sacramento Bee

The death of a California State Prison-Sacramento inmate is being investigated as a possible homicide, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Lt. L.A. Quinn, a department spokesman, said staff found inmate Cleophus Bealey, 44, unresponsive inside his cell at the prison’s Folsom facility about 1 p.m. Friday. Bealey was taken to an area hospital, where he died Tuesday afternoon.

Allyson Cummings, KERO


The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has apprehended 30-year-old Stephen Beavers, who had previously walked away from a Bakersfield re-entry facility over the weekend.

Officials were notified on Sunday that Beavers' GPS device had been tampered with, prompting an emergency search.

Joseph Serna, The Los Angeles Times

Already plagued by years of drought and a beetle infestation that has reduced millions of trees to kindling, California is facing yet another crisis as it enters the brunt of wildfire season: a dwindling roster of prison inmates who can battle blazes.

The gap is due largely to California’s controversial realignment law, which mandates that inmates convicted of non-serious, nonviolent and non-sexual offenses serve time in county jails rather than in state prisons.

As a result, the pool of eligible firefighting inmates has been shrinking.

DEATH PENALTY

Bob Egelko, The San Francisco Chronicle

Four years after California voters decided narrowly to retain the death penalty, they face an even more dramatic choice: abolish executions or try to speed them up by setting tight time limits for state court rulings and limiting appeals.

Competing initiatives — Proposition 62, to repeal the death penalty, and Prop. 66, to hasten it — will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot at a pivotal time for capital punishment in the United States.

Executions nationwide are on a course to total 20 or fewer this year, their lowest number since 1991. Forty-nine death sentences were handed down last year — 14 in California, the nation’s leader — the lowest level since 1976. Drugs for lethal injection are in short supply, and states have tested the limits of the law with secret purchases from unregulated sources. Legislative action or court decisions have overturned the death penalty in 19 states.

Jazmine Ulloa, The Los Angeles Times

California billionaire Tom Steyer on Wednesday threw his support behind a November ballot measure that would repeal the death penalty in the state.

Steyer, a potential gubernatorial candidate and the president of NextGen Climate, said California had spent $5 billion to put 13 people to death since 1978 — or $384 million per execution.

Jessica Dafoe, INQUISITR

Voters in California are facing a decision in regards to two separate paths the state could take on capital punishment. Either the death penalty will be abolished entirely, or the process will be made speedier to get inmates to the point of execution.

Within the prisons, death row inmates themselves are conflicted with the decision that offers either a one-shot appeal system, mandated lawyer assignments, and a simplified process to execution as a means to rework the system in California that has not seen an execution in a decade, or to simply throw the death penalty out altogether. In the place of the death penalty, the sentence for crimes which would have warranted the sentence, would instead be life without parole.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Pablo Lopez, The Fresno Bee

A Superior Court judge on Wednesday reduced a mentally ill man’s first-degree murder conviction to second-degree murder and then sentenced him to 30 years to life in prison for killing his cellmate in the Fresno County Jail four years ago.

Judge Timothy Kams said he made his ruling “in the interest of justice” after citing Jose “Jesse” Guadalupe Cuevas’ long history of mental illness.

The ruling saved the 30-year-old Cuevas an additional 32 years behind bars, Fresno defense attorney Antonio Alvarez said.

Prosecutor William Lacy did not object because Cuevas agreed to waive his appellate rights.