Thursday, September 22, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Sweetwater Now

SWEETWATER COUNTY — A California man has been charged for his involvement in a 1977 Sweetwater County homicide.

In a joint press release from the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office and the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office, Sheriff Mike Lowell and County Attorney Dan Erramouspe announced that murder charges have been filed against Rodney James Alcala, 73, of California following a 34 year investigation by the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.

Alcala, a condemned California Department of Corrections inmate, has been charged with first-degree murder, though it is unknown when he will be returned to Wyoming to answer the charges against him.

Tribune Media Wire

LOS ANGELES — A 28-year-old Pomona, California, man was sentenced to life in prison Monday for “brutally” killing his girlfriend and cutting out her lung while she was still alive, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Alexander Anthony Clever, who pleaded no contest to a first-degree murder charge in July, will not be eligible for parole, the DA’s office said in a news release.

In addition to the no contest plea, the defendant also admitted to special circumstance allegations of torture and mayhem, prosecutors said.


CBS Los Angeles

NORWALK ( — A Norwalk family is pleading with the California Department of Correction’s parole board not to release the man convicted of killing their 3-year-old daughter more than two decades ago.

Chuck Johnson is up for parole in November after serving 23 years of his 25-years-to-life sentence.

He was convicted of killing Brittany Lynn Rethorn-Riggs on Oct. 10, 1993.

Holly V. Hays, IndyStar

An attempted traffic stop and a police chase ended in a five-car accident that closed down westbound lanes of I-70 on the city's east side Tuesday afternoon.

At 3:30 p.m., detectives attempted to stop an SUV with California plates that was traveling westbound into Marion County, according to a news release.

When the detective turned on his lights, the driver of the SUV fled. The vehicle exited the interstate and made a U-turn in the parking lot of a business on Post Road before again heading south back toward the interstate.


Chris Nichols, Politifact Californian

California billionaire and potential gubernatorial candidate Tom Steyer joined the debate over ending the state’s death penalty last week by repeating a questionable claim.

"Since 1978, California has spent $5 billion to put 13 people to death," Steyer said in a press release announcing his support for Proposition 62.

The measure would abolish capital punishment in the state.

Proposition 66, a competing measure on November’s ballot, would keep the death penalty but proposes speeding up its appeals process.

Peter Jesserer Smith, Angelus

Kirk Bloodsworth had everything a young man could hope for in 1984. At 23 years old, he had served honorably in the U.S. Marines, was married, and had a good job on Maryland’s eastern shore.

But then “my entire world went sideways,” Bloodsworth recounted to Angelus News. Over a period of eight months, he was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to die in the gas chamber for the brutal rape-murder of 9-year-old Dawn Hamilton — a horrific crime he never committed.

Bloodsworth spent two years on death row, served another six years, and converted to the Catholic faith before he was finally able to prove his innocence through DNA testing in 1993.

Kellie Chudzinski, Loyolan

A YES vote supports repealing the death penalty and making life without the possibility of parole the maximum punishment for murder.

A NO vote opposes repealing the death penalty.

Things to know:

Dylan Bryant, The Renegade Rip

Californians have had what some might call a “love-hate relationship” with the death penalty. From 1778 to 1972, the state carried out 708 executions. Then, in 1972, the State Supreme Court found capital punishment to be in violation of the state constitution. A few months later, Californians voted to reinstate the death penalty, superseding the court’s ruling. The courts have since handed down hundreds of death penalty convictions.

Despite this, only 13 of those executions to have been issued since the reinstatement have taken place. In fact, California’s “Death Row” at San Quentin State Prison now houses more inmates than Florida or Texas, over 700 condemned to death. While all have been found guilty, these inmates are not being executed for a variety of reasons.


Corrections News

LAKEPORT, Calif. — In lieu of expanding the Hill Road Correctional Facility in Lakeport, the Lake County Board of Supervisors voted on Sept. 13 to return a $20 million jail improvement grant received in January 2014. County officials have cited financial constraints related to long-term operation of the expanded facility as well as a decrease in jail population for their decision to return the funds.

Allocated by the California Board of State and Community Corrections, the grant was originally intended to ease overcrowding and help bring the jail in line with California’s public safety realignment goals under AB 109. The $20 million grant was issued under SB 1022. Lake County was then one of 15 counties to receive jail modification funding; 36 counties originally applied.

UC Berkeley News

The Prison University Project, founded by UC Berkeley Ph.D. Jody Lewen to give inmates in San Quentin greater access to higher education, has been named a recipient of this year’s  National Humanities Medal, the White House has announced.

President Obama will award the medal to a distinguished list of recipients — including poet Louise Glück, radio host Terry Gross and composer and musician Wynton Marsalis — at a ceremony in the East Room on Thursday. First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to attend.