Thursday, October 13, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

DEATH PENALTY

Karma Dickerson, Fox 40 News

SAN QUENTIN -- If where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit ... when it comes to California’s Capital Punishment, 746 people sitting on death row stand to provide unparalleled perspective.

San Quentin State Penitentiary has the largest death row in the Western hemisphere, made up of five cell blocks of men sentenced to death for special circumstances murders. Not one inmate is scheduled to have that sentence carried out. But voters have the power to change all of that this Election Day.

“Gimme mines, I’ll go in front of everybody,” said inmate Jamar Tucker.

Tucker was convicted in 2005 for a deadly Los Angeles home invasion. He was awaiting trial for another murder when he killed his cellmate.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Matt Fountain, The Tribune

Proposition 57 — a constitutional amendment proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown — would be “disastrous” for public safety and take the state “back to the 1970s and 1980s” in terms of violent crime, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said Wednesday.

Dow led a who’s who of San Luis Obispo County law enforcement officials that included the county’s seven police chiefs in voicing their opposition to the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act, which voters will decide on Nov. 8. They were joined in front of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office by county Supervisor Debbie Arnold and Atascadero City Councilman Brian Sturtevant.

The proposed amendment is twofold. First, it would take authority away from prosecutors in charging people under the age of 18 in adult court, and instead require a judge’s approval. The more contentious part of the measure, however, would allow people convicted of certain crimes to go before a parole board once they’ve served their minimum prison term, and before they have served terms for additional gang, weapon, and injury-related criminal enhancements.

Darsha Philips, ABC 7 News

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Family members, government officials and thousands of law enforcement officers on Thursday attended a memorial service for Sgt. Steve Owen, a decorated 29-year-veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Gov. Jerry Brown, state Attorney General Kamala Harris and Sheriff Jim McDonnell will be among those paying their respects to Owen, 53, about a week after he was slain while responding to a burglary call in Lancaster.

OPINION

Orange County Register

If there is one thing opponents and proponents of the death penalty in California can agree, it is that the current death penalty system doesn’t work. With one of the largest death rows in the world, California has over 740 people awaiting execution, few of whom are likely to be executed.

Most of this backlog has to do with the robust, if complex, system of appeals, part of which happens in state courts and also federal courts. Proposition 66, backed by the California District Attorneys Association, purports to expedite the death penalty by addressing the state appeals system.

Chris Mcguinness, New Times

SLO County's law enforcement community is trying to warn voters against supporting a ballot measure that would shorten prison sentences for less-violent offenders.

SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow led a press conference Oct. 12 with representatives from multiple SLO County law enforcement agencies and police officers associations to oppose the passage of Proposition 57, which they claim could put dangerous criminals back on the streets and endanger public safety.

"All of us are here today united in opposition to Proposition 57," Dow said.

As written, Proposition 57 would increase the number of inmates in state prisons who are eligible for parole after serving the full prison term for their primary crimes—but before they serve additional time tacked on from other crimes and sentencing enhancements. That eligibility would apply to prisoners convicted of "non-violent" crimes. It would also allow the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to award sentencing credits to inmates for good behavior and working toward their rehabilitation while in prison. The measure is part of a larger effort to ease overcrowding in California prisons. Supporters of the ballot measure, which include Gov. Jerry Brown, believe that the measure will ease overcrowding, encourage rehabilitation, and save California tens of millions of dollars.