Thursday, October 6, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

CBS 13 News Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s corrections department has agreed not to require sex offenders to post do-not-disturb signs on their doors during Halloween.

A sex offender from Chula Vista sued the state last year, saying he’d been ordered to post a warning that he doesn’t participate in trick-or-treating.

The lawsuit argued such warnings violate offenders’ due process and free speech rights and could make them targets for vigilantes.

Brittny Mejia, The Los Angeles Times

Last year, a Chula Vista sex offender parolee was instructed to post a “do not disturb” sign in front of his residence on Halloween night to ward off trick-or-treaters.

What followed was a lawsuit filed by the California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization, as well as the parolee in San Diego County and another in Los Angeles. The policy, they argued, violated their civil rights and put their safety at risk. 

Posting signage was never part of existing policy, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which recently issued a memorandum to its staff reminding them of directives for sex offender parolees on Halloween.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Joe Ybarra, KFSN

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Inside a prison, it's easy to lose hope, but in one room, inmates have something to celebrate-- A graduation complete with a cap and gown. Something Daniel Henson never thought he'd wear. He's been behind bars since he was 16.

"There's nothing I can say, I am guilty of a horrible, terrible thing."

In 1998 Henson was convicted of murdering four people in Merced County. His dad, his stepmom, his brother and his sister and he was sentenced to 176 years to life in prison.

DNA evidence links convicted murderer to cold case
Matt Hamilton, The Los Angeles Times

It took several days to find the body of Cynthia White, who was strangled in San Bernardino County in 1991.

When her former boyfriend discovered her on the night of May 27, 1991, in the Devore home she had inherited from her father, investigators thought she had been dead for a week.

But tracking down her suspected killer took far longer, and the case grew cold by 1993.

On Tuesday, after more than a quarter of a century, prosecutors charged a man already on death row with the murder of White, who was known as “C.J.”
Dean Eric Dunlap, 57, has been in San Quentin State Prison since he was convicted in 2005 of killing, raping and kidnapping 9-year-old Sandra Astorga in January 1992.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Lindsay Kyte, Lions Roar

San Quentin prison volunteer Tyger Blair finds that prison dharma has changed the perspectives of both inmates and guards—as well as his own. Read about four more people who are changing society from the ground up in the November 2016 issue of Lion’s Roar.

Tyger Blair’s path to prison dharma began when he was mugged at gunpoint. Blair is a member of a Zen community in Oakland that has run a program in San Quentin prison for the last fifteen years. Four years ago, in the aftermath of the mugging, Blair’s sangha helped him work with the anger and terror he was experiencing. After seeing how this experience transformed him, he was inspired to volunteer at the prison.

DEATH PENALTY

Joe Rosato Jr., NBC Bay Area

Dionne Wilson and Marc Klaas share a connection no one wants to share. They both lost loved ones to unspeakable violence and the perpetrators now sit waiting out their days on California’s Death Row at San Quentin Prison.

But that’s where Klaas' and Wilson’s views of what should happen next to the condemned diverge dramatically.

The two perspectives mirror competing Death Penalty measures on California’s November ballot — one which would repeal it and the other which aims to speed up executions.

Jazmine Ulloa, The Los Angeles Times

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and hip-hop artist will.i.am on Wednesday joined efforts to support a California ballot measure that would abolish the state death penalty.

At a campaign event in San Francisco, Branson urged voters to vote yes on Proposition 62, saying the United States should lead by example.

"You might ask why an English man is here talking about the death penalty," he said. "About 45 years ago the last person was executed in England and that person turned out to be innocent. And I think everyone in Britain hung their head in shame."

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Cynthia Lambert, The Tribune

A master plan will eventually be developed for San Luis Obispo County’s El Chorro Regional Park along Highway 1, and the beloved 18-hole golf course there appeared to receive a temporary reprieve Tuesday.

After hearing from passionate golfers, the county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to develop a master plan for the park with input from the community and to include the issue of water availability.

The supervisors also debated the future of the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, which leases county land at the regional park, but a proposal to add a zip line remained undecided at the end of the afternoon.

OPINION

Timothy Lemucchi, Bakersfield.com

Four decades ago, Californians and their elected representatives decided to get “tough on crime.” They fell over themselves passing laws that threw offenders in prisons and threw the keys away after their cell doors closed.

In the years since, criminal activity has continued and the “criminal justice industry” has grown dramatically.

Voters in November now face a crossroad: Continue paying more and more tax dollars to support a system that incarcerates more and more people; or pass Proposition 57, which will return common sense to a system that is supposed to both punish and rehabilitate lawbreakers.