Friday, October 7, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


CDCR NEWS

Don Thompson, The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal lawsuit claims California officials could have stopped what it says was the "assassination" of a notorious California inmate who was stabbed 19 times just days after he was released into the general prison population last year.

Prison officials should have known that Hugo Pinell, 71, would be quickly targeted at the maximum security prison east of Sacramento, alleges the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Pinell's daughter, Allegra Casimir-Taylor.

Pinell was a convicted killer who had been isolated ever since a bloody escape attempt at San Quentin State Prison in 1971 that left six dead. He was known as one of the San Quentin 6 and helped slit the throats of prison guards during the failed jailbreak.

CALIFORNIA INMATES

Death row inmates also weighed in on Prop 62, which would repeal capital punishment in California, and the results were surprising
Michael Bott, NBC

Inmates at San Quentin State Prison just cast their votes for president, and for Donald Trump, it’s a good thing those votes won’t count.

Trump was trounced by Hillary Clinton in a mock election staged by the California prison’s inmate-run newspaper, San Quentin News. Newspaper staffers set up a polling place inside San Quentin’s yard and handed out ballots with choices for president, senate and various ballot initiatives. The ballot even came with a voter guide on the back.

A man convicted of shooting and then running over another man in the parking lot of a Hollywood nightclub will spend 50 to life in prison.
Patch

LOS ANGELES, CA -- A state appeals court panel today upheld a man's conviction for a fatal shooting outside a Hollywood nightclub.

Robert Earl Thomas III claimed his trial attorney rendered ineffective assistance by failing to object when a Los Angeles police detective familiar with his criminal record testified that she checked to see if he was still in custody when she saw video from the deadly shooting.

Thomas also claimed his attorney failed to ask for a mistrial when another LAPD detective said police contacted a parole agent when the focus of the investigation shifted to Thomas.

Pat Graham, The Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — On the inside of his right biceps, Colorado wide receiver Bryce Bobo has "Antonio" tattooed in cursive lettering. In the same spot on the left, "Louis."

Those are tributes to his father, Antonio Louis Bobo Sr., who was shot and killed by Bryce Bobo's half-brother when Bryce was 4 years old.

Another tribute: The Buffaloes junior has made two dazzling one-handed grabs this season — one with the "Antonio" arm, the other with the "Louis" side.

Justine Lee, KALW

For prison inmates, being a parent is hard. You’re far away but you’re still here. And the visits and letters, those small points of contact, can become that much tougher for the distance. So, a group of inmates at Solano State prison are looking for help.

In a parenting class for inmates called 'Parenting Inside Out,' many men are finding that being a good father starts with digging deep into your relationship with your own parents.

I had the opportunity to sit in on a class, and see for myself.

CALIFORNIA PAROLE

abc 7 News

LANCASTER, Calif. - During an afternoon news conference, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell revealed that a gunman stood over and executed a sheriff's sergeant in Lancaster.

The gunman, identified by sheriff's officials as 27-year-old Trenton Trevon Lovell, a Lancaster resident, was being held without bail.

Sgt. Steve Owen and another deputy had responded to a burglary call around noon Wednesday in the 3200 block of West Avenue J7, sheriff's officials said. The area was contained and during the containment, gunfire was heard in the back of the location.

Veronica Rocha, James Queally, Brittny Mejia

He started his criminal life as a juvenile, authorities said, selling marijuana before graduating to more serious offenses.

He racked up 11 arrests, two of which landed him in state prison, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell.

On one occasion, he pointed a handgun at an off-duty USC security officer near campus and robbed him of his wallet, cellphone and watch.

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - A judge has upheld Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to keep Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten in prison.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William Ryan on Thursday refused a request from Van Houten's lawyer to overturn Brown's decision.

A state board in April had declared Van Houten, who killed a California couple more than 40 years ago, eligible for parole after years of good prison behavior.

DEATH PENALTY

Bob Egelko, The San Francisco Chronicle

Supporters of preserving California’s death penalty in next month’s elections showcase the relatives of murder victims, who say their only hope of justice and closure is the killers’ execution. Death penalty opponents, on the other hand, are featuring former Death Row inmates who were cleared of their charges and set free.

“I’ve been out over 30 years ... and every day it’s on my mind,” Ernest Shujaa Graham said Wednesday at an event sponsored by supporters of Proposition 62, which would abolish capital punishment and resentence condemned prisoners to life without the possibility of parole.

Graham, 66, was sent to prison at age 18 for a robbery in Los Angeles. He said he joined a political movement behind bars, was influenced by the Black Panther Party, and in 1973 was charged with the fatal stabbing of a guard, Jerry Sanders, at Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Teri Seforza, The OC Register

Violent crime reached a high in California in 1992, when 338 people died in police and prison custody by means mostly natural but sometimes grisly – drug overdoses, strangulation, knife attacks, beatings.

Only seven of those died from firearms, according to statistics from the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

By 2015, violent crime in the Golden State had plunged by nearly half. But the number of deaths in official custody had nearly doubled, hitting a record high of 760 people, including 121 who died from firearms.

Nick Cahill, Courthouse News

SACRAMENTO (CN) — More than 40 years after ushering in tough crime laws that led to massive prison overcrowding, Gov. Jerry Brown is spending millions of dollars to try to reform California's criminal justice system. Brown wants to make thousands of nonviolent inmates eligible for early parole and revamp decades-old determinate sentencing laws that he acknowledges came with "unintended consequences."

The fourth-term Democratic governor's push for a state constitutional amendment has set off a power struggle between Brown and the Golden State's district attorneys and law enforcement groups that call making thousands of criminals eligible for parole a threat to public safety and a direct assault on victims' rights.

WJCT

When Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 42 in 1976, he said it would provide “certain, clear punishment for crime.”

The measure passed the Legislature with little controversy. It created a determinate sentencing structure in California, scrapping most open-ended prison terms and instead giving inmates a set release date. It was the first major shift toward a more prescribed approach to punishment in California, one that lawmakers and voters embraced wholeheartedly in the decades that followed.

“This is the greatest step we could take for public safety in California … We want to make sure when they get out, they’ve gone through a real program of education and rehabilitation.” Governor Jerry Brown

abc News

A woman convicted of murdering her live-in boyfriend had that conviction overturned 13 years after his death.

While authorities say they have no other suspects, the California Innocence Project fought for Kim Long’s release, arguing she suffered from inadequate counsel.

“I always have to relive it and it’s so hard to do, you know? After 13 years, it’s just not any easier to explain what happened, because what I saw, I don't think anybody should have to see,” Kim Long told ABC News’ “20/20.”

Long, a former emergency room nurse and mother of two from southern California, was accused of bludgeoning to death her live-in boyfriend Oswaldo "Ozzy" Conde on Oct. 6, 2003.

OPINION

Kermit Alexander, The Hill

Californians have strong feelings regarding the death penalty. A lot of the discussion this year has been about the fiscal impacts of competing death penalty measures. Those who want to repeal the death penalty say the system is broken and can’t be fixed, and that it has become overly expensive. Those in favor of reform of the death penalty believe that housing heinous criminals for the rest of their lives is what’s too expensive. Asking taxpayers to clothe, house, feed, guard and provide healthcare to the nearly 750 convicts currently on death row will clearly cost more money than fixing the system.

But while the fiscal debate around the death penalty is important, for me, the issue at hand is not dollars and cents, but justice.