Monday, November 7, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Don Thompson, Associated Press

California's death row inmates could be executed using one of four different drugs or choose the gas chamber under regulations submitted for final approval Friday, just days before state voters consider whether to do away with the death penalty or reform it.

The plan by corrections officials responds to court pressure and amid a nationwide shortage of execution drugs.

The Office of Administrative Law now has 30 working days to review the regulations for technical problems. If approved, the rules could go into effect early next year, barring court challenges.

Scott Shafer, KQED

Days before California voters decide whether to ban capital punishment or expedite executions, state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials have sent a new execution protocol to its final administrative review.

“The Office of Administrative Law has up to 30 working days to review and approve it,” said CDCR spokeswoman Terry Thornton. Depending on when they are approved, the new rules would take effect no later than April 1.

A federal judge put a stop to executions in 2006, citing concerns about the state’s three-drug execution protocol. The Brown administration agreed to develop a new protocol as a result of a lawsuit brought by the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.


Giuseppe Ricapito, Union Democrat

New Sierra Conservation Center Warden Joel Martinez has more than two decades of experience on the staff of the state prison on the outskirts of Jamestown.

In the modern day turn away from inmate punishment toward rehabilitation, he sees his tenure as warden as one to advocate for inmate success.

“It’s good to look back and say, ‘I made a difference to that one,’ ” he said. “Even if you can’t help everybody, I say, ‘maybe I can help just one.’ ”


A correctional officer at the California Men's Colony is recovering after being attacked by an inmate late last month, according to Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Sessa says the attack happened in the early-morning hours of October 27 in one of the housing units when the female correctional officer went to check on the inmate.
The inmate was said to be visibly upset over a previous decision that had been made about him and while talking to the correctional officer, physically attacked her, according to Sessa.


Richard Brooks, Riverside Press Enterprise

A 28-year-old state prisoner was re-arrested barely a day after he walked away from a Moreno Valley group home, California prison officials say.

Michael Diaz was found at 3:35 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in a homeless camp in Moreno Valley, said prison spokeswoman Vicky Waters. He was taken to the California Institution for Men in Chino.

Waters was reported missing at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday after he removed his ankle monitor, Waters said.

Cathy Locke, Sacramento Bee

Q: What happened in the case of Perrell Waters in 2009? Did they convict anyone of his murder?
Ashley, Sacramento

A: Three men were convicted of first-degree murder and a fourth pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the 2009 robbery and shooting death of 19-year-old Perrell Marquis Waters at an apartment complex on San Juan Road.

Convicted of murder were Marquel Lamar Dixon, Marcus Scott Jr. and Ronald Delano Grant. They were also convicted of second-degree robbery in the case, and all were sentenced in 2011 to life in prison without possibility of parole.


Gerard Wright, CalMatters

Money changes everything, it is said, and that adage hovers conspicuously over two clashing death penalty proposals that Californians will weigh in next week’s election.

Proposition 62 asks voters to abolish the state’s death penalty after 38 years. The other measure, Proposition 66, promotes a streamlining of legal proceedings so the term “capital punishment” means what it says.

Mixed with the traditional ethical and legal arguments on this sobering subject is the issue of cost—what taxpayers spend on a system with nearly 800 condemned prisoners and not a single execution in more than a decade. Their otherwise warring arguments aside, the opposing camps agree on one thing: that capital punishment costs too much.

Jazmine Ulloa, LA Times

Pointing to a costly system that has resulted in only 13 executions since 1978, the Los Angeles City Council on Friday passed a resolution in favor of Proposition 62, which would repeal the death penalty in California and replace the punishment with life in prison without parole.

The death penalty process has cost taxpayers more than $4 billion over nearly 40 years, the resolution states, and the practice "carries the risk that the state could execute an innocent individual," despite the years of required appeals and multiple hearings.

Paige Brettingen, The Atlantic

Capital punishment will be on the ballot in a handful of states this week. The propositions come amid rising exoneration rates, more awareness of death penalty costs, and an increasing number of questions over whether the death penalty reduces crime. Still, the country is largely split on the death penalty. Forty-two percent of Americans oppose capital punishment, while roughly half of Americans support it, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center. Since March 2015, the percentage of Americans that favor the death penalty has dropped by seven points.

But, as evidenced by California and Nebraska, two states that will include capital punishment on the ballot, it continues to be a divisive issue, as some advocate for its repeal and others for its reinstatement.


Monica Solano, Victorville Daily Press

Gov. Jerry Brown dramatically altered California's criminal justice system a generation ago. However, Brown’s backing of Proposition 57, which asks voters to give corrections officials more say in when criminals are released on parole, has caused an uproar among law enforcement officials.

The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act, better known as Prop 57, would allow parole consideration for nonviolent felons, authorize sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior and education, and allow juvenile court judges to decide whether a juvenile will be prosecuted as an adult.

While Brown has been doing everything he can to tout the measure on Tuesday's ballot, numerous law enforcement officials have come out against it, saying it is a bad idea that will only further strain law enforcement resources.

Carla Green, Al Jazeera

Los Angeles, California, United States - "If you go to jail, and I have the same amount of drugs as you, my sentence is automatic state prison," Donnie Anderson says. "Yours is go home."

Anderson is a Los Angeles businessman. And what he means is this: he's black, I'm white.

"The judicial system is rigged against us," Anderson says.

Jessica Rogness, Vacaville Reporter

Make Dixon a city by the people, for the people, says Dixon City Council District 3 candidate Michael Loftin.

Loftin is a newcomer to Dixon’s political arena, competing with Vice Mayor Steve Bird for an open seat on the council in that district, which encompasses the southwest portion of the city.

At a candidate forum hosted by the Dixon Chamber of Commerce in October, Loftin said he is running because he is tired of being “force fed” decisions by the city government.