Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


CALIFORNIA INMATES

Jason Kotowski, Bakersfield.com

Four years ago, Dennis Bratton knocked his cellmate to the concrete floor of their cell and repeatedly stomped on his head while wearing his prison work boots, shattering the man's skull.

By the time Bratton was done, the head of Andrew Keel was "nothing more than a broken eggshell," prosecutor Andi Bridges said during closing arguments Monday. Keel's forehead was separated from the top of his skull.

"For minutes he delivered blow after blow after blow to Andrew Keel as he lay defenseless on the floor," she said.

Matt Fountain, The San Luis Obispo Tribune

Citing the “serial nature” of fires set by a 58-year-old Bradley woman last summer, a San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge denied her attorney’s request for probation and sentenced her to nearly three years in state prison.

Debra Kay Collins choked back tears as she received two years and eight months in prison for lighting a string of wildland grass fires in the North County in August while local emergency personnel were busy fighting the Chimney Fire.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Sandra T. Molina, Whittier Daily News

NORWALK >> The suspect in the killing of a Whittier police officer in February pleaded not guilty Monday in Norwalk Superior Court.

Michael Christopher Mejia’s attorney waived the reading of the counts against his client and entered a not guilty plea for all counts.

He is charged in the deaths of Officer Keith Boyer and Roy Torres, the suspect’s cousin, with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of carjacking and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with the Feb. 20 shootings in East Los Angeles and Whittier.

Jessica Rosenthal, Fox News

At its peak, in 2006, California’s in-state prison population was around 160,000 inmates. Three years later the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state to reduce it – by a lot. They found that severe overcrowding deprived inmates of their rights, and was leading to suffering, even death. Now the in-state population is just under 115,000. To help reduce it, California lawmakers passed a couple of laws. One of them is called “Realignment.”

Realignment forced many criminals with low level felony convictions to do time at county jails, instead of state prison. It also allowed those released from jail, or even prison, for non-violent offenses, to be supervised by county probation rather than parole. Probation is less stringent. Officers have to oversee more criminals. And they have little recourse if probation has been violated, often only putting them in “flash incarceration.” That means in jail for up to 10 days.