Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


DEATH PENALTY

Bob Egelko, The San Francisco Chronicle

Condemned prisoners in California now wait more than 20 years, on average, for a final ruling on their appeals. Prosecutors and crime-victims’ groups who backed Proposition 66 told voters the measure would cut that period in half by requiring faster court action, limiting some types of appeals, and requiring more lawyers to accept capital cases.

One of its provisions said the state’s high court, which hears the appeals required by law in every death sentence, “shall” rule within five years of sentencing, more than twice as fast as its current pace. The same five-year deadline would apply to the second-stage appeals known as habeas corpus, which often focus on claims of misconduct by prosecutors or jurors and inadequate representation by defense lawyers.

California Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism about a ballot measure that would speed up executions by forcing courts to meet deadlines for hearing death sentence appeals.
Brian Melley, The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Supreme Court justices considering whether a ballot measure to speed up executions is unconstitutional expressed skepticism Tuesday about a provision that would require death sentence appeals to be completed within five years.

Several justices peppered a lawyer from the attorney general's office about how the deadline could be met without radically altering the court system and whether there would be consequences for failing to meet it or whether it was merely aspirational.

CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Seth Nidever, The Sentinel

HANFORD – So who's going to pick up the estimated $11 million tab for the Corcoran levee-raising project?

Local officials overseeing the expensive project, which started in March and was done to protect Corcoran from a flood that hasn't happened, revealed part of their strategy Tuesday at a Kings County Board of Supervisors public hearing.

To relieve farmers and Corcoran homeowners of the burden of having to pay the full bill, officials at the Cross Creek Flood Control District want the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to pay about 60 percent, or $6.6 million, of the total cost.

CORRECTIONS RELATED

Stephanie Weldy, Marin Independent Journal

A 32-year-old man believed to be intoxicated was arrested early Monday after he was found asleep in his vehicle with a loaded firearm just outside San Quentin State Prison, authorities said.

Tyler Sedge, of Naches, Washington, was booked into Marin County Jail, said California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Barclay.

CHP officers were alerted just after midnight to a 1994 Chevrolet Cheyenne pickup truck parked in a “no-stopping” zone outside the prison on East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, west of Andersen Drive.

OPINION

Steven Greenhut, R Street

If you ever wondered what’s wrong with California’s state government, then mull over this simple example: While California cuts its prison population and staff, it’s increasing the amount of money it spends to operate its massive prison system.

In the private sector, a decline in the number of “customers” and workers would mean lower overhead. But in state government – or, at least, this state government – the opposite is true. The higher costs are driven by escalating pay and benefit packages negotiated by unions that represent prison guards and other staff. It’s an example of how powerful public-sector unions keep the state from getting spending under control, even when the need for such spending plummets.