LA Progressive: This Week’s Articles — April 18 to 24, 2010

Articles by H. Scott Prosterman, Sikivu Hutchinson, Anthony Samad, Walter Moss, Ivan Eland, Diane Lefer, Tom Hall, Ron Wolff, Rev. Irene Monroe, Mario Solis-Marich, Ed Rampell, Norman Solomon, Carl Matthes, Tina Dupuy, Andrea Christina Nill, Randy Shaw, Joseph Palermo, Michael Sigman, Caitlin Frazier, Paul Hogarth, Michelle Waslin, Sikivu Hutchinson, David A. Love, Shamus Cooke, Joseph Palermo, Jonathan Coopersmith, Carl Bloice, Linda Milazzo, Natasha Minsker, Romona Riptson;, Bob Letcher, Tom Degan, and Natalie Davis

As Death Penalty Cases Fade, L.A. County Pays to Buck the Trend

Natasha Minsker and Ramona Ripston: Los Angeles County, home to California’s largest trial court system, has been feeling the pain of those court closures in more significant measure than most. It recently laid off more than 300 staff and is moving forward with shutting down 12 courtrooms. But meanwhile, a parallel trend is stalking the county that’s exacerbating the budget crisis. Astoundingly, Los Angeles County has become the leading death penalty county in the United States. In fact, in 2009 more people were sentenced to death in Los Angeles County than in any other state, including Texas, the longtime leader in this grim statistic.

Mandatory Minimums: Cruel and Usual

Juvenile Justice

Diane Lefer: The right to a speedy trial turns out to mean nothing when you’re a juvenile, even a juvenile being tried as an adult. After almost three years in lockup, with no trial scheduled, her son agreed to plead guilty to get it over with. “Even the judge couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘They gave you a strike and a felony for that?’”