6 Rules for Becoming a Prosecutor

criminal prosecutor

Bruce Reilly: Hardly any new prosecutor will get a made-for-TV movie case, write a book, and get on the speaking circuit. The real job is very repetetive, threatening to jade and bleed your soul.

Mass Incarceration: Points of Agreement on the Right and the Left

susan burton

Diane Lefer: When a community sees daily injustice and doesn’t see the rule of law equally applied, it becomes morally and ethically easier to choose to live in a lawless way.

Kony 2012: Whiteness, Social Media and Africa

kony 2012

Jessie Daniels: Kony 2012 is, then, an endorsement of the moral superiority of white values of reason, order, and now social media against the supposed chaos and violence of Africa.

Santorum, Romney Square Off on Felon Disenfranchisement

mitt romney

Bruce Reilly: Romney, at first, beat around the bush. “I don’t believe people who have committed violent crimes should be given their right to vote.”

Hawaii’s Radical Drug Use Experiment

hawaiian palms

Kevin Sabet: A revolutionary program in the Pineapple State is shattering myths about how to deal with drug offenders who violate probation. If only the rest of the country would catch on.

What’s the Cost of Firing Someone with a Criminal Record?

fired felon

Bruce Reilly: What is the message being heard by millions of people across the country who have criminal convictions? That message is clear: Don’t bother looking for work. Don’t bother getting an education. Don’t bother obeying the rules.

Can Civilians Arrest Cops?

pepper spray

Jeff Norman: Maybe the top cops and mayors of other American cities should visit Los Angeles, enjoy a few bong hits with Chief Beck and discuss how to treat peaceful demonstrators humanely.

Survey Saturday: Voting Rights for the Formerly Incarcerated

black inmates

Survey Saturday: Here in California, people who have a felony conviction are only barred from voting if they are still in state prison or on parole.

Ending California’s Wasteful Tinkering With The Machinery Of Death

death penalty vigil

Andy Love: California’s death penalty needs to be abolished. Putting aside the philosophical and spiritual questions about the immorality of the death penalty, it is costly, arbitrary, discriminatory, and unworkable.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Brown OK’s Search of Cell Phones

Jerry Brown

Tech Tip Tuesday: Today’s Tech Tip: Don’t leave anything on your cell that you wouldn’t want to see in court. Until the law changes, erase questionable texts as soon as you have read them.

Redefining Criminality: Untangling DHS’s Record High Deportation Numbers

ice deportation

Michele Waslin: Because ICE categorizes criminal offenses so broadly, minor offenses can appear to be serious crimes. For example, drug-related crimes can include everything from dealing large amounts to simple possession;

Immigrant Rights Coalition Launches Campaign to Repeal Mandatory Detention

dignity not detention

Detention Watch Network calls for Dignity, Not Detention on 15-year anniversary of controversial immigration law

Death: And Law & Order

law and order jerry orbach

James Clark: California taxpayers spend $184 million each year to support a dysfunctional death penalty system that operates like an upscale life without parole: more death row inmates die of illness and old age than they do of execution.

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Lighten Up

purple-tutu-wide

Nikki Junker: If I can make light out of what happened to me and have some fun with the purpose it led me to, then I don’t see a problem with it. So we shall go with our tutus to raise $1000 to fight sexual exploitation of children

The Myth of California’s Death Penalty

Cut-This

James Clark: Out of more than 900 men and women sentenced to die in California only 13 have ever been executed. Victims’ family members are dragged through decades of appeals and hearings while they wait for an execution that rarely comes.

Mass Immigration Sweeps Flood Federal Pens

immigrants-prisons-wide

Andrea Nill Sanchez: Statistics released this week revealed that Hispanics now comprise nearly half of all people sentenced for federal felony crimes, a number swollen by immigration offenses.

California Prison Typify the Incarceration Society

prison-overcrowding

Sherwood Ross: If you want a glimpse into the soul of a nation, visit one of its prisons. California is no exception. It’s typical.

One More Chance for Youth

Youth Justice Coalition

Diane Lefer: Youth in life without parole cases are often acting under the influence of an adult. In nearly 70 percent of California LWOP cases in which the youth was not acting alone, at least one codefendant was an adult.

Human Trafficking and the Planned Parenthood Debacle

Nikki Junker

Nikki Junker: Planned Parenthood should make mandatory for all employees training on Human Trafficking and provide a list of resources in each clinic that can be provided to potential victims.

Jury Nullification: Remedy or Danger?

jury

Wendy McElroy: Jury nullification did not technically occur in Missoula because no jury was seated. Nevertheless, the incident is viewed as a triumph for nullification, and the strategy is reinvigorated.

New START Is Worthy, but Let’s Not Violate the Constitution to Save It

James Rubin

Ivan Eland: Denying Obama a victory—even if it’s good for the country—is very irresponsible. And on balance, the New START Treaty is good for the country.

Missouri Supreme Court Deciding Undocumented Immigrants’ Child Custody Rights

Encarnación Bail Romero

Andrea Nill: Ultimately, the only thing more messed up than changing the Constitution to deny the American-born children of undocumented immigrants citizenship is deporting their parents, snagging the U.S. citizen kids, and giving them to an American couple.

Victims’ Rights in California: On Paper, in Practice

Suzanne Neuhaus and Phillip Argento

Diane Lefer: The restorative justice model is able to keep the compassionate focus on those who have suffered most from violent crime–the victims, while still addressing the factors that drive crime and recidivism and without denying the humanity of the imprisoned.

Will Tedi Snyder Die in Prison?

Diane Lefer: Though the Supreme Court ruled on May 17 in Graham v. Florida that juveniles must not be sentenced to life without parole for any crime short of homicide, California continues to impose sentences so extreme they are the effective equivalent of life without the possibility of parole.

Beyond the Grim Sleeper: Cut Death Penalty to Fund Criminal Investigations

Aqeela Sherrills

Aqeela Sherrills: Why do we continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on the death penalty even though it has never been proven to deter murderers and even though 1,000 killers get away with murder each year?

To LA’s New Probation Chief: Condolences on Your Appointment

Los Angeles Probation Chief Donald Blevins and wife Laura.

Diane Lefer: why would anyone take on the challenge of cleaning up a department long known for abusing rather than helping the kids in its custody, losing track of money and ID badges, punishing whistleblowers and protecting wrongdoers?

Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole

Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole? Yes, it happens in the United States. Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative discusses children in the justice system

African-Americans Have Seven Times Greater Chance of Imprisonment

Marc Mauer, the Prison Project

Sherwood Ross: It is far more likely that in the late twentieth century, in contrast to earlier time, patterns of discrimination reflect unconscious biases rather than blatant attempts to oppress African Americans.

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