Scalia’s Gift to Jerry Brown

scalia

Joe Mathews: If Brown is criticized over the prisons and the possible human consequences of releases, all he’ll have to do is quote Scalia.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 34

death penalty

Sheila Kuehl: This measure comes at the same time as a growing interest in the effects of solitary confinement in small, windowless, cells, on prisoners in state prisons.

Secretary Napolitano Clarifies President’s Deferred Action Plan…Again

janet napolitano

Micehele Waslin: Several members of Congress praised Napolitano for providing undocumented youth who had been brought here at a young age with hope for the future.

ICE Focusing on Dangerous Criminals

dhs ice

Seth Hoy: DHS directed ICE attorneys to begin a review process of current immigration cases pending before immigration courts in order to close or dismiss those cases warranting prosecutorial discretion.

ICE Program Fails to Prioritize Serious Criminals

border crossing checks

Michele Waslin: The study finds that ICE’s allows jurisdictions to “operate the 287(g) program in fundamentally different ways across the country.”

Data Shows ICE Fails to Focus on Serious Crime

arizona immigrants

Michele Waslin: 79% of the people deported through Secure Communities are non-criminals or were picked up for lower level offenses, such as traffic offenses.

Mitrice Richardson: Blame the Victim

mitrice richardson

Jasmyne Cannick: With accusations as serious has the ones currently lodged at the Sheriff’s Department, if I were Baca, I’d do anything I could to clear my Department’s name, even if it meant subjecting my deputies to a polygraph for the sake of good faith and good will towards the community.

Tough on Crime Rhetoric Fails at the Polls

Kamala Harris, Joyce Dudley, Steve Cooley, Jill Ravitch, Paul Zellerbach (clockwise from left)

Natasha Minsker: For years, presenting oneself as a hammer battering crime was a requirement. This time around, a hard-line stance alone without a plan for effective and budget-conscious enforcement is the new electoral kiss of death. Californians are weary of budget cuts to valued social services and cautious about wasteful spending on ineffective or lower priority criminal justice policies, like the $1 billion over the next five years that will be poured into death penalty spending.

Razing Arizona: How Local, State and Federal Authorities are “Rooting Out” Arizona’s Immigration Problems

Michelle Waslin: However, the timing and tone-deafness of this action could not have been worse. ICE has a history of conducting raids just as state or local governments are contemplating critical immigration-related policies. At best, the action left the impression that ICE wants to influence those policy decisions; at worst ICE left the public with the impression that local law enforcement is the same thing as an ICE officer.

800,000 Americans Busted Annually for Pot

Smokes

The drug war has also unleashed a torrent of racism in the form of unjust sentencing, which confines crack-cocaine users who are mostly black to prison for longer terms than powder snorters, who are mostly white.

Lady Justice

Norman Williams, center, with Mark Melahn, left, and Jesse Goodman, who worked on his case while in law school. Williams was sentenced to 25 years to life after his third-strike conviction, which was for stealing a car jack and tools from a tow truck. Through the efforts of Stanford's Criminal Defense Clinic, his sentence was reduced to 10 years. He had already served more than that so was freed. (Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

Statues of Lady Justice frequently portray her wearing a blindfold, signifying impartiality and objectivity. But careful readers of the Los Angeles Times on May 13 have good reason to believe that the Lady is peeking — at least in California — and it is entirely possible that her vision is distorted in favor of “white [...]

Obama’s Controversial Two-Step Moves in Direction of Immigration Reform

Photo by Callie Shell from Time magazine.

After boosting border enforcement, the Obama Administration recently announced that it will also increase funding for a troublesome program started by George W. Bush. The controversial program gives Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unregulated access to the immigration information of every person in local prisons across the United States. Although Obama may be sending mixed [...]

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