Jonathan Simon: Are recent changes in prison-growth patterns, judicial decisions, and electoral results variations within the norm, or evidence of a more profound change that could mark the end of our 40-year experiment with mass incarceration?
Nick Antocelli: Marcy Winograd was the clear and concise progressive who closed with great passion demonstrating the obvious differences in this campaign to succeed former congresswoman Jane Harman.
Tom Hall: Of course the whole lying about being divorced, and cheating on his wife and child positions him to be the latest Republican spokesmodel for family values.
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.
Dick Price: To get a handle on the damage California’s current approach to incarceration is having on its citizens, consider this: In a recent 23-year period, California erected 23 prisons—one a year, each costing roughly $100 million dollars annually to operate, with both Democratic and Republican governors occupying the statehouse—at the same time that it added just one campus to its vaunted university system, UC Merced.