Courts & Rulings
Allegation of strike as to one count applies to others
The Court of Appeal for this district, in a 2-1 opinion, held on Friday that where an information alleged in connection with three counts a prior which, under the Three Strikes Law constituted a “strike,” the trial judge did not err in doubling the sentence under another count although a strike had not been pled as to that count.
Requiring daily visits to probation officer by homeless probationer was valid
Div. Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal has rejected the contention of a homeless probationer that requiring him to report daily to his probation officer is, on its face, unconstitutional because it stymies his right to travel and is unreasonable. Justice Carol D. Codrington authored the opinion, which was filed Wednesday and was not certified for publication.
Is your iPhone passcode off limits to the law? Supreme Court ruling sought
Two civil-liberties groups are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on an increasingly relevant digital-privacy question: Do Americans have a constitutional right to keep their passwords and passcodes secret? It’s a thorny legal issue, and one that is unsettled in the U.S., according to lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who on Thursday filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to decide the matter once and for all.
Deported alien who reenters U.S. legally, but stays too long, commits ‘unlawful reentry’
An alien who is deported and is allowed to return to the United States for a limited purpose, and remains here once that purpose no longer exists, is guilty of an illegal “reentry,” the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held. The appellant, Allan Altamirano Trejo, was deported in 2004, but returned to the United States that same year.
Resentencing may be denied based on facts recited in C.A. opinion affirming conviction
A judge, in determining whether a defendant who was convicted under the felony-murder rule is eligible to be resentenced under recent legislation largely repudiating that theory, may rely on the facts as set forth in an appellate court opinion, the Court of Appeal for this district has held, rejecting the contention that this is an impermissible use of hearsay.
US Supreme Court takes up more than a dozen new cases
The U.S. Supreme Court granted 14 cases Friday night, adding an additional 12 hours of argument to its calendar. The court did not act on some of its pending election challenges, including one sent by President Donald Trump to the justices focused on law governing mail-in ballots. Justices did however beef up their calendar with a myriad of new cases.
California bar exam pass rate spikes in first-ever online test
Nearly three-quarters of first-time test takers passed California’s October bar exam, a rate that jumped to the highest level in 12 years after the test was moved online and the minimum passing score reduced. A total of 74% of first-time takers passed the exam, up from 64% in the July 2019 test, which was held in-person.
U.S. Supreme Court takes up dispute over California nonprofit donor disclosure requirement
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a challenge by two conservative groups to a California requirement that tax-exempt charities disclose to the state the identity of their top finiancial donors. The justices will take up the appeal of a lower court ruling that said California’s attorney general could require the two nonprofit organizations, Americans for Prosperity and the Thomas More Law Center, to furnish him with donor details.
Democrats’ identity crisis plays out in LA courts
The identity crisis that has divided the California Democratic Party for the last few years is now playing out in full force in the court system of the state’s largest county. This is one meaning of the controversy that followed December’s order by George Gascon, the newly-elected Los Angeles County District Attorney, that all 1,000 or so of his courtroom deputies immediately stop enforcing the state’s “three-strikes-and-you’re-out” and cease adding potential sentence enhancements to any charges they file against criminal suspects.
Judge gives life to bid by porn mogul to end California gambling restrictions
Tilting the odds in Larry Flynt’s favor Thursday, a federal judge gave life to the porn mogul’s fight to oust a California law that’s preventing the expansion of his gambling industry portfolio. U.S. District Judge John Mendez denied the state’s attempt to dismiss the entire case, saying the broad enforcement of the anti-organized crime bill could amount to regulation of interstate commerce.
Family cannot seek punitive damages in 10-year-old Anthony Avalos' torture death
Relatives of a 10-year-old Lancaster boy who died after allegedly being subjected to extensive torture by his mother and her boyfriend lost a round in court Tuesday when a judge ruled they cannot seek punitive damages against a Pasadena agency that provided mental health services to the child.
California website accessibility suit revived for further data
A blind consumer who sought to use a website operated by Ricardo of Beverly Hills Inc. is entitled to jurisdictional discovery to determine whether the luggage company is subject to suit in California, a state appeals court ruled. A trial court erred in granting Ricardo’s request to be let out of the suit on the evidence before it, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, said Jan. 8.
California High Court makes landmark independent contractor ruling retroactive
The California Supreme Court declared Thursday that worker classification standards set forth in its Dynamex decision should apply retroactively to a labor class action from 15 years ago, as well as all non-final cases that predate the 2018 landmark ruling. Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles established a three-part test for when employers can classify workers as independent contractors.
COVID-19 & Justice System
OC judge to consider jail depopulation for COVID-19
An Orange County Superior Court judge has said he would consider hiring an expert to comb through jail records to help determine which inmates can be released to help inmates better comply with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson ordered the jail population reduced by 50%.
For your listening pleasure: LA County court proceedings coming to smartphones, computers
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the public can now listen to Los Angeles County Superior Court proceedings from the comfort of their home or office. The public can tune in to nonconfidential proceedings on their computer or smartphone through the new service aimed at reducing the number of people in the hundreds of courtrooms across the county amid the nearly yearlong public health crisis.
ADDA Lawsuit
Due to numerous requests for information regarding the Association of Deputy District Attorneys lawsuit against the District Attorney, the ADDA is posting legal documents for the case in a new tab.
CA district attorneys support lawsuit by LA Assoc. of Deputy DAs against District Attorney George Gascón
The California District Attorneys Association announced Tuesday it will file a friend-of-the-court brief later this month supporting the lawsuit recently filed by the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón because of his radical new directives.
Kern DA Zimmer announces support of lawsuit against Los Angeles DA
Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer on Tuesday said she supports a lawsuit filed against Los Angeles DA George Gascon for policies she said harm crime victims and will have impacts in Kern and other counties. In a news release, Zimmer said she supports an amicus brief filed Tuesday by the California District Attorney’s Association that in turn supports a lawsuit brought against Gascon by the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys.
Sacramento County DA criticizes Gascón, blocks LA DA jurisdiction
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert spoke to KFI’s Gary and Shannon regarding her letter to the Los Angeles District Attorney and her decision that her office will no longer grant him jurisdiction over any crimes that involve Sacramento County. Listen to the interview.
LA District Attorney's Office
LA County District Attorney George Gascón taking heat over policies
Opposition to the policies of new Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is growing. Some families of victims and victims’ advocates have criticized Gascón, a former police chief, for being too soft on crime following his elimination of criminal enhancement provisions. Ryan Verna, a retired LAPD homicide detective, said Gascón’s office is handling his father’s murder case and he’s concerned he won’t see justice.
Widow seeks justice for murdered sergeant
Tania Owen will never forget the massive bruise over her husband’s heart in the spot where he proudly wore his badge for nearly 30 years of service to the Sheriff’s Department. Sgt. Steve Owen was killed on duty Oct. 5, 2016, while responding to a woman’s 911 call about a Lancaster burglary. The suspect in the killing, Trenton Lovell, stands accused of shooting backward at Steve Owen without looking, while Lovell was running away from the deputy, who was pursuing Lovell.
Sacramento County DA blasts George Gascon, blocks his jurisdiction on crimes there
Sacramento County's chief prosecutor has informed Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon that her office will no longer grant him jurisdiction over any crimes that involve Sacramento County because of Gascon's special directives that have been criticized by victims' advocates as too soft on crime.
San Diego DA retakes prosecution of alleged cop killer’s robbery charges
A judge agreed Monday to let San Diego County prosecutors reclaim jurisdiction to try an alleged cop killer for five armed robberies he’s accused of committing locally prior to gunning down two men in Los Angeles County, including an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.
Los Angeles County DA Gascón - despite critics - determined to end cash bail system
District Attorney George Gascón is determined to end the unjust money bail system in Los Angeles County - critics argue the money bail system allows wealthy individuals to acquire their freedom financially while no-risk folks are sent to jail because of their lack of financial resources.
Reform comes straight from the people, not from ‘activist’ district attorneys
Across America, “activist” district attorneys, with significant financial backing for their campaigns, are winning elections on a platform of “reform.” An activist is “a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.” Yet an elected DA takes an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and is responsible for the prosecution of criminal violations of state and county laws. It is their job, and their solemn oath, to uphold the laws of the land.
Longtime SF DA spokesperson to join Gascon in LA
Longtime District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Alex Bastian is leaving San Francisco to join his former boss George Gascon in Los Angeles. Bastian, deputy chief of staff for the office who served under three top prosecutors from Kamala Harris to Chesa Boudin, tendered his resignation last week to accept a role as a special advisor for Gascon, the newly elected district attorney of Los Angeles.
Are George Gascón's ideas progressive, dangerous or both?
When George Gascón was running for the Los Angeles County DA, he promised to "reform our justice system so it works for everyone." "Everyone" like the family of Joseph Solano. He was the off-duty Sheriff’s deputy shot in cold blood in the line at a fast-food restaurant. Gascón’s plans could reduce the punishment for the accused killer. Remember - he’s reforming the system for "everyone."
DA drops bid for death penalty in accused cop killer's case
Prosecutors announced today that they will not seek the death penalty for a man who is awaiting a retrial for the June 1983 killing of a Los Angeles police officer in Lake View Terrace, with a judge subsequently rejecting a bid by the District Attorney's Office to dismiss allegations that could carry a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole.
Widow of slain LASD Sgt. Steve Owen wants killer to face death penalty
It’s been more than four years since Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Steve Owen was shot execution-style while responding to a burglary call at a Lancaster apartment building. His widow, Tania Owen, said she wants her husband’s killer to face the death penalty, believing that the shooter’s actions were calculated. “When my husband made contact with him, he shot him, completely disabling him,” she said.
DA Gascon's office seeks to dismiss special allegations in cold case murder of Inglewood boy, prompting backlash
A recent prosecutorial decision in a murder case dating back 30 years had prompted backlash for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon and his newly implemented directives. William Tillett, 11, was killed in May 1990 while walking home from elementary school in Inglewood. Edward Donell Thomas has been charged with the boy's murder.
Former LA County DA Steve Cooley joins team helping victims appeal directives of current LA County DA George Gascon
Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and roughly a dozen former prosecutors announced Monday they have teamed up to provide pro bono representation to victims and their families who are being affected by District Attorney George Gascon’s new directives. The group says victims have reached out asking the former prosecutors to appeal to judges not to dismiss sentencing enhancements as requested by Gascon, who took office last month, and his team.
San Diego District Attorney withdraws consent for trial of charges in L.A.
San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan has withdrawn consent to have a man charged with the commission of five armed robberies in her county tried in Los Angeles, citing sentencing directives issued by George Gascón, the new district attorney here. Stephan had initially agreed to the transfer of the prosecution on the robbery counts because the defendant, Rhett Nelson, 30, will be tried in Los Angeles Superior Court for the murders of two men in this county.
LA man charged in fatal stabbings of mother and 6-year-old nephew
A man accused of fatally stabbing his mother and 6-year-old nephew last month was in custody Thursday, with bail set at $5.02 million, Los Angeles police reported Thursday night. David Cordoba, 26, was taken into custody about 10 p.m. Wednesday at Third and Berendo streets, near Vermont Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Pennsylvania man accused of striking Capitol cop with fire extinguisher is charged
A Pennsylvania man whom authorities say threw a fire extinguisher and struck a Capitol Police officer during the deadly riot at the US Capitol last week has been arrested and charged in federal court. Robert Sanford, 55, was arrested on Thursday morning in Pennsylvania, the Justice Department said.
Californian insurance agents arraigned over alleged near-$700,000 theft
Two insurance agents were arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court earlier this week for allegedly accepting more than $687,000 in insurance premium payments from business owners, and then pocketing that money for personal use. Both Robert Farmer, 65, and Marion Urcan, 67, face multiple counts of grand theft.
A horrific crime undercuts progressive goals of S.F. D.A. Chesa Boudin
A ghastly crime is waking San Francisco up to a new reality. The honeymoon for District Attorney Chesa Boudin and his progressive views on law enforcement is over. His goals for a rebalanced legal system are on hold. The starting point is a legal no doubter. A career criminal on parole at the wheel of a stolen car allegedly ran a red light and killed two pedestrians at a downtown intersection.
Three foreign nationals charged in federal court in Los Angeles with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS
The Justice Department announced today that three Sri Lankan citizens have been charged with terrorism offenses, including conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. The men were part of a group of ISIS supporters that called itself “ISIS in Sri Lanka” and allegedly was responsible for the 2019 Easter attacks in the South Asian nation of Sri Lanka, which killed 268 people, including five U.S. citizens, and injured over 500 others, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed today.
Prosecutors recommend 2 years imprisonment for ex-LA councilman
Federal prosecutors are recommending a two-year prison sentence for former Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander, who pleaded guilty to obstructing an investigation into allegations of bribery in City Hall politics, according to court papers obtained Wednesday. Englander was a “powerful and wealthy Los Angeles city councilmember who swore an oath to serve the interests of his constituents,” prosecutors wrote in sentencing papers filed in Los Angeles federal court.
Orange County district attorney drops cases affected by mishandled evidence
Orange County's top prosecutor has dismissed some or all charges in 67 criminal cases because sheriff's deputies mishandled evidence, it was announced Wednesday. District Attorney Todd Spitzer made the decisions after his office and the Sheriff's Department jointly reviewed more than 22,000 cases that led to convictions, a statement from the DA's office said.
Policy/Legal Issues
Parler files antitrust suit against Amazon after server suspension
Amazon Web Services violated antitrust laws when it suspended Parler, the Twitter-like social media alternative favored by conservatives and free-speech advocates, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the platform Monday. Parler seeks a temporary restraining order and immediate reinstatement of Amazon’s webhosting, which Amazon terminated Sunday night in the wake of the deadly attack on Capitol Hill last week by a mob of President Donald Trump supporters.
Los Angeles County/City
Court will oversee reforms to L.A. County juvenile halls plagued with abuse, unsafe conditions, state A.G. says
New oversight is coming for Los Angeles County’s chaotic juvenile hall system after a state probe found numerous abuses and unsafe living conditions inside two facilities, including examples of staff using physical violence and pepper spray to subdue children. On Wednesday, Jan. 13, state prosecutors and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors together announced they were settling the abuse claims after the results of the Attorney General’s Office investigation were released.
Chronic homelessness in LA County expected to skyrocket in next 4 years
A new economic forecast is pointing toward a distressing increase in homelessness across the state of California and especially in Los Angeles County. The non-profit organization Economic Roundtable this week released its latest report, titled "Locked Out," which uses data from the 2008 recession to predict how bad the pandemic-induced recession will affect the homeless population.
City of Santa Clarita named 13th safest city in the country
The City of Santa Clarita has been named the 13th safest city in the United States in a recent report from a personal finance company. To assess the safest cities, the personal finance company MoneyGeek analyzed crime statistics and applied research findings to estimate the cost of crime in over 300 cities across the United States, each with populations over 100,000, according to the study.
Here are the L.A. County malls, gyms, restaurants and churches cited for COVID-19 violations
Shopping malls have received increased scrutiny from Los Angeles County public health inspectors for violations of COVID-19 public health orders. At least 10 citations have been issued to large shopping malls since Black Friday. Four of them were issued to the Citadel Outlets in Commerce - on Nov. 29, Dec. 5, Dec. 8 and Dec. 12.
LA city firefighter union agrees to delay raises, joining civilian workers in bid to avoid layoffs
A 4.5% pay raise scheduled for Los Angeles city firefighters would be delayed by 18 months, under a tentative labor agreement reached with the city in order to avoid potential layoffs or other cuts due to an anticipated $675 million shortfall in the city budget. The leadership of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, which represents more than 3,200 city firefighters, has agreed to defer the raise that was scheduled to begin this summer, for 18 months.
Public Safety/Crime
Pacoima murder suspect, accused of shooting ex-girlfriend in front of toddler, takes his own life during Texas police chase
A 46-year-old man wanted for allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend to death in front of their 3-year-old daughter in Pacoima killed himself while being pursued by authorities in Texas, officials said Saturday. Herbert Nixon Flores shot himself with a handgun as officers were closing in on him, the Irving Police Department said in a statement.
Two killed after progressive prosecutor refuses to charge repeat offenders of nonviolent offenses
Two people were killed by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run accident after the perpetrator was repeatedly allowed back on the streets for numerous offenses. The Washington Free Beacon reported that Troy McCallister was the drunk driver who struck 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt and 27-year-old Hanako Abe on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco.
LAPD reports 19 homicides in first 12 days of new year
The city of Los Angeles has experienced more than twice the number of homicides during the first 12 days of 2021 than it saw in the same period of 2020, Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday. Moore said there had been 19 homicides in 2021, including a teenage boy killed in the San Fernando Valley Monday night and three men killed in South Los Angeles within six hours of each other on Sunday. During the first 12 days of 2020, there were nine homicides.
FBI, NYPD told Capitol Police about possibility of violence before riot, senior officials say
The FBI and the New York City Police Department passed information to U.S. Capitol Police about the possibility of violence during the protests Wednesday against the counting of the Electoral College vote, and the FBI even visited more than a dozen extremists already under investigation to urge them not to travel to Washington, senior law enforcement officials said.
Members of several well-known hate groups identified at Capitol riot
Members of the ultranationalist street gang known as the Proud Boys were easy to spot at the protests that flared across the United States throughout 2020, often in the middle of a brawl, typically clad in black and yellow outfits. But in December, as the group’s leaders planned to flood Washington to oppose the certification of the Electoral College vote this week for President-elect Joe Biden, they decided to do something different.
FBI warns of armed election protests nationwide
Not yet a week after an insurrectionist attack left five dead, the FBI reportedly sounded the alarm Monday on plans for additional armed protests in the U.S. capital and at various state legislatures. The internal bulletin issued by the FBI’s National Crisis Coordination Center is circulating among law enforcement outfits around the nation, according to initial reports from ABC News.
Car break-ins were Los Angeles' most common crime in 2020
Car break-ins were the crime of the decade in the 2010s in Los Angeles, accounting for one in every eight criminal incidents recorded. While the number of reports fell last year, the trend is holding. Theft from a vehicle was the most common crime of 2020, according to Los Angeles Police Department data. The LAPD reported 26,770 car break-ins last year, and while that is down nearly 14% from the 31,112 incidents in 2019, it still worked out to an average of 73 break-ins a day.
California proposes changes to Proposition 65 consumer products warning requirements
As expected, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has proposed significant changes to Proposition 65 warning requirements, limiting the use of the “short-form” warning. Proposition 65 warning regulations provides a “safe harbor,” such that use of the language specified in the regulation is deemed to conclusively comply with Proposition 65 requirements.
US carries out its 1st execution of female inmate since 1953
A Kansas woman was executed Wednesday for strangling an expectant mother in Missouri and cutting the baby from her womb, the first time in nearly seven decades that the U.S. government has put to death a female inmate. Lisa Montgomery, 52, was pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m. after receiving a lethal injection at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.
264 line-of-duty deaths in 2020, most from COVID
The number of law enforcement professionals nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2020 increased 96% over the previous year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The Memorial Fund announced in its proprietary "2020 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report" that 264 federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officers died in the line of duty over the past year, representing a 96% increase over the 135 officers who died in the line of duty in 2019.
How new Calif. legislation will affect you
One new law in effect is AB 1506, also known as the Deadly Force Accountability Act. It established a division within the Department of Justice to investigate deadly-force incidents, upon request of a law enforcement agency or district attorney. The attorney general is required to provide a report and conduct the prosecution of the officers involved if applicable.
At least two Southern California officials face calls for resignation after taking part in U.S. Capitol turmoil
Leandra Blades visited Washington this week for a self-described girl’s trip to spend time with friends and sightsee. It was like a slumber party with wine, said Blades, who was recently elected to the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified Board of Education in Orange County, in an interview streamed online.
Search is on to prosecute hundreds who broke into Capitol building
Criminal charges are coming for those who took part in storming the Capitol building on Wednesday, an unprecedented attack by an armed mob on the heart of U.S. government that sent the vice president and House members and senators fleeing. Wide-ranging federal and local investigations are already underway, with FBI officials pledging to track down rioters seen in social media videos and news footage swarming over the Capitol, breaking doors and windows, fighting with police and ransacking the offices of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other representatives.
'Vintage white rage': Why the riots were about the perceived loss of white power
A far-right, pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol with Confederate flags and weapons in an attempt to stop members of Congress from counting Electoral College votes on Wednesday. Senators and representatives ran for cover, remaining on lockdown until the extremists left. The response by both law enforcement and political leaders is still being parsed out, but activists and scholars say there is a deeper, underlying issue that must be considered: Violent expressions of white power are the norm when white anger and resentment rooted in racism exists.
‘Soho Karen’ Miya Ponsetto released after facing NYC judge over alleged attack on black teen
She wasn’t in custody for long. Just hours after “Soho Karen” Miya Ponsetto was hauled back to the Big Apple in police custody, she made her first court appearance on attempted robbery and attempted assault charges for allegedly attacking the 14-year-old son of jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold at a Manhattan hotel - and was sprung on supervised release. Ponsetto was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and grand larceny in the fourth degree.
Capitol police officers suspended; Facebook bans ‘stop the steal’
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio says two U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended as a result of their actions during last week's attack on the Capitol. Facebook said Monday that it will begin removing any content containing the phrase “stop the steal” from its platforms, an expansion of its efforts to limit the spread of election misinformation.
$73M class action settlement approved over UCLA sexual abuse claims
A federal judge has preliminarily approved a $73 million class action settlement involving sexual abuse claims against a former gynecologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. On Monday, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner of the Central District of California approved the settlement, which resolves claims for a potential 6,600 class members that Dr. James Heaps either made inappropriate comments or violated them with sexually invasive exams from 1983 to 2018.
Man who shot at LAPD officers sentenced to 6 years in prison
A man charged in the attempted murder of Los Angeles police officers pleaded no contest on Monday to a weapons charge and was sentenced to six years in prison. Quamontae Smith fired shots toward LAPD officers on June 5 while police were responding to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon at 111th Street and Towne Avenue, the department said in a statement.
California cop accused of stealing shoplifting suspect's debit card pleads guilty to misdemeanor
A former Orange County sheriff’s deputy who took a shoplifting suspect’s debit card pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report. Angelina Cortez, who had reported the card was booked into evidence when she actually had given it to her son, took the plea deal after Orange County Superior Court Judge Larry Yellin reduced the charge from a felony, over the objection of prosecutors.
Corrections & Parole
California man was free on parole when alleged DUI led to 2 deaths. Could state have done more?
Parolee Troy McAllister was arrested and released from jail five times in seven months before he allegedly struck and killed two people on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which oversees parolees, said McAllister was free that day because San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin had declined to press charges against him despite the prior arrests on suspicion of burglary, car theft and methamphetamine sales.
Inmate activists protest for COVID-related release of Lancaster prison inmates
About 200 advocates for prison inmates demonstrated Saturday outside the California State Prison in Lancaster to raise awareness of the risk of COVID-19 infection in the prison system. The noon protest was held in front of the prison at 44750 60th St. West. Protesters carried signs with statements including “Prison Rights Are Human Rights.” Organizer Michelle Tran, of a group called Families United to End LWOP, wore a T-shirt that read, “Death by Incarceration.”
Inmate with COVID-19 sues Department of Corrections for shuffling prisoners amid outbreaks
An inmate in the Utah State Prison is suing the Utah Department of Corrections in an effort to stop the shuffling of large groups of prisoners from one building to the next. Damon Crist says the practice spurred widespread COVID-19 outbreaks at the prison starting in October. The spread has continued in the following months, infecting more than 2,600 inmates, including 12 who later died.
Six inmates escape from Merced County Jail using homemade rope
It is an all-out search for six inmates who escaped the Merced County Jail Saturday night. Authorities say they accessed a 20-foot high roof and made a break for it. "They used a makeshift rope out of braided sheets and were able to come down of the side of that building," says Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke.
Articles of Interest
How deeply is anti-semitism ingrained in Los Angeles?
A basic tenet of our judicial system is that judges are supposed to remain impartial and rule based on an unbiased review of the facts. It is, therefore, concerning that the Metropolitan News-Enterprise was able to find several members of the judiciary who were willing to make their views about newly-elected District Attorney George Gascón public.
Tort action restored against auto club for delay of truck
The Court of Appeal for this district, in an opinion certified for publication yesterday, reversed a summary judgment in favor of the Automobile Club of Southern California in an action by a motorist who blames it for injuries he incurred in an accident, arguing that if a truck had arrived promptly to provide roadside assistance after he phoned for help when his car was stalled on the shoulder of a freeway, the mishap would not have occurred.
California Public Records Act update
While an expansive array of records can be sought via a California Public Records Act request, the right to inspect public records is not without limits. The CPRA does not give unlimited access to records that may be exempt from disclosure. Occasionally the public’s right of access must yield to exemptions, such as individual privacy rights and defined privileges. However, transparency remains the goal.
Dominion sues Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation, seeks $1.3 billion
Dominion Voting Systems, one of the biggest election equipment manufacturers in the U.S. and the subject of numerous incoherent conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, has sued lawyer Sidney Powell, who pushed President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn election results, for defamation.
Amazon, Apple and Google cut off Parler, an app that drew Trump supporters
Parler, a social network that pitches itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter and Facebook, is suffering from whiplash. Over the past several months, Parler has become one of the fastest-growing apps in the United States. Millions of President Trump’s supporters have flocked to it as Facebook and Twitter increasingly cracked down on posts that spread misinformation and incited violence, including muzzling Mr. Trump by removing his accounts this past week.
Feds' 3D-printing gun rules a 'Pandora's Box,' 9th Circ. told
During a videoconference hearing, Brendan Selby argued on behalf of the states that 3D printed guns are particularly dangerous because they can get past metal detectors and through security at "airports, stadiums and even courthouses.” "This case is about whether the [U.S.] State Department should be permitted to open a Pandora's Box with respect to undetectable and untraceable 3D-printed firearm technology," Selby said, adding, "The danger posed by these firearms is undisputed."
Social media crackdown continues after siege of US Capitol
Social media platforms are continuing to crack down on fringe groups and conspiracy theories following last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. Twitter suspended more than 70,000 accounts associated with the far right QAnon conspiracy and Facebook is removing posts and content fraudulently claiming that the U.S. election was stolen as social media companies scramble to rein in harmful activity ahead of the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.
Kamala D. Harris’s most trusted adviser: Her sister Maya
Finding people to trust in politics - a field full of mercenaries with their own interests at heart - can be a tough thing to do. It is no wonder so many people turn to family members: John F. Kennedy had Bobby, Joe Biden’s sister, Valerie, once ran his campaigns and Ivanka Trump has been one of the 45th president’s most visible advisers. Kamala D. Harris has her younger sister, Maya Harris.
State court invalidates San Diego pension measure
A state trial court in San Diego has struck down a 2012 voter initiative that eliminated pension plans for new city employees, except police officers. San Diego Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss on Tuesday sided with the city of San Diego and issued a verbal ruling from the bench, declaring the initiative, known as Proposition B, to be invalid, according to a statement Wednesday from the $9 billion San Diego City Employees' Retirement System.
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