Courts & Rulings
Veteran L.A. County DA granted deposition of Gascón chief of staff
Attorneys for a veteran prosecutor suing Los Angeles County, alleging she has been denied important positions in retaliation for complaining about directives set forth after the 2020 election of District Attorney George Gascón, can depose Gascón’s chief of staff, a judge ruled today. Deputy District Attorney Shawn Randolph's Los Angeles Superior Court retaliation lawsuit, filed in October 2021, states that at the time of Gascón election, the plaintiff was the head prosecutor in charge of the District Attorney's Office's Juvenile Division, in which she supervised about 50 lawyers and 50 civilian workers.
Can people 18 to 25 be sentenced to life without parole? State high court will have to weigh in
A state appeals court says California is violating the constitutional rights of prisoners convicted of murder between ages 18 and 25 by allowing them to be sentenced to life without parole while requiring parole hearings after 25 years for youths sentenced to many decades in prison for other crimes. Because other appeals courts have upheld the sentencing law, the issue will have to be resolved by the state Supreme Court.
Logan ordered to show cause in Gascón recall dispute
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge yesterday ordered county Registrar/Recorder Dean Logan to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not be issued forcing cooperation with a group in its effort to amass evidence that a sufficient number of signatures on petitions were collected - despite a contrary determination by his staff - to force a special election posing the question of whether District Attorney George Gascón should be recalled.
Appeals court rules in favor of San Diego police chalking tires of parked cars
San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliot announced on Thursday that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that San Diego could still use tire chalking as a way to determine if cars had overstayed their time limits for parking on city streets and would need to be ticketed, busting down prior rulings that said that it had broken 4th amendment rights. The case dates back to 2019, when a lawsuit was filed by Andre Verdun and Ian Anoush Golkar.
Boeing crashes: Passengers' families deemed crime victims
A federal judge ruled Friday that relatives of people killed in the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max planes are crime victims under federal law and should have been told about private negotiations over a settlement that spared Boeing from criminal prosecution. The full impact of the ruling is not yet clear, however. The judge said the next step is to decide what remedies the families should get for not being told of the talks with Boeing.
Ninth Circuit finds abortion foe’s undercover tactics not protected by First Amendment
The long-running legal fight between abortion foe David Daleiden and Planned Parenthood took another turn Friday, as a Ninth Circuit panel found Daleiden’s undercover videos are not entitled to First Amendment protections. The panel’s ruling largely upheld a jury’s 2019 verdict finding Daleiden and his antiabortion group the Center for Medical Progress substantially harmed Planned Parenthood by recording secret videos of abortion providers and posting them online, and awarding Planned Parenthood more than $2 million in compensatory and statuary damages.
C.A. takes evidence to avoid remand in dependency case
Div. Six of the Court of Appeal for this district yesterday avoided a remand for further inquiries as to whether a dependent child comes under the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 by considering updated information from the child welfare agency, the same approach it took in a case in August. The only issue raised by a mother whose parental ties to her child, J.R., had been ordered severed by Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Arthur A. Garcia was that adequate inquiry had not been made as to possible native American ancestry of the child.
Threat assessment team negligence: The Taft Union case
In February 2012, a California high school student named Bryan O. threatened to both shoot students and bomb his auditorium while returning to school from a bus trip to Universal Studios. Chaperones overheard this conversation, and filed reports with the assistant principal, the designated leader of the school threat assessment team. Other team members were the school psychologist and the school resource officer. Bryan was suspended for five days, and a threat assessment was initiated.
PricewaterhouseCoopers lawyers won’t say if review will be sought in axing of sanctions
Lawyers for the powerhouse global consulting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers were mum Friday as to whether review will be sought in the California Supreme Court of a Court of Appeal decision ordered a vacating of the $2.5 million sanction awarded that was against the City of Los Angeles in litigation brought, then dropped, by the city in connection with the Department of Water Power billing scandal.
California court holds defendants in workplace violence restraining order petitions have a due process right to cross-examine employer’s witnesses
On October 17, 2022, in an issue of first impression at the appellate level, California’s Court of Appeals (First District) published an opinion clarifying that a defendant in a petition for restraining order under California’s Workplace Violence Safety Act (WVSA) is entitled to cross-examine witnesses at the evidentiary hearing for the restraining order. CSV Hospitality Management LLC v. Jermorio Lucas, A163345.
Justice Kagan has a message for judges: humble yourselves 
Justice Elena Kagan warned against an emerging trend of overturning precedent at the Supreme Court on Friday, urging her fellow justices to be deferential. “The law should be safe, and judges should be humble,” the Obama appointee said during a talk at the University of Pennsylvania. Kagan reminisced about her favorite opinion she has written, Kimble v. Marvel - otherwise known as the Spider-Man case.
Ninth Circuit declines to revive child porn class action against Reddit
A Ninth Circuit panel on Monday affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a class action brought against Reddit over users' posting and circulating child pornography on its platform. “We conclude, based on the law as written by Congress, that civil plaintiffs seeking to overcome section 230 immunity for sex trafficking claims must plead and prove that a defendant-website’s own conduct violated 18 U.S.C. § 1591," U.S. Circuit Judge Milan Smith, a George W. Bush appointee, led the wrote for the panel, referring to the Communications Decency Act.
California tailpipe emissions waiver is unconstitutional - red states
A waiver written specifically into the federal Clean Air Act that allows California to set its own tailpipe emissions limit and electric vehicle goals gives it an unconstitutional regulatory power denied to every other state, according to Republican-led states that are suing over the exemption. Republican attorneys general said in a court document filed Thursday that California's waiver puts it on an uneven playing field compared to other states, in violation of the Constitution, and inappropriately gives it unique state power to regulate global climate change.
Website immune from liability for images posted by others, Ninth Circuit declares
A social media platform is immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act for the display of sexually explicit images and videos of minors, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held yesterday, declaring that an exception is not applicable because the website was merely a repository of postings by users and did not propagate the matter.
City attorney files charges against protesters who disrupted L.A. City Council meeting
Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer has filed more than a dozen misdemeanor charges against two protesters who disrupted an Aug. 9 meeting of the City Council. Ricci Sergienko, 31, was charged with committing battery on a police officer, attempting to rescue a prisoner and four counts of resisting arrest or delaying or obstructing a police officer, according to the city attorney's office.
Irvine man charged with killing service dog in Santa Ana
A 40-year-old man was behind bars Wednesday on charges of beating a service dog to death in a parking lot in Santa Ana for defecating in his car. Randy Francois of Irvine was charged in September with two felony counts of cruelty to animals, but he failed to appear in court after bonding out of custody and an arrest warrant was issued for the defendant, according to court records. Francois was arrested Tuesday and appeared in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana on Wednesday when his arraignment was rescheduled for Monday.
Man accused in Hancock Park stabbing murder of UCLA student found OK to stand trial
A judge in Los Angeles has decided the man charged with murdering a UCLA student in a furniture store in Hancock Park is mentally fit to stand trial. Brianna Kupfer, 24, was stabbed to death Jan. 13 as she worked alone inside the Croft House store on La Brea Boulevard. Authorities have said they believe she was attacked at random. "She had strength and character and care and love," Kupfer's father Todd told NBCLA earlier this year.
New Harvey Weinstein trial starts with graphic allegations
Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted young women hoping to make it in Hollywood, a Los Angeles prosecutor argued on Monday, while the former producer's attorney said his accusers willingly took part in a "casting couch" culture to boost their careers. Weinstein, the man who became the face of #MeToo allegations five years ago, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for sex crimes in New York. He is now on trial in Los Angeles on 11 charges of rape and sexual assault and has pleaded not guilty.
Two men arrested on federal charges alleging they shot guard during armored truck armed robbery earlier this week
Two men were arrested this morning on federal robbery and firearms offenses that allege they robbed an armored car on Monday and shot a guard several times in the leg. Gregory James, 47, of San Pedro, and Lamond Akins, 30, of Compton, were arrested pursuant to a federal criminal complaint that charges them with Hobbs Act robbery and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Chinese intelligence officers charged with obstructing Huawei prosecution as DOJ reveals 2 more cases of China interference
Two Chinese intelligence officers have been criminally charged with attempting to obstruct the prosecution of the Huawei global telecommunications company by trying to steal confidential information about the case, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday. Garland also announced two more criminal cases related to efforts by the Chinese government to interfere in U.S. affairs.
What are 'ghost guns?' Prosecutors say an untraceable gun used in three Stockton killings
Prosecutors say a Stockton man charged with three counts of murder on Oct. 18 used a "ghost gun" - a type of firearm nearly impossible to link to anyone using current investigative methods - to carry out the killings. Ghost guns are firearms without serial numbers, built from parts or made using 3D printers. They are virtually untraceable because they do not have serial numbers.
Though wage theft is a crime, few California DAs file charges for it
It took two shifts to clean the five-story central Los Angeles office building where Edith Lopez worked as a janitor. From morning to dusk she vacuumed, wiped down kitchens and took out trash, and her employer, Pacific Commercial Co., paid her like a regular employee. Then from 5 to 10 p.m. she did the same but Pacific classified her as an independent contractor and paid for those hours with personal checks that left out typical payroll deductions such as income tax or Social Security withholding, she said.
Los Angeles City/County
‘A well-oiled machine’: The Mexican Mafia’s money-making operation in L.A. County jails
The authorities were listening when Ramon Amaya called his wife from the Pomona city jail. Amaya, a gang member nicknamed Happy, said on a recorded line that he hoped a judge wouldn’t release him before he was sent to the county’s main lockup in downtown Los Angeles. “I’m gonna tell the judge, ‘F— you, keep me,’ ” Amaya said, adding that he’d “spit in his face” to make sure he was kept in custody.
The high school teacher turned lawyer accused of being a fixer for the Mexican Mafia
Sheriff’s deputies led Luis Garcia from his cell to the visiting room at Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. The man waiting on the other side of the glass partition introduced himself as Gabriel. “I’m here for...,” the man said, then raised his palm to the glass. To Garcia, a gang member who has admitted to selling drugs and running extortion rackets behind bars, the gesture was unmistakable: The man had come on behalf of the Mexican Mafia, the prison-based crime syndicate whose symbol is a black hand.
LA white supremacists hang banner saying ‘Kanye Is Right about the Jews’ over a highway
Oren Segal, VP of the ADL Center on Extremism, on Sunday tweeted an image of white supremacists giving a Nazi salute on a highway overpass, standing over a banner that reads “Kanye Is Right about the Jews.” What’s Kanye right about? A few days ago, we reported that Ben Shapiro said the recent wave of antisemitic rants by Kanye West - who now goes by “Ye” - resemble Nazi propaganda (Ben Shapiro Says Kanye West is Spouting Antisemitism that Resembles Nazi Propaganda).
Whistleblower's lawsuit over LASD K-9's death highlights alleged discrepancies in investigation
The 2020 death of Spike, an LASD K-9, led Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. Joseph Garrido to sue the agency. He claims he is facing retaliation after he raised questions about what happened: Spike was in a hot vehicle and the department claims the air conditioning failed. "This is Sheriff Villanueva's Watergate moment, said attorney Vincent Miller, who is representing Garrido.
LA County to buy closed courthouse for affordable housing
A long-closed Los Angeles County courthouse in Sawtelle that was once a popular draw for skateboarders may soon be redeveloped for affordable housing. The County Board of Supervisors voted to buy the former West Los Angeles Courthouse at 1633 Purdue Avenue for a mixed-use, affordable housing development, City News Service reported via KFI AM 640. The motion to buy the vacant courthouse for development was introduced by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who asked the county to find the money to purchase it from the Judicial Council.
Judge shortage forces Riverside County courts to dismiss hundreds of cases
All Richard Lilya wants is to see his day in court. Unfortunately, because of a shortage of judges, he might not get it. "it was dismissed and it was really, it's really quite sad," Lilya said while crying. Three years ago, an alleged DUI driver ran Lilya over in Riverside County, leaving him with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. "My head and helmet impacted the windshield and I lost consciousness," he said. "When I woke up I was being [dragged] underneath a car at a high rate of speed."
Reagan Foundation severs ties with California Lutheran University
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Institute and Foundation has terminated a fellowship program it sponsored at California Lutheran University that funded scholarships for students entering the Master of Public Policy and Administration at the school. The Reagan-Gallegly Fellowship Program, which the Reagan Foundation created in support of the Elton and Janice Gallegly Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement at CLU, has funded numerous scholarships since its creation and expanded opportunities at the Reagan Presidential Library for those students to further their studies.
Golden Gate Fields owners can sue animal-rights group that disrupted races, state Supreme Court says
The state Supreme Court refused Wednesday to block a lawsuit by owners of Golden Gate Fields against an animal rights group that allegedly recruited protesters to lie down on the racetrack last year and chain themselves together, briefly bringing horse racing to a halt. In March 2021, four demonstrators climbed a fence to enter the north Berkeley shoreline racetrack. According to the track owners, they set off smoke flares, then lay down with pipes connecting their arms and were not removed for hours.
California Attorney General's office denies it wants Kuehl raid evidence destroyed
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the California Attorney General's office will ask a judge to order the Sheriff's Department to destroy any remaining copies of items seized or obtained during its investigation into alleged political corruption involving an LA County Supervisor. Villanueva claimed in a live streamed speech Wednesday that a motion filed by the Attorney General's office in LA Superior Court demanding the destruction would be addressed at a hearing Thursday on Supervisor Sheila Kuehl's challenge to the legality of the warrant and the underlying investigation.
Court clears way for Jan. 6 probe to get Ward’s phone records
A federal appeals court has turned down former Arizona GOP senate candidate Kelli Ward’s attempt to block a House committee subpoena for her phone records in connection with an investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol building and other events related to the 2020 presidential election. A divided panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted, 2-1, to deny Ward’s request for an order preventing telephone carrier T-Mobile from complying with the subpoena issued by the House select committee probing Jan. 6.
Tastries owner prevails in lawsuit alleging discrimination
A lawsuit that has drawn national attention to Bakersfield arrived at another decision Friday when a Kern County judge ruled a Rosedale Highway business owner acted lawfully five years ago when she refused to make a wedding cake for a local lesbian couple before referring them to a different bakery. Judge Eric Bradshaw issued a verdict finding the state Department of Fair Housing and Employment failed to prove Tastries Bakery owner Catharine “Cathy” Miller intentionally discriminated against Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.
Crime/Public Safety
Los Angeles Police Department investigating recording of racist audio between council members, labor leader
The Los Angeles Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the secret recording and ensuing leak of a conversation between Los Angeles City Council members and a prominent labor leader that resulted in citywide unrest and calls for resignations. During an interview with KTLA 5 Tuesday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore confirmed that his department was investigating allegations into eavesdropping of the private conversation between council members Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo as well as Ron Herrera, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
Thieves use a van to smash through front of LA Chanel store for second time in three months
At least two thieves used a stolen van to smash through the front of a Los Angeles Chanel store early Tuesday morning, the second incident of its kind in three months. The smash-and-grab happened just after 2.30am at the high-end designer store located in Beverly Grove, a neighborhood located between La Brea, Fairfax, and Beverly Hills. Police said Tuesday morning that a group of suspects drove the van into the front window of the Chanel store in an attempt to steal the merchandise found inside.
'Scrubs' writer Eric Weinberg's $5M bail revoked as judge deems him threat to society
Hollywood producer Eric Weinberg was in court Tuesday in Los Angeles where the scene reportedly played out like one of his scripted shows - minus the comedy. Weinberg, who was charged with 18 counts of sexual abuse and assault earlier this month, was remanded into custody as a judge deemed him an active threat to society. Weinberg pleaded not guilty via his lawyer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Weinberg "crumpled onto the wooden bench behind him" as the judge noted how "the defendant has engaged in a pattern of violence towards women for over six years.”
Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attacked with hammer at home
The man who assaulted Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tried to tie him up “until Nancy got home,” according to two sources familiar with the situation. When the police arrived, the assailant was saying he was “waiting for Nancy.” Paul Pelosi was attacked with a hammer at the couple’s home in San Francisco by a male assailant early Friday morning, law enforcement sources told CNN. The assailant who attacked Paul Pelosi was searching for the speaker of the House, according to a source briefed on the attack.
Retail, commercial crime 'has totally gotten out of control': City Council mulls options to curb offenses
It starts off small - intoxicated people wandering off the streets into Jerry’s Pizza and Pub. Some leave without any trouble, or comply with requests to go. But others create a ruckus at the longtime downtown Bakersfield eatery, which prompts customer complaints. That then leads to a loss of business, said Jose Jimenez, Jerry’s Pizza general manager. “If it happens in a particular hour of the day, customers won't come in at that hour,” Jimenez added.
Crimes committed by kids on the rise as expert warns harsher consequences needed: 'The penalties aren't scary’
As crime continues to plague Americans in cities large and small, violent crimes involving juveniles continue to grab headlines and frustrate local leaders and law enforcement as one expert says teens simply are not deterred from crime because of the light consequences that have become the new norm in many areas. In response to teen violence, some have blamed police staffing shortages that critics say were made worse by the Defund the Police movement, progressive bail and criminal justice reforms, as well as teens scoffing at authorities for young people's brazen acts of violence, often in broad daylight.
Car stolen 30 years ago found buried at U.S. mansion built by man with history of arrests for murder
Three decades after a car was reported stolen in Northern California, police are digging the missing convertible out of the yard of a US$15 million mansion built by a man with a history of arrests for murder, attempted murder and insurance fraud. The convertible Mercedes Benz, filled with bags of unused concrete, was discovered Thursday by landscapers in the affluent town of Atherton in Silicon Valley, Atherton Mayor Rick DeGolia said, reading a statement from police.
Cincinnati cops argue for right to record misconduct probe interviews
The Citizen Complaint Authority of Cincinnati cannot prevent police officers from recording interviews conducted during use-of-force investigations, the leader of the local Fraternal Order of Police chapter argued Tuesday before an appeals court panel. Dan Hils, president of FOP Lodge 69, claimed in a 2021 lawsuit a CCA employee selectively recorded an interview about a use-of-force incident to omit exculpatory evidence and, in the process, violated an agency bylaw that requires full recordings of all interviews with police, complainants and witnesses.
LA Politics
City Hall scandal may be good news for indicted and unpaid Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas
Two weeks into the Los Angeles City Hall meltdown, a few things are incontrovertible: Former City Council President Nury Martinez needs to pick a new line of work. Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León may refuse to resign, but their reputations are in tatters. Further down the scale of importance, no one has yet come up with a sticky nickname for what is cumbersomely referred to as the leaked racist audio recording scandal. The mess has caused City Hall to examine some of its practices and beliefs concerning how L.A. is run.
Bass and Caruso differ on public safety and policing. But not as much as many think
On a campaign stop last spring in the San Fernando Valley, billionaire developer and Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso was flanked by a who’s who of old-school heavyweights from the Los Angeles Police Department. Former Chiefs William J. Bratton and Charlie Beck - joined by Jim McDonnell, an LAPD veteran who later became Los Angeles County sheriff - were there to send a message, one that's a bedrock of the campaign: Only a tough-minded leader can clean up the city and get crime under control - and Caruso is that man.
Articles of Interest
California correctional officer union paid $2.3 million for property where its president lives
The union representing California state correctional officers spent $2.3 million early this year to buy a 5-acre Elk Grove property with a four-bedroom house, a swimming pool and two large warehouses, according to Sacramento County records, an online listing and union representatives. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association bought the property in February, but many of the union’s members learned of it Friday, when a law enforcement-focused Instagram account spotlighted the purchase after the union’s board of directors discussed it at a meeting in Sacramento.
Fox's own lawyer might gave made its legal woes much worse
Two different voting systems companies, Dominion and Smartmatic, are currently in the midst of billion-dollar lawsuits against Fox for airing unsubstantiated claims about both companies’ voting machines stealing votes away from Donald Trump. Despite Fox's best efforts to keep internal conversations private and limit the lawsuit, the media company has faced blow after blow in court; last week, the New York Times reported that a judge had granted Dominion access to some of Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott’s emails and text messages and more has trickled out about what was going on behind the scenes at media company in the weeks after the election.
FBI found documents containing classified intel on Iran and China at Mar-a-Lago
The FBI found documents containing classified intelligence regarding Iran and China at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, say two people familiar with the matter. The Washington Post was first to report that the intelligence on Iran and China was found at Trump’s Florida residence and club during the FBI’s recent search of the property. The Post reported, but NBC News has not confirmed, that “at least one of the documents seized by the FBI describes Iran’s missile program.”
Convicted FBI agent wants new trial, citing “lawyer” testimony and naysaying bribes
Former FBI agent Babak Broumand, who was convicted in a Los Angeles courtroom earlier this month on four counts of bribery and money laundering by a federal jury, is arguing for a new trial, saying the 11th-hour confession from the government’s star witness that he paid a colleague to take the California Bar Exam means the verdict was rooted in the word of a “self-admitted serial liar.” 
Shuttered cannabis church takes fight to reopen to California Supreme Court
A cannabis church in Southern California - which was shut down by the county of San Bernardino over accusations it was illegally functioning as a dispensary - is taking its fight to reopen to the state Supreme Court, arguing that it uses cannabis for religious healing. After the case was dismissed by a lower court, attorney Matthew Pappas petitioned the California Supreme Court on Thursday (Oct. 20) on behalf of April Elizabeth Mancini, a minister of the church.
OC workers' comp attorney gets four years in prison for fraud
A workers' compensation applicant attorney from Orange County has been sentenced to four years in state prison and ordered to pay over $700,000 in restitution to seventeen different insurance carriers for participating in two separate insurance fraud referral schemes. Jon Woods, 61, of Cypress, was convicted in August of 37 felony counts of insurance fraud along with an aggravated white-collar crime sentencing enhancement, the Orange County District Attorney's Office announced Friday.
West L.A. man sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for harassment campaign targeting female doctors at VA facilities
A West Los Angeles man who engaged in a harassment campaign targeting two female doctors at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and two other female doctors working at the VA’s Loma Linda facility in San Bernardino County, was sentenced today to 216 months in federal prison. Gueorgui Hristov Pantchev, 51, was sentenced by United States District Judge John F. Walter, who said Pantchev “is a menace to society - a description that I don’t think I have ever used in describing a criminal defendant.”
Former police officer J. Alexander Kueng pleads guilty in George Floyd death case
One of two former police officers scheduled to go on trial Monday on charges stemming from the death of George Floyd pleaded guilty as part of an agreement with prosecutors, a court official told ABC News. J. Alexander Kueng, 29, pleaded guilty Monday morning to one count of aiding and abetting in manslaughter after prosecutors and Kueng's defense attorney agreed to recommend a sentence of 42 months in prison, a spokesperson for the Hennepin County Courts said.
South Bay man sentenced to 9 years in federal prison for role in scam involving fake open houses at not-for-sale homes
A South Bay man, who along with his sister and other co-conspirators participated in a $6 million real estate scam that listed homes for sale without owners’ consent and collected money from multiple would-be buyers, was sentenced today to 108 months in federal prison. Adolfo Schoneke, 45, of Torrance, who pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, was sentenced by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner. A restitution hearing was scheduled for December 12.
Chowchilla school bus kidnapper's parole angers survivors: 'Mistake for the whole state of California’
It was a July afternoon in 1976 when Frederick Woods pulled off the largest mass kidnapping for ransom in U.S. history. Now, more than four decades later, Woods is a free man. The 70-year-old was quietly released from prison on Aug. 25, after serving 46 years for the hijacking of a school bus filled with 26 children and their driver in Chowchilla, California, on July 15, 1976. The release of Woods - who had been denied parole 17 times - drew mixed reactions from his victims, many of whom have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder to this day.
Scott Peterson is finally moved off California's death row
Scott Peterson has been moved off death row more than two years after the California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence for killing his pregnant wife two decades ago, corrections officials said Monday. Peterson was moved last week from San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco to Mule Creek State Prison east of Sacramento. A new mug shot taken Friday shows Peterson, 50, with salt-and-pepper stubble compared to his previous clean-shaven look.
Public pensions weathered “The Great Recession” and took action to ensure long-term sustainability
The Great Recession, lasting from December 2007 to June 2009, was the most severe economic downturn in the U.S. since the Great Depression. Virtually all investors lost assets during the financial market crash, typically about a quarter of assets. The economic effects lasted for years, with jobs slow to recover and unemployment remaining stubbornly high. Similarly, the impact of the Great Recession on public pension plans was significant and not just due to the loss of assets during the crash.
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