OC Supervisors Block Plan to Release and Monitor Low-Risk Felons…Officers Who Shot at Women in Dorner Hunt to Return to Work…California Judges May Be Prohibited from Boy Scout AffiliationFebruary 7th, 2014 by Taylor Walker
ORANGE COUNTY SUPES REJECT SHERIFF’S PLAN TO ELECTRONICALLY MONITOR SOME LOW-LEVEL FELONS
The Orange County Board of Supervisors shot down Sheriff Sandra Hutchens’ plan to open up the county’s successful electronic monitoring system—which is already being used to monitor those serving time for misdemeanors—to include some inmates serving time for low-risk, non-violent felonies. By releasing certain low-level felons, Hutchens intended to prevent overcrowding in the OC jail system.
The LA Times’ Jill Cowan has the story. Here’s a clip:
“I understand they need to find an alternative to incarceration, and I appreciate the sheriff’s efforts,” Supervisor Janet Nguyen said Tuesday. “But I’m still uncomfortable allowing felons to be out on the street.”
The move came as the county, like many jurisdictions across the state, grapples with a ballooning jail population and scant resources to house inmates.
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said her department has struggled to accommodate an influx of inmates from a variety of sources…
Hutchens said there are about 900 more inmates in Orange County’s system as a result of the realignment.
This week, Hutchens said those home-monitoring programs have been successful, adding that inmates who are being monitored electronically are still technically in custody.
Assistant Sheriff Lee Trujillo told the board Tuesday that the only inmates who would have been eligible for electronic monitoring are “low-risk” felons — those who are nonviolent, with limited criminal records and just days remaining on their sentences.
(Our new LA Sheriff John Scott is on loan from the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept., and will be returning to his position as OC’s Undersheriff when our permanent LASD leader is elected.)
OFFICERS WHO MISTAKENLY SHOT AT TWO WOMEN DURING DORNER MANHUNT WILL RETURN TO THEIR JOBS
The eight officers who fired over 100 rounds at two women in a pickup truck during the Christopher Dorner manhunt last February will return to the field after they receive additional training, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
Both the civilian police commission and Chief Beck found that the shooting (which injured both women) violated department policy, but no disciplinary action will be taken against the officers involved.
The commission also found the department to be at fault in the incident. President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Tyler Izen, says the officers were “placed into a highly unreasonable and unusually difficult position.”
AP’s Tami Abdollah has the story. Here’s a clip:
“I have confidence in their abilities as LAPD officers to continue to do their jobs in the same capacity they had been assigned,” Beck said in a department message to officers obtained Wednesday night by The Associated Press. “In the end, we as an organization can learn from this incident and from the individuals involved.”
Both the chief and an independent commission found the 2013 shooting that injured two women violated department policy. The seven officers and one sergeant could have faced penalties including being fired.
Other discipline not outlined in the chief’s message could be handed down, police Lt. Andrew Neiman said, but department policy prevents him from discussing it.
Attorney Glen Jonas, who represented the two women who won a $4.2 million settlement from the city, said he was concerned by the chief’s decision not to terminate any of the eight officers.
“If either of the women had been killed, you can bet your bottom dollar somebody would be fired and maybe prosecuted,” Jonas said. “A stroke of luck, firing more than 100 rounds and missing, should not mean the discipline is lighter.”
CALIFORNIA MAY BAN JUDGES FROM BELONGING TO BOY SCOUTS DUE TO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST GAYS
The California Supreme Court’s ethics committee unanimously recommended the court forbid judges from affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, based upon the Boy Scouts’ ban on LGBT leaders. California prohibits judges from being a part of organizations with discriminatory policies, but make an exception for non-profits like the Boy Scouts. The committee will take public comments on the issue until April 15. If the state Supreme Court decide’s to approve the ban, it will go into effect on August 1.
SF Gate’s Bob Egelko has the story. Here’s a clip:
If the court agrees, California will join 21 other states whose judicial ethics codes have antidiscrimination provisions that forbid judges from affiliating with the Boy Scouts.
Banning scout membership would “promote the integrity of the judiciary” and “enhance public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary,” the ethics committee said Wednesday.
The panel noted that 22 states, including California, prohibit judges from belonging to organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but only California exempts “nonprofit youth organizations” from that prohibition. The state’s high court, which sets judicial ethics standards, adopted that exemption in 1996 to accommodate judges affiliated with the Boy Scouts.
“Selecting one organization for special treatment is of special concern, especially in light of changes in the law in California and elsewhere prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” the committee said.