Tuesday, October 13, 2015
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Fed Judge Denies Immunity for Former LA County Sheriff Lee Baca to Testify at Paul Tanaka’s Criminal Trial

September 30th, 2015 by Celeste Fremon

A new moment of drama in the run-up to the trial of former Los Angeles County undersheriff Paul Tanaka occurred on Monday
when District Court Judge Percy Anderson told Tanaka’s attorney that, no, he was not going to give former LA County Sheriff Lee Baca immunity from future prosecution should Baca be called to testify at Tanaka’s trial.

Tanaka’s attorney, H. Dean Steward, filed the request in mid-August, asking that the former sheriff be granted immunity because, “if he testifies truthfully, [Baca] will provide evidence that will contradict the government’s evidence” and thus provide a basis for [Mr. Tanaka’s} “acquittal of the charges.”

The motion was almost certain to be a non-starter with Judge Anderson from the get go. But it was also understandable that that attorney Steward would roll the legal dice, no matter how slim the chance for success.

When Tanaka was originally indicted for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice back in May 2015, former LASD Captain William (Tom) Carey was indicted at the same time as a co-conspirator and also for perjury, having to do with his previous testimony in the trials of seven other former LASD members indicted with obstruction of justice for some of the same series of alleged actions. (The seven have since been convicted of the obstruction charges, and their convictions are on appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.)

At that time, Seward made confident statements to the press about his client’s innocence and how Mr. Tanaka would prevail when it came time for trial—which certainly he still may.

However, in mid-summer, the odds of an acquittal for Tanaka suddenly rearranged themselves when Tom Carey took a plea deal in return for his cooperation in Tanaka’s trial and any subsequent proceedings relating to department member misdeeds of which Carey had had knowledge, and which related to the original indictment concerning the hiding of federal informant Anthony Brown and other actions designed to thwart the FBI’s investigation into chronic corruption and brutality in the Los Angeles County jail system.

Carey’s plea, which was filed on August 13, 2015, sent Tanaka’s defense scrambling for a witness to counter what Carey was likely to say on the stand.

Hence, presumably, the motion about immunity for Baca.

Carey and Tanaka took the stand in the previous obstruction of justice trials, and former Sheriff Baca was on the witness list for the defense at least twice, most notably in the two trials of former LASD Deputy James Sexton (who was tried twice before the feds could produce a guilty verdict). Yet Baca was never called in either of the trials because his then-attorney informed Sexton’s legal team both times that Baca would take the fifth if put on the stand.

Baca hired a new attorney, Michael Zwieback, earlier this month. While Zwiback did not attend the Monday hearing, he confirmed to us that Baca would indeed be invoking his 5th Amendment rights this time around, if called as a witness.


At least one federal witness was reportedly given immunity that was limited to his testimony before a federal grand jury during hearings that likely contributed to Tanaka’s and Carey’s eventual indictment. But that witness had already been convicted of obstruction of justice, so the government’s cost/benefit ratio in issuing limited immunity was presumably very different that it would be in the case of Baca, who at remains conspicuously un-indicted.

To put it another way, if federal prosecutors are able to convict the former undersheriff of the allegations arrayed against him, the notion that Baca’s once powerful second in command is guilty of corruption charges that have already resulted in seven additional convictions and one plea bargain, it becomes less and less believable that Tanaka’s former boss, the man who headed up the nation’s largest sheriff’s department for a decade and a half, is legally blame free.

Originally Mr. Tanaka’s trial was scheduled to begin in early November of this year. But on Monday Judge Anderson agreed to delay proceedings until March 22, 2016, at the request of Mr. Tanaka’s attorney.

Posted in LASD | 40 Comments »

Helping the Mentally Ill Exiting LA Jails, Prop 47′s DNA Dilemma, DOJ to Help Compton Reduce Crime, and “De-Publishing”

September 29th, 2015 by Taylor Walker


In August, The LA County Sheriff’s Department announced a settlement with the US Department of Justice regarding treatment of the mentally ill in county jails.

But inmate advocates say that while the LASD-DOJ agreement requires an overhaul of mental health treatment and services for mentally ill inmates as well as referral to a social worker upon release, the settlement leaves gaping holes that will perpetuate the homelessness-incarceration cycle.

The public interest law firm, Public Counsel, is working to get the settlement amended to include “warm hand-offs” (rather than paper referrals) from jail staff to social workers as mentally ill inmates are released back into their communities. Public Counsel also takes issue with the fact that people with mental health issues like dementia and personality disorders are disqualified from the assistance for mentally ill.

KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more on the issue. Here’s a clip:

“We ought to be allowing them to exit jail with at least a reasonable chance that they won’t be back any time soon,” said UCLA Law Professor Gary Blasi, an attorney with Public Counsel, which is suing to have a say in the court-imposed reforms.

He said inmates need a “warm hand-off” from jailer to social worker because they often lack the capacity to navigate a complicated web of county mental health facilities and services.

“That means that you have a human being in one system who connects with another human being in another system,” Blasi said. “They assume responsibility for seeing that the person doesn’t get dropped in the gap between the bureaucracies.”

Thousands of mentally ill inmates are released from L.A. County jails every year. The population of inmates with serious mental health conditions has continued to grow.

In August, after years of monitoring conditions, the U.S. Department of Justice reached an agreement with the sheriff’s department to massively overhaul how such inmates are treated while in jail.

Now, Public Counsel, representing a group of former inmates, is going to court to “intervene” in the case and alter the settlement agreement.

The current agreement “creates practices that will continue to cycle the mentally ill between Skid Row and the County Jails, depriving them of necessary medical and psychiatric services,” according to a Public Counsel statement.


Last November, California voters passed Prop 47, which retroactively downgraded certain non-serious felonies to misdemeanors.

What Prop 47 didn’t address, was what to do with the DNA samples previously taken from people arrested for felonies that have since become misdemeanors, since DNA samples are not taken from people arrested on misdemeanor charges (only felonies).

An appellate court has ruled that the law does call for retroactive DNA expungement for former offenders whose felonies have been reduced to misdemeanors. Critics say that wiping out all that DNA from the database will harm future investigations. Critics also point out that law enforcement officers take DNA samples for wobbler charges—which could be designated as either misdemeanors or felonies—, and for those cases that end in misdemeanor charges, DNA samples are not destroyed.

The debate rages on, and the issue will either be addressed by the courts or by lawmakers.

The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kristina Davis has more on the issue. Here’s a clip:

Nearly 2.5 million DNA samples are stored in California’s DNA Data Bank and are frequently cross-checked against DNA evidence taken from crime scenes to find potential matches. From April to June, hits from the database aided some 48,000 investigations, according to the most recent data from the state Department of Justice.

Oddly, for a voter campaign as costly and debated as Proposition 47’s was, the DNA issue wasn’t really addressed as a talking point by either side before the election.

The issue is rearing its head now as part of a case involving a San Diego teenage boy who applied to have his felony commercial burglary charge reclassified to a misdemeanor. The District Attorney’s Office fought the request, saying the retroactive part of Proposition 47 should not apply to juveniles because of differences in how minors are convicted. In adult court, defendants are found guilty or not guilty. In juvenile court, a conviction is known as a “true finding.” Proposition 47 does not mention juveniles specifically.

The state’s 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the teen in July, saying that Proposition 47 applies equally to juveniles and adults.

The appellate three-judge panel also asked the lower San Diego Superior Court to reconsider how that finding might affect the boy’s request to have his DNA expunged. The judges made their opinion clear on the matter: that voters intended for Proposition 47’s retroactive relief to result in the purging of existing DNA samples.

Juvenile Deputy Public Defender Maryann D’Addezio Kotler, who is representing the boy, said the appeals court made the right call.

“The taking of someone’s DNA is an infringement on someone’s privacy, obviously, and we certainly only want the government to take it when it is sanctioned by law,” she said.


As far as expungement goes, under existing DNA law, someone can have their DNA removed only under conditions of innocence or reasonable doubt, including acquittals, findings of factual innocence or dismissals.

In their petition to the state Supreme Court for review of the case, prosecutors argue that nothing in Proposition 47 should change those existing laws concerning DNA.

“It defies reason,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in an interview.


On Monday, the US Department of Justice announced that the city of Compton was one of five new cities chosen to join a two-year program called the Violence Reduction Network. This means that through the DOJ partnership, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (which has jurisdiction over Compton) will receive training, personnel, and other support to reduce sex trafficking, gun violence, and other crimes.

Compton joins the ranks of two other California cities—Oakland and Richmond—receiving help from the feds through the Violence Reduction Network.

Richmond, if you’ll remember is being pointed to as a national model for community policing and crime reduction.

The LA Times’ Angel Jennings has the story. Here’s a clip:

The FBI has already committed to relocating its Safe Streets Task Force unit from Pasadena to Compton, said U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Thom Mrozek.

The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshal’s Service will also devote people to work with the sheriff’s Compton office, Mrozek said.

The Violence Reduction Network “is definitely a game changer for public safety in Compton that will positively impact the quality of life for our entire community,” Compton Mayor Aja Brown said in a statement.

Federal agencies will work together to tackle gang violence, human trafficking, narcotics, gun proliferation and cyber-crime, sheriff’s Lt. Chris Perez said.

Though Compton has long been notorious for gang crime, including drive-by shootings, violent crime has dropped significantly in recent years.


There’s long been a tradition of “de-publishing” judges’ opinions from the official records so that they are not used as precedents in subsequent cases.

However, an intense battle has been raging in California over the idea of de-publishing, which critics say is a way for prosecutors to have the last word (even when they have lost an appellate review) in order to remove that ruling from being used in future court proceedings.

The Marshall Project’s Andrew Cohen has more on the de-publishing dispute. Here’s a clip:

Take this new case of a minor we know only as “Elias V.” On June 9th, an intermediate California appeals court overturned a trial judge’s finding that incriminating statements made by “Elias V” in a case involving allegations of “lewd and lascivious” conduct could be used against the young man. The so-called “confession,” the appellate judges ruled, was involuntary for several different reasons. The opinion, which you can read here, was comprehensive, detailed, and replete with references to some of the most modern scholarly work on the fallibility of juvenile confessions.

The decision, to suppress the confession in a case of one juvenile accused of inappropriately touching another juvenile, was immediately controversial. But it was not necessarily wrong. It was immediately published so that lawyers in California could cite it as precedential authority and lawyers in other states could read it for clues and rationales that might apply in other cases. The California Attorney General’s office, which has the immediate authority to appeal such rulings to the California Supreme Court, chose not to do so. As far as California goes, the Elias V ruling was good law.

That did not end the dispute, however. In California, once the attorney general decides not to pursue an appeal, a slim window opens allowing prosecutors (or defense attorneys or anyone else) to seek to otherwise limit the scope of a decision with which they disagree. They can achieve this by convincing the California Supreme Court to “de-publish” an opinion, to rid it of any precedential value. Prosecutors do this when, as in the “Elias V.” case, they get a ruling they fear will result in the suppression of incriminating evidence in other cases. Defense attorneys do this when they fear a pro-police ruling will encourage other trial judges to tip the scales toward prosecutors.

What happened next in the Elias V. case was extraordinary, according to lawyers who try to keep track of these things. Two months after the June decision, prosecutors in two other California counties, wholly unrelated to the case, wrote letters to the California Supreme Court asking the justices to “de-publish” the Elias V. decision. They argued that it would “cause confusion both in juvenile and adult criminal courts.” One prosecutor listed as a reason to de-publish the fact that “the new rules… are based on social science rather than firmly established legal principles.”

What happened after that was even more extraordinary. The appellate judges who had issued the controversial Elias V. ruling then responded to the prosecutors with a long letter of their own to the California Supreme Court. De-publication of their ruling, they wrote, would have the effect of “shielding from public attention” the social science research they had included in their opinion.

Read on.

Posted in DNA, LA County Jail, Mental Illness, Prosecutors | No Comments »

On Sunday in Exposition Park, Crowds of LA Residents Look to Prop 47 for Help

September 28th, 2015 by Celeste Fremon


On Sunday at Exposition Park, more than a thousand people, in many cases whole families, showed up for an outing billed as The Proposition 47 Record Change and Resources Fair.

As the title suggests, the event was designed to offer legal help and guidance to at least some of the potentially tens of thousands of LA residents who could potentially benefit from Prop. 47, the state law passed by California voters last year, which changed a cluster of nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors.

The law is also retroactive, which means that those who have previously been convicted of the felonies that Prop. 47 addresses–-namely simple drug possession, petty theft under $950, shoplifting under $950, forgery under $950, receipt of stolen property under $950, and writing a bad check under $950–may be eligible to have those convictions reduced to misdemeanors. Since having a felony on one’s record is a barrier to getting jobs, housing, school loans, and more, the conviction reduction that Prop. 47 potentially provides can be life altering.

But, actually getting through the bureaucratic process necessary to get one’s record changed, while not entirely impossible to do on one’s own, in most cases requires at least some help from an attorney—an expense that those who could most benefit from the charge reduction, cannot easily afford.

Hence Sunday’s fair.

The event was sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice, along with the The California Endowment, Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office, and various legal firms offering pro bono time, plus other community organizations such as Homeboy Industries, the Violence Prevention Coalition and more.

All those who believed they were eligible for a charge reduction were urged to bring the latest copy of their RAP sheet to the fair and then to line up outside a large tent labeled Record Change Pavilion. Inside the tent, dozens of volunteer attorneys sat at rows of portable tables, ready to provide free legal help with the record change process.

All day the tables were packed with hopefuls talking to the attorney volunteers, with still more standing in line outside the Record Change Pavilion, waiting their turn.

The wait was made easier by performances by musicians, including Grammy-nominated Aloe Blacc, with his hit, “the Man,” plus the appearance of several political figures including LA City Council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who showed up in the afternoon to address the crowds.

When the event wound down just after 5 pm, pro bono attorneys and other volunteers were visibly giddy at the number of people who had come to ask for—and had actually received—help in navigating their way through the change that the new law promised.

“Despite the heat and what can be a frustrating process, many of the applicants commented on how much they appreciated the volunteers spending their day at the fair to help them get a new start,” said Sandra Fluke, who was one of the volunteer lawyers, in an email to me Sunday evening. “Personally, I found it very gratifying to be partnering with so many colleagues and applicants working together to make the potential of Prop 47 a reality throughout California.”


Prop. 47 has also drawn a flood of criticism this summer after city and county officials announced that crime is up over this same time last year, particularly within city boundaries. In LA City, for example, although homicide was down by 6.7 percent, robbery was up, 16.6 percent, burglary up 15.8 percent, with aggravated assault up even higher at a startling 26.3 percent.

Officials admit that the jump in ag assaults may be caused, at least in part, by the fact that the LAPD is now classifying those crimes correctly, after the LA Times discovered last year that the department had misclassified a slew of violent crimes as misdemeanors.

The point was somewhat supported by the fact that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has reported a much smaller crime uptick during the same period with a 3.39 percent increase in violent crime and a 6.9 percent increase in property crime.

But while many officials point to the new law as the culprit behind the crime spike, researchers are less convinced—particularly since big cities elsewhere in the nation are experiencing similar spikes—without benefit of either Prop. 47 or realignment’s AB 106.

For instance, Peter Moskos, a criminologist at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, told Kate Mathers and Ben Poston of the LA Times that it was too soon to say whether Proposition 47 was behind the increase in property crimes.

Well known UC Berkeley criminologist, Barry Krisberg, went further. In a conversation with Sam Levin of the East Bay Express, Krisberg argued that due to the fact that Prop 47′s very recent implementation, police departments simply don’t have enough data to draw meaningful conclusions about how the new law correlates to crime patterns.

Advocates point out that it is also too early to see the affect of the potential millions of dollars in financial savings that are expected to accrue from Prop. 47, money that is supposed to be use for, among other things, recidivism prevention. Most of the Prop. 47 money—namely 65 percent—will be controlled by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), which will in turn, dole out grants to public agencies around the state, which are expected to use the cash for programs providing mental health and substance abuse treatment for people involved in the justice system.

Watchdogging the paths taken by that money—to make sure it goes were it is intended—will, of course, be crucial.


In the meantime, on Sunday, the everyday impact of the law on individual lives was demonstrated by the ordinary men and women who lined up outside the Record Change Pavilion tent, hoping to get advice on how to get qualifying felonies off their records and, with any luck, their lives changed in the process.

“I just had a couple of misdemeanors I was hoping I could get expunged,” said 40-year-old Andrea Quinn, who works as a treatment counselor at Fred Brown Recovery Center and, together with her fiancé, attended the fair on Sunday. “I got advice on that. But my fiancé was convicted of felony possession a couple of years back,” she continued, “and so he was eligible for the Prop 47 reduction, which he got about a month ago.”

And so has it made a difference?

“A really big difference,” Quinn said. “He’s looking for a job right now. Before, he’d fill out applications and…you know….nothing, even though he’s really smart and has great experience. Now I see the phone ringing, and he’s getting calls to come in for interviews.” Quinn paused. “And it’s all because now he doesn’t have to check that box.”

Posted in Sentencing | 1 Comment »

Report Describes Alarming Rise in LA Kids and Infants at Troubled Foster Care “Welcome Centers”

September 25th, 2015 by Celeste Fremon

A new report released Monday by LA County’s Commission for Children and Families
shows that the number of children showing up at the county’s two foster care intake centers—called Welcome Centers—has jumped “alarmingly,”

The report’s authors described a “need for action,” as they told of a 40% increase in population in the combined two centers, from January to June, with a 26% increase in the second quarter over the first quarter.

The authors were most concerned about the jump in number of infants and children 0-2, which rose by a startling 71% in the second quarter, and also about the “repeat entries of adolescents,” which increased 41% during that same period.

So why the worrisome rise in kids and infants entering the Welcome Centers (which are supposed to limit kids of any age to a 23-hour stay)?

The primary reason, according to the report, was “an insufficient number of suitable foster care placements for these children, leading to stays longer than 24 hours [at the welcome centers], or multiple returns.”

So what ought to be done?

The commission’s Ad Hoc committee members, which spent five months writing the report, have a list of urgent recommendations they hope the county will adopt. But to understand the problems—and possible solutions—that this report describes, it helps to know a little about how the Welcome Centers came into being.


When children are removed from their families because of concerns of abuse and/or neglect, and transferred into LA County’s care, there is often a brief lag time before the kids—be they infants, toddlers, grade schoolers, or teenagers—are placed with either a foster family or, in the case of some children with more complicated needs, into a specialized group home. During that lag time, these children who are entering the system (or in some instances being moved within the system, awaiting transfer from one placement to another) need to be somewhere that is safe and that, ideally, can also ease the traumatizing and often frightening transition they are making.

For more than a decade the county’s Department of Children and Family Services has been struggling to find the right short term environment where children and teenagers could stay during this lag-time. At the same time, DCFS was theoretically working to create a system that made sure that the gap period—between the moment of entering the system, and matching children with foster care placement—was as short as possible, hopefully no more than 24 hours.

In the years after the closing in 2003 of MacLaren Hall, the county’s scandal and abuse-plagued facility that was previously used to fill the gap, social workers were reduced to stashing kids wherever they could, in their offices, sometimes even in their cars.

Then in 2012, the county opened what they optimistically named The Children’s Welcome Center, as a 23-hour short term shelter for children from 0-11 years old. In 2014, the county opened the companion Youth Welcome Center to similarly serve the 12 to 21-year-old foster population.

Neither facility is licensed by the state, hence the 23 hour cutoff—which is now routinely exceeded, according to the report, especially in the case of the Youth Welcome Center, where kids exit the facility during the day then come back at night to start the 23-hour clocking ticking again.

The Youth Welcome Center, in particular, has become mired in controversy, with kids getting into brawls, staff complaining about not enough bathrooms for children’s needs and privacy, and about staffers’ concern that allowing emotionally vulnerable 12-year-olds to sleep in the same physical environment as traumatized and disaffected 17-to-21-year-olds is a recipe for disaster. (And then there is the matter of the persistent rumors about younger residents being recruited for sex trafficking by older residents at the center.)


The first line of defense, according to the report, is the most obvious: the county must “develop a plan for aggressive recruitment for foster families” for each of these groups of children.

In recruiting potential foster parents for infants and very young children, there are several things that stand in the way, including the fact that foster parents aren’t adequately reimbursed for costs like diapers, and that it’s difficult for working foster parents to get child care for their charges, and more. These and other barriers must be addressed, says the report.

(To be honest, it’s perplexing that such simple and obvious issues have not been addressed thus far, as DCFS continues to bemoan the lack of good foster parents.)

For the older children, the report recommends the creation of a pilot program that includes the formation of a small “multi-disciplinary/departmental entry-response team” that would include someone from each one of the relevant agencies, namely DCFS, the Department of Mental Health, the LA County office of Education (LACOE), the Department of Health services, and so on. This emergency team would meet with the foster child and his or her social worker, and also the kid’s family, within 24-48 hours, and form a plan for placement that includes staying on the case with the child until he or she is placed.

Wendy Smith—who is an Associate Dean at USC’s School of Social work, and one of the three commission members who authored Monday’s report—told us that, in addition to the emergency response team, there should be “a point person” who was in daily touch with foster care providers like emergency shelters and group homes, and thus would know what beds were available at the various facilities. “If you had someone who was in daily touch, that would make a big difference,” Smith said.

Indeed. So it would seem.

[Note: on the subject of group homes, please read about the closure of the extravagantly complaint-plagued Bayfront Youth and Family Services.

As for the Welcome Centers, the commission recommends phasing them out as soon as possible in favor of a decentralized system of emergency shelters that already exist throughout the county. The authors point out that a new state law will require a decentralized approach within three years anyway. The state also requires the Welcome Centers to make the changes necessary to get themselves licensed by the state, which will likely mean costly improvements—yet another reason, according to the commission, to go with regional emergency centers now.

Over the next three years, the report hopes for “the development of a best practice model for L.A. County, building on the existing network of 72-hour shelters.”

During that same time, the report proposes the launch of a new task force that could look at who was doing what elsewhere in the nation, in order to help design a “trauma-informed” system for LA that provides more than an emergency stop gap, but also helps “…children and youth who have experienced so much change and uncertainty, in addition to the maltreatment and violence that led to system involvement in the first place,” thereby “decreasing the negative effects of entry or re-entry into placement and increasing the likelihood of successful planning and placement.”

Sounds like the least we can do for the kids that we have taken into our care.

So who has to say yes for some of the commission’s suggested solutions to be instituted?

“I’m encouraged by the county’s response to some of these issues,” said Smith. But as to who actually has the power to trigger the change, the sources we talked to agreed that action by the Board of Supervisors could put everything in motion.

So, over to you, LA County Board of Supes. Thoughts?


So take a look at what she has to say here.

Posted in Foster Care | 1 Comment »

Troubled Group Home Closes Doors, US Attorney General Visits Richmond, CA, LASD Immigration Policy…and More

September 25th, 2015 by Taylor Walker


A group home for foster kids who arguably need the highest level of care is scheduled to shut down in October.

At the Long Beach group home run by Bayfront Youth and Family Services, kids run away and beg neighbors for help, and staff reportedly tackle children in the street and aggressively restrain them, and fail to provide adequate services and programs.

Bayfront’s board of directors decided to close the toxic facility, which is designated a Level 14 (the most restrictive level), after the CA Department of Social Services discovered numerous violations by operators and staff.

ProPublica’s Joaquin Sapien has more on the Bayfront story. Here’s a clip:

On Wednesday, a Bayfront official sent an email to state and county officials informing them that Bayfront’s chief executive officer, Maryam Ribadu, and the home’s board of directors had decided to close the facility. The email, according to several people who have seen it, claimed the decision to close the facility was driven in large part by negative publicity surrounding its recent operations.

In August, ProPublica reported on Bayfront’s long history of trouble with regulators and local residents. For the better part of a year, Bayfront had been plagued by allegations of physical abuse, frequent emergency police calls, high staff turnover, runaway children and heated altercations between group home employees and neighbors. The home became the subject of two investigations — one led by DSS and another by the Los Angeles County Probation Department. The probation department had placed a hold on the facility in July, barring it from admitting any new children from the county.

It’s unclear where the children currently living in the 40-bed facility will go. Some will likely be reunited with their biological families; others likely will be sent to foster families and group homes elsewhere in the state.

California has struggled for years to provide adequate services and supervised care for thousands of foster children and those who wind up in the juvenile justice system. Over the past several years, several large group homes and juvenile detention centers have closed in the face of reports of abuse and neglect. The state legislature is now moving toward eliminating group homes almost entirely, with the aim of reserving them strictly for short-term stays.

Kathy Hughes, the top official at another social services agency that had been renting the property to Bayfront since May 2012, said she had been planning on terminating Bayfront’s lease on December 31, but that she had hoped the facility could relocate.

“It’s really a shame,” said Hughes, who is the chief executive officer at ChildNet.

“While not shocking,” she added, “it’s extremely disappointing. I don’t see the larger problem going away. We still have more kids than we can deal with.” Hughes said her agency gets over 300 calls a month for children she can’t place in foster homes.

“We have a real problem going on here,” she said. “And now we have one less group home.”

Michael Weston, a spokesman for DSS, which oversees group homes throughout the state, said this week that “any decision to relocate or close the Bayfront group home is a decision made by Bayfront management.”

“With the closure of any group home,” he said, “the department’s focus is on ensuring that all youth’s needs are continually met and to reduce any negative effects of transfer trauma into an appropriate new placement.”


US Attorney General Loretta Lynch will visit the city of Richmond, CA on her tour of cities that have made huge progress on their police-community relations. With help from its police chief, Chris Magnus, and its innovative Office of Neighborhood Safety, Richmond was transformed from a city plagued by gun violence and a scandal-ridden police department into a city worthy of serving as a national model.

We’ve written about Chief Magnus (here), and about the Office of Neighborhood Safety (here), which pays the city’s young men most likely to shoot or be shot a monthly stipend to stay out of trouble, along with providing mentoring, education, and other services.

The Richmond Confidential’s Matt Beagle has the story. Here’s a clip:

Lynch, the first African-American woman to hold the position, comes to Richmond as the last stop of a multi-city tour. The Attorney General’s website describes the trip as an effort to “highlight some of the most promising work that citizens and law enforcement are doing together to build new foundations of trust, respect and mutual understanding.” In addition to Richmond, Lynch has visited Cincinnati, Birmingham, Pittsburgh, Seattle and East Haven, Connecticut.

Richmond has drawn praise for its dramatic reduction in violent crime. The community policing efforts under Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus and the Office of Neighborhood Safety have attracted national headlines.

Barry Krisberg, senior fellow at the University of California at Berkeley law school, and author of books on race and the juvenile justice system, said there was little mystery as to why Lynch chose to visit Richmond as a way to promote effective community policing.

Magnus is on the right track, Krisberg said.

“Richmond has bar none the best police chief in the state and arguably in the country,” he said. “If you were looking for what police ought to do, I would send you to Richmond.”

Magnus could help national leaders inspire changes around the country in the culture of policing.


On KPCC’s Air Talk, Patt Morrison, standing in for host Larry Mantle, talks with Melissa Keaney, an attorney at the National Immigration Law Centre, and Mark Krikorian, head of the Center for Immigration Studies, about Los Angeles Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s new policy to let federal immigration agents into jails to question undocumented inmates.

Keaney calls the policy a disheartening “step backwards,” and says it may give US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “unfettered access to the jails and databases” because too much of the policy is left up to interpretation. Keaney calls for oversight and transparency as the department puts the policy into practice.

Krikorian disagrees, calling the department’s shift toward compliance with ICE “a baby step in the right direction,” but nothing “worth throwing a parade for.”

“This is the absolute lowest common denominator of cooperation with [ICE] that you could have and still sleep at night,” says Krikorian.

Take a listen for yourself.


Last fall, Los Angeles police officer Richard Garcia was allegedly caught by a store’s security camera kicking and hitting a young man in the head while he was being restrained on the ground. After viewing the footage, LAPD officials said 22-year-old Clinton Alford was not resisting arrest, and one viewer described it as “a football player kicking a field goal.”

In April, Garcia was charged with assault. But according to a report made public Tuesday during a civilian police commission meeting, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck faulted an unnamed second officer’s actions (standing on the prone suspect’s feet and ankles) as unreasonable use of force. The police commission agreed with Chief Beck, concluding that both officers used unnecessary force in detaining Alford.

The LA Times’ Kate Mather has the story. Here’s a clip:

An LAPD spokesman declined to comment on the Police Commission’s decision, saying it may trigger disciplinary proceedings that are kept private under state law.

Caree Harper, Alford’s attorney, said actions should have been taken against the officers sooner, given what was seen on the video. She said her client wants the officers fired.

“What takes the chief almost a year to come up with a conclusion that could have been made instantaneously is beyond me,” she said.

Robert Rico, who is representing Garcia in his criminal case, said he wasn’t surprised by the Police Commission’s ruling. He said he believed the board lost its credibility this year after its controversial decision to fault a police officer who fatally shot Ezell Ford, a mentally ill black man, during a struggle over the officer’s gun.

“I do not give that Police Commission any credence,” Rico said. “In order for them to have come to that decision, they had to have ignored all the facts and all the other officer statements that said Mr. Alford was continuing to resist.”

Beck’s report outlines a narrative from the officers, who said Alford resisted their efforts to detain him and struggled even after he was handcuffed. Sources who saw the video have told The Times that Alford was not resisting the officers.

One source said Tuesday that the officers’ comments were being further investigated as a result of the discrepancy. The recording, which was captured by a security camera on a nearby building, has not been made public.

It is now up to Beck to decide whether to discipline the officers, who could receive more training, face suspensions or lose their jobs. None have returned to work since the arrest, an LAPD spokesman said Tuesday.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Posting late today…In the Meantime, Another Man Comes Forward About OK’s Death Row Inmate, Richard Glossip

September 24th, 2015 by Celeste Fremon

Our main stories will appear a little later today, so check back.

But, until then: There is some new information about Oklahoma death row inmate, Richard Glossip’s case, that further suggests that Glossip may be innocent.

If you’ll remember, Richard Glossip was granted a stay of execution last Wednesday, a few hours before he was scheduled to be put to death.

How close was it? Gossip was given his last meal before the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issued a temporary stay of execution in order to give “fair consideration” to new evidence.

Glossip is still scheduled to die by lethal injection in a week.

In the past few days, however, a new witness has emerged to add to the doubt about Glossip’s guilt. Liliana Segura, writing for the Intercept, has the details. Here’s a clip from her story:

Joseph Tapley didn’t want his name in the press. He had worked too hard, since leaving prison in 2002, to get his life on track. Today he owns a business and has a wife and kids. The last thing he wanted when he sat down to watch TV on the evening of September 15 was to get dragged into anything that might bring him or his family any harm.

But then he saw the report on the 6 o’clock news: the state of Oklahoma was ready to kill Richard Glossip. Governor Mary Fallin had rejected his plea for a 60-day stay. His execution was scheduled for 3 p.m. the next day.

Tapley knew the name. More than that, he knew the man responsible for sending Glossip to his death: Tapley’s onetime cellmate, Justin Sneed. The two had met at the Oklahoma County Jail in 1997. At the time, neither had reached his 20th birthday. Sneed had been arrested after using a baseball bat to kill a man named Barry Van Treese, the owner of the Best Budget Inn, a seedy motel in Oklahoma City, where he worked as a maintenance man. Sneed would later escape the death penalty after implicating Glossip, his supervisor, testifying that he offered him several thousand dollars to kill on his behalf. Glossip says this was a lie. While he admitted that Sneed had told him he killed Van Treese on the morning of January 7, 1997 — and that he initially withheld what he knew from police — Glossip insisted that he had nothing to do with the murder.

As he watched the news segment, Tapley felt certain that Sneed had framed Glossip. His story did not match what he remembered Sneed saying about the crime in 1997. Tapley wasn’t alone. In August, after Glossip’s case was featured on Dr. Phil, a man named Michael Scott came forward to say that he had spent time in prison with Sneed, who talked openly about his crime. “Among all the inmates, it was common knowledge that Justin Sneed lied and sold Richard Glossip up the river,” Scott said. Yet the execution was to proceed as scheduled, on September 16.

That night, Tapley Googled “attorney for Richard Glossip” and found a number for Don Knight, a Colorado-based lawyer and part of the legal team fighting to save Gossip’s life. Tapley dialed and left a message for Knight:

“This is Joe. I was in a cell with Justin Sneed in 1997 in Oklahoma County Jail for 5 or 6 months. He told me all about his case. I think I might be able to help you…..”

Read on.

Posted in Death Penalty | No Comments »

Juvie LWOP, Sheriff Jim McDonnell on ICE Compliance, and VICE and HBO Look at the Prison System

September 23rd, 2015 by Taylor Walker


Five counties, including Los Angeles, are responsible for 22% of all juvenile life-without-parole sentences in the United States, according to a new report by the Phillips Black Project.

The other four counties are Philadelphia, PA, Orleans, LA, Cook, IL, and St. Louis, MO.

Los Angeles leads the pack on the highest number of juvie LWOP sentences in the last decade at 6.6%, but Philadelphia has the highest count over the last 60 years. The Phillips Black Project researchers put Philadelphia’s tally at 214, 10% of all juvenile LWOP sentences, although one of the county’s public defenders told the Marshall Project the number is actually much higher.

The Phillips Black report shows a growing trend away from locking kids up for life, a practice which rose in popularity during the “superpredator” fear-mongering of the 90′s.

Fifteen states have eliminated juvie LWOP altogether, nine of which made the shift after the 2012 Miller v. Alabama US Supreme Court ruling that mandatory sentencing of juvenile offenders to life without parole was cruel and unusual.

California has made heartening progress toward scaling back use of LWOP sentences for kids, starting in 2012, when California passed the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, which gave kids sentenced to life-without-parole, allowing courts to review cases of minors sentenced to life without parole after 15 years, and possibly resentence them to 25-to-life.

And in 2013, CA Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that gave a second chance at parole to kids who committed murder before the age of 18 and sentenced to life-without-parole. (A new bill awaiting the governor’s signature, SB 261, would go even further by expanding the age of eligibility for early parole hearings to include lifers whose crimes were committed before the age of 23.)


On Tuesday, LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said that he would hand over undocumented jail inmates to federal immigration officials seeking deportation only if the inmates qualify for deportation under the California Trust Act. The state law passed in 2013 stipulates that local law enforcement agencies can only transfer people to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who have been charged with or convicted of serious offenses.

LA Daily News’ Sarah Favot has the story. Here’s a clip:

McDonnell said he will allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to have access to county inmates for potential transfer to ICE under the Priority Enforcement Program once the inmates are preparing to be released as long as the inmates qualify under the California Trust Act. If ICE wants custody of an inmate, but the inmate has not committed a serious or violent felony, the inmate will not be transferred to ICE, McDonnell said.

The California Trust Act, passed by the state Legislature in 2013, limits the criteria under which people can be transferred to ICE custody for potential deportation to serious or violent felony convictions.

“While I have made clear my desire to abide by and implement PEP [the Priority Enforcement Program] as it applies to the county’s jails, the department will not do so when and if that program conflicts with the California Trust Act or applicable case law,” McDonnell wrote. “Our federal and state leaders have developed approaches in regard to this important issue that are at times in tension with each other. It is the department’s aim to balance and reconcile these provisions.”

The L.A. county supervisors voted in May to participate in the program and directed the sheriff to come up with policies and procedures to carry out the program within the county jail system. At the supervisors’ request, the sheriff held community meetings throughout the county before the policies were developed.

McDonnell said his objectives in developing the policies were to work with federal authorities to identify “undocumented persons who pose a danger to our community,” “partner with some of the most diverse and immigrant-rich” communities and promote public safety.

PEP was unveiled by federal Homeland Security officials this year as a successor to the controversial Secure Communities Program. PEP uses fingerprint data to identify potentially deportable noncitizens when the FBI performs criminal background checks for local police.


This Sunday, we recommend tuning into a VICE special on the inner workings and effects of incarceration in America on HBO. The documentary features President Obama’s historic visit in July of Federal Correctional Institution, El Reno in Oklahoma, and his meetings with inmates and prison staff.

The show, VICE Special Report: Fixing The System, will air Sept. 27, at 9:00p.m. (Pacific and Eastern).

Posted in immigration, Jim McDonnell, juvenile justice, LASD, LWOP Kids, prison | No Comments »

Feds Fund LAPD Body Cams, Sheriff Jim McDonnell on Air Talk, and Police in Schools

September 22nd, 2015 by Taylor Walker


On Monday, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Department of Justice funding of over $23 million for officer-worn camera programs would go to 73 police departments across the nation, including $1.1 million to the Los Angeles Police Dept., in an effort to increase law enforcement transparency and improve police-community relations.

Earlier this month, the ACLU of Southern California urged the Department of Justice not to contribute funding to the LAPD’s body cam program, citing concerns about department policy to keep most video footage of officer-involved shootings under wraps.

Among other California recipients, Pasadena and San Bernardino police departments were awarded $250,000 and $546,502, respectively.

“This vital pilot program is designed to assist local jurisdictions that are interested in exploring and expanding the use of body-worn cameras in order to enhance transparency, accountability and credibility,” AG Lynch said during the announcement. “The impact of body-worn cameras touches on a range of outcomes that build upon efforts to mend the fabric of trust, respect and common purpose that all communities need to thrive.”

Read more about the funding, implementation, and expectations on the DOJ’s website.


On Monday’s on Air Talk, host Larry Mantle Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell shared his thoughts on the importance (and financial burden) of using officer-worn cameras.

“Everybody wants body cameras on deputies and officers for the accountability piece, and I’m supportive of that, because it gives us a greater context to see what the full story was when we go to evaluate an incident,” said Sheriff McDonnell. “The downside is just the tremendous cost.”

McDonnell points out that the actual purchase of the cameras, and even the cost of storing the footage, are a tiny fraction of what it would cost to train and maintain personnel to handle all that video.

“When somebody is arrested, they get a traffic citation, they are involved in a use of force, so they bring litigation against the department, they want that tape, they want that video to be able to use for their case, so we go through discovery motions to provide that,” McDonnell explained. “The staff necessary who would be trained and certified that they have the ability to be able to pull the appropriate length of video and then to be able to go in and pixelate where appropriate uninvolved, innocent parties, to be able to present that then for court or if we’re going to make it public, that piece there alone is a tremendous added expense…”

The sheriff also expressed concern over the LA County Board of Supervisors’ approval of a 3,885-bed jail to replace the crumbling Men’s Central Jail after three separate consultant groups came back with recommendations closer to a 5,000-bed facility.

McDonnell has a lot more to say, so go listen to the segment in its entirety.


The Atlantic’s Melinda Anderson gives a history of cops in schools (hint: officers weren’t originally placed in grade schools to handcuff 4-year-olds throwing tantrums) and why having cops on campus leads to over-criminalization of kids.

Some school districts are making efforts to undo the school-to-prison-pipeline, in part by pushing for specialized training for officers as well as eliminating police involvement in school discipline.

Here are some clips:

The origin of school-employed police—who are often officially referred to as “school resource officers” (SROs)—dates back to the 1950s. It arose as part of an effort in Flint, Michigan, to foster relationships between local police and youth. That basic idea then spread to other locales, where SROs soon took on roles ranging from counselors and coaches to tutors and mentors. But in the 1990s, the initiative’s focus underwent a dramatic policy shift, with SROs drifting from their mission as community liaisons, largely thanks to the Justice Department’s “COPS in Schools” grant program. Between 1999 and 2005, the department’s community-policing division reportedly awarded in excess of $750 million in grants to more than 3,000 law-enforcement agencies, resulting in more than 6,500 newly hired SROs. And because the recruitment and training of these officers were largely overseen by conventional police departments, board and district officials—who are typically the decision-makers when it comes to school policies—had little, if any, clout over these efforts.

The sharp increase in campus-based law enforcement coincides with the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, which left 15 dead, including two teen gunmen, and prompted calls across the country for a stronger police presence on school grounds…

Combined with the rapid expansion of zero-tolerance discipline in schools that accompanied the War on Drugs, these isolated yet seminal incidents of mass violence help explain the upsurge in school resource officers, making them a fixture in many of the nation’s schools. A recent survey conducted by the Department of Education found that 43 percent of public schools employ security staff, including school resource officers, while 28 percent have “sworn law enforcement officers routinely carrying a firearm.”

While law enforcement’s presence at schools is hardly a new phenomenon, its value and purpose has lately grown especially contentious. As police officers, those engaged in school-based law-enforcement are, in a way, “beat cops” who are often called on to serve as school disciplinarian.


A recurring theme in debates over school police involves concern over the officers’ reportedly poor training; in McKinney, for example, the officers receive no special training before being dispatched to schools. In some cases, questions have also been raised about the amount of funding invested in such programs. In Chicago, for instance, “school police services”—the result of an agreement between the city’s police department and the mayor-appointed school board—cost taxpayers $13 million in 2013, a period during which Chicago students were protesting school-budget cuts and a shortage of school counselors.

Meanwhile, a group of parents, students, and community members in the Bronx, alarmed at the high number of arrests and summonses issued by SROs in their schools, called for a public hearing in 2012 with the New York City Department of Education and the NYPD Safety Office. That discussion led to monthly meetings and, eventually, a training workshop for New York City school police—known in the city as “school safety agents”—at which rookie officers are tasked with reflecting on racial disparities in campus-arrest data, discussing the often hidden costs of arrests and summonses on students, and engaging in conflict resolution through role play. Since the trainings commenced in 2012, Bronx schools have seen a significant fall in arrests and summonses, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. While the Bronx still outranks New York’s four other boroughs when it comes to the total number of arrests and summonses, the Bronx’s 2011-12 school year reports cited by the NYCLU showed 256 arrests and 796 summonses, compared to 86 arrests and 285 summonses in 2014-15.

Posted in Education, Jim McDonnell, LA County Jail, LASD, Mental Illness, Zero Tolerance and School Discipline | 2 Comments »

YouthBuild, the “Holloway Doctrine,” and ICE Modifies How It Issues Detainer Requests in CA

September 21st, 2015 by Taylor Walker


In California’s San Joaquin County and across the nation, the YouthBuild program teaches construction skills to struggling teens while helping them obtain their high school diplomas or GEDs.

The alternative education program lasts for six months to two years and serves 16 to 24-year-olds who are aging out of foster care, have had contact with the juvenile justice system, or are otherwise at risk of dropping out. YouthBuild also connects teens and young adults with contractors and apprentice programs upon their graduation from the program.

Last month, six YouthBuilds in California received a portion of $76 million in funding from the US Labor Department. The $1.1 million allocated to San Joaquin’s YouthBuild will cover the cost of 80 students for two years, plus a year of assistance after graduation.

The Stockton Record’s Reed Fujii has more on YouthBuild and how it shifts struggling kids’ trajectories. Here’s a clip:

Roosevelt Webb lost his way after his father died.

He had dropped out of school as a senior at Edison High in Stockton to help take care of his dad and, at age 21 and with no diploma, he said, “I didn’t know what to do.”

Another Stocktonian, James Vong, said as a teenager he had no guidance, no father figure, and growing up on the city’s gritty streets, found himself falling into drugs and the gang life.

But both have found a new direction through San Joaquin County’s YouthBuild program, an alternative educational program that emphasizes building-trades skills as well as academic school standards.

Webb, now 24, works for the San Joaquin County Office of Education, helping supervise YouthBuild teams on construction sites.

And Vong, 20, is enrolled in the program and was working on an affordable housing project in south Stockton as part of Webb’s team.

“Ever since attending YouthBuild, I made a 360 degree flip,” he said of his life. “Now I’m working at Habitat (for Humanity’s Dream Creek project), doing what I love.”


Despite increased federal efforts to lower prison populations by releasing non-violent drug offenders, President Barack Obama ranks among the ten least merciful presidents of the United States, having granted only 153 pardons, commutations, remissions, and respites, thus far.

Recent releases of two men serving excessively high and outdated sentences (often for drugs) have brought attention to another less-used method of leniency. The two men, Francois Holloway and Luis Anthony Rivera have successfully petitioned judges to reduce their old, disproportionately harsh sentences. The original prosecutors had to consent to the judges’ decisions.

Advocates and legal experts believe that if federal prosecutors will agree not to oppose judges’ leniency, the appropriately named “Holloway Doctrine” has the potential to lead to the release of many more inmates serving sentences that would not be handed down today.

The LA Times’ Richard Serrano has more on the issue. Here’s a clip:

Rivera and Holloway asked federal judges for leniency, something that happens frequently, and federal prosecutors agreed not to fight, which is rare.

The original sentencing judges agreed to take a fresh look at the punishments of the two men. Assured that both had turned their lives around, the judges and prosecutors agreed to vacate parts of their original convictions and reduce their sentences to “time already served.”

Legal experts predict the cases could open the door to similar requests by many more prisoners if federal prosecutors are willing to take the same approach elsewhere.

“That’s a pretty novel way to do things,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based advocacy group. “I’ve not run across a lot of people who ever get out that way, and we get letters every day from people wanting help.”

Mauer predicted that the Rivera and Holloway examples will prompt defense lawyers around the country to seek similar relief for clients and will give judges “a level of comfort” in agreeing.

“It’s always the courageous ones that go first,” he said.

Holloway’s case went to court last year in Brooklyn, where the top federal prosecutor at the time was U.S. Atty. Loretta Lynch, who is now attorney general. Lynch at first resisted his release, suggesting he seek a presidential commutation. But she ultimately agreed not to oppose his appeal.

The original sentencing judge, John Gleeson, a former prosecutor who had put Mafia boss John Gotti in prison, noted that Holloway had served more time for robbing three cars than “if he had committed first-degree murder.”

“Black men like Holloway have long been disproportionally subjected to the stacking of counts,” Gleeson said, referring to sentencing rules that he said forced him to sentence Holloway to 57 years in prison in 1996.

The judge applauded Lynch for consenting to the release.

“This is a significant case, and not just for Francois Holloway,” he said. “It demonstrates the difference between a Department of Prosecutions and a Department of Justice.”


In the face of law enforcement agencies’ widespread refusal to comply with federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants in jails for up to 48 hours, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) representatives say the department is trying to be more flexible and meet law enforcement groups in the middle.

Under the new system, ICE analysts in a SoCal office run data on arrests to determine who is high priority for deportation before issuing detainer requests. ICE still asks law enforcement to let them know when they are releasing someone facing deportation, but issues fewer detainer requests for low-level offenders.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department changed its stance from no compliance with ICE detainer requests to allowing ICE to interview incarcerated immigrants, but still refuses to keep immigrants locked up past their release dates.

The Associated Press has more ICE’s new methods and how law enforcement agencies are responding. Here’s a clip:

…immigration authorities have also narrowed their focus to people convicted of more serious crimes, and the number of so-called detainer requests — which aim to have jails hold inmates up to 48 hours for deportation officers to pick them up — dropped by 24 percent in the 2014 fiscal year from a year earlier.

At the same time, the number of people deported from the United States, not counting those apprehended on the border, fell 24 percent, federal statistics show.

Immigration authorities had begun issuing detainers based on electronic data after getting access to fingerprints from jail bookings under enhanced law enforcement information-sharing after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

ICE initially started the hub in suburban Southern California to streamline the process for the region, one of the key spots where detainers were used. Now, the Pacific Enforcement Response Center issues about 40 percent of all immigration detainers and requests for notification when inmates are being released, handling the task for much of the country on nights and weekends.

The office, which issued 6,800 detainers and notification requests between June and August, contains half a dozen computers that collect leads for potential deportees and spit out the results on a large printer. Analysts and agents then search for matches in databases for visa holders, naturalized citizens and border arrests to determine the immigration status of those booked into local jails.

In the last three months, detainers or notification requests were sent in 11 percent of the center’s cases. Others are typically sent to field agents for investigation and about half are set aside because the person is here legally or doesn’t have a serious criminal conviction to make them a priority for deportation under the program, which was revamped last year, ICE officials said.

Under the new approach, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department lets immigration agents interview inmates who have detainers but won’t hold them beyond their release date. In Santa Clara County, officials still won’t honor detainers but are weighing whether to notify ICE about serious offenders, while authorities in San Francisco won’t do either despite public outcry after the shooting.

Posted in Education, Foster Care, immigration, juvenile justice | No Comments »

Posting Later Today

September 21st, 2015 by Taylor Walker


If you didn’t receive your Monday dose of the must read SoCal, NorCal, statewide and national justice stories along with the best of WLA this morning, sign up here.

(Note: Although the sign-up asks for your name, only your email is mandatory.)

If you missed it, you can read this morning’s CJR news roundup here.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

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