THE SUPREMES SAY CALIFORNIA’S JUVENILE STRIKES COUNT IN ADULT SENTENCING
SCOTUS rejected a challenge of California’s use of juvenile convictions of 16 and 17-year-olds as adult strikes under the state’s Three Strikes Law. Plaintiff DeShaun Stauton’s attorneys argued that because juvenile convictions are decided by a judge, sans jury, their use was a violation of his 6th Amendment right to a trial by jury.
SF Gate’s Bob Egelko has the story. Here’s a clip:
DeShaun Staunton pleaded guilty in 2010 to residential burglary and was sentenced to eight years in prison, twice the normal term. His first “strike,” the basis for the doubled sentence, was his conviction at age 16 for the $117 robbery of an ice cream vendor.
The California law doubles the prison sentences of adults convicted of any felony if they have had a previous strike on their record. Strikes are serious or violent felony convictions, including convictions in juvenile court at ages 16 or 17. Those with two previous strikes can be sentenced to 25 years to life for a new felony conviction.
WISCONSIN COPS JACK…ER…CONFISCATE FAMILY’S BAIL MONEY, CLAIMING IT HAS DRUG TRACES (DID WE MENTION THE CASH CAME STRAIGHT OUT OF THE ATM?)
Wisconsin police officers confiscated bail money pooled by an arrested man’s family members, never mind that the man had yet to be tried. The money was withdrawn from multiple banks and ATMs and then seized on the grounds that their cash held traces of narcotics disregarding the studies that show that 75% of U.S. money contains traces of narcotics. Some say the practice, which is becoming more widespread, is legitimate. Others suspect a money-raising ploy on the cops’ part.
Huffington Post’s Radley Balko has the story. Here’s a clip:
On Feb. 29, a judge set Greer’s bail at $7,500, and his mother called the Brown County jail to see where and how she could get him out. “The police specifically told us to bring cash,” Greer says. “Not a cashier’s check or a credit card. They said cash.”
So Greer and her family visited a series of ATMs, and on March 1, she brought the money to the jail, thinking she’d be taking Joel Greer home. But she left without her money, or her son.
Instead jail officials called in the same Drug Task Force that arrested Greer. A drug-sniffing dog inspected the Greers’ cash, and about a half-hour later, Beverly Greer said, a police officer told her the dog had alerted to the presence of narcotics on the bills — and that the police department would be confiscating the bail money.
CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS CONSIDER THREE BILLS THAT WILL HELP WITH PRISONER REENTRY. CA DA’S ASSOCIATION HATES ALL THREE
California legislators are deliberating over three bills that would facilitate ex-convicts’ re-entry into society, potentially reducing recidivism rates, and resulting in thousands of fewer state inmates. Naturally the bills are controversial.
Associated Press’ Hannah Dreier and Don Thompson have the story. Here’s a clip:
One in the Assembly would make it easier for former prisoners to get their criminal records expunged, while another would make California the latest state to remove the felony conviction question box from public-sector job applications. In the Senate, lawmakers will consider a bill that would make possessing drugs for personal use a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
State Sen. Mark Leno said California should follow the lead of 13 other states that classify possession for personal use as a misdemeanor. Leno said the experience in those states, which include Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming, shows an increase in drug treatment and a decrease in drug use. The difference is that those states promote rehabilitation over incarceration.