The California Supreme Court on Thursday limited the ability of death row inmates and those sentenced to life without parole to obtain information from law enforcement that might help their appeals. In interpreting a 2002 law, the state high court ruled 4 to 3 that such inmates must show the material they want exists to avoid a “fishing expedition” and decided that inmates can be denied information from out-of-state law enforcement agencies that assisted the prosecution. The decision came … [Read more...]
Three Strikes Reform
The “get tough on crime” movement of past decades has saddled the court system with a big array of mandatory sentences that keep our prisons and jails full but have not been shown to deter crime - among them is the Three Strikes laws. California has the harshest “Three Strikes” law in the country – a law that locks people away for 25 years to life even if their third offense was a very minor crime. We can’t put an end to mass incarceration without revisiting and reforming mindless mandatory sentencing laws.
(Reuters) - A ballot measure aimed at California's infamous "three strikes" sentencing law may be an opportunity for the state to put a dent in one problem besetting prison officials across the country: the high cost of aging inmates. Under three strikes, a person convicted of a felony in California who has two or more prior convictions for certain offenses must be sentenced to at least 25-years-to-life in state prison, even if the third offense is nonviolent. The American Civil Liberties … [Read more...]