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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 1986
Criminal defense attorney Paul Wallin complains of my policy requiring that discussions of criminal cases be in open court, not in chambers. At the heart of the matter is that criminal cases are the public's business and that the public has a right to know the manner in which they are being handled. The public often lacks confidence in the criminal justice system, and a participant reason for that is the back-room atmosphere created by discussion in chambers. Many conscientious judges have long preferred to conduct the public's business in open court.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown called on three scandal-plagued state senators to resign on Friday, speaking out for the first time on a series of criminal cases that have sapped Democrats' power in the Capitol and tarnished the Legislature's image. Brown's statement comes hours after the Senate voted to suspend Sens. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) and Roderick D. Wright (D-Inglewood). “Given the extraordinary circumstances of these cases - and today's unprecedented suspensions - the best way to restore public confidence is for these senators to resign," Brown said.
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NATIONAL
September 14, 2011 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
He killed her, Joshua Stepp admitted. He slammed the face of his 10-month-old stepdaughter into a carpeted floor, roughed her up as he changed her diaper, stuffed wet toilet paper down her throat, and soon she was dead. But Stepp, a 28-year-old former Army infantryman who saw combat in Iraq, insists that he is not guilty of first-degree murder. His post-traumatic stress disorder left him incapable of premeditating the killing of tiny Cheyenne Yarley in November 2009, he and his lawyers say. Because of his severe PTSD, Stepp was not able to "form the specific intent to kill," his attorney Thomas Manning said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2014 | By Richard Winton
A Santa Monica jury has awarded a female news producer $5.42 million after finding that a West Hollywood nightclub was negligent in the sexual assault on her in a club restroom. The 43-year-old woman sued the Here Lounge and club worker Victor Cruz, saying that she was assaulted and raped by him March 23, 2009. The Times is not identifying her because she is a victim of a sex crime. After a 15-day trial in Santa Monica Superior Court, jurors found that Cruz committed a sexual offense that harmed the woman and that Here Lounge's negligence was a substantial factor in causing that harm.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 26, 2010 | By Maura Dolan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
A shortage of judges in Riverside County has led to the dismissal of hundreds of criminal cases, a practice the California Supreme Court upheld on Monday and blamed on the state's budget woes. In unanimous ruling, the state high court said Riverside County's dearth of judges represented a "chronic" problem that was the fault of the budget-strapped state. The case before the court involved an accused burglar, one of 18 criminal defendants whose cases were dismissed on the same day after they invoked their rights to speedy trials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 1985 | JAN KLUNDER, Times Staff Writer
A Van Nuys Superior Court judge is fighting an attempt by prosecutors to keep him from presiding over any criminal cases. The judge, Melvin B. Grover, has begun challenging some of the about 100 "affidavits of prejudice" filed by prosecutors in the last week to exclude him from criminal trials. Grover has refused to remove himself from some cases, saying that the affidavits were improperly filed.
NEWS
December 20, 1985 | TYLER MARSHALL, Times Staff Writer
They have no background in law, yet they sit as judges in 97% of all criminal cases in England and Wales. They are businessmen, bus drivers, miners and electricians. They are for the most part selected secretly by committees that are themselves secret, and they receive no pay for their judicial work. They are the 26,000 local magistrates who preside over lower courts in England and Wales. They are the Western world's largest and oldest lay judiciary.
NEWS
December 7, 1997 | MICHAEL G. WAGNER and SHELBY GRAD, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The lengthy criminal investigation into the causes of Orange County's historic bankruptcy all but ended last week when the state attorney general's office filed a motion saying the case against Auditor-Controller Steven E. Lewis should be dropped. In a 17-page motion filed Friday, Senior Assistant Atty. Gen. Gary W. Schons asked the Los Angeles judge with jurisdiction over the case to dismiss the charges against Lewis "in the furtherance of justice."
NEWS
December 14, 1988 | JOSH GETLIN, Times Staff Writer
They range from the glitzy to the gruesome, from the steamy to the sleazy. They feature casts of larger-than-life figures whose faces are splashed on television and across newspaper front pages for weeks at a time. On occasion, they have created mob scenes in lower Manhattan where crowds have flocked to them as if they were hit Broadway shows. They may, indeed, be the best dramas in town.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 1991 | ALAN ABRAHAMSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Deluged by drug buys, glutted with gang busts, assaulted by the most violent and cruel felonies, the San Diego Superior Court is not only getting cases to trial on time--it's cutting sharply into a huge backlog of waiting trials. No more moratoriums on civil cases, like the one just two years ago this week. No more waits for an open courtroom and a judge. With more judges and a more efficient management system, the court guarantees that a case will go to trial as scheduled.
WORLD
February 8, 2014 | By Lauren Frayer
MADRID -- Testifying in the first-ever criminal proceeding against a member of Spain's royal family, the king's youngest daughter Saturday denied involvement in her husband's business dealings, lawyers said following the lengthy closed-door session. The princess, Infanta Cristina, and her husband, former Olympian-turned-businessman Iñaki Urdangarin, are under investigation for possible tax fraud and money-laundering. Their legal woes have sent the Spanish royal family's approval rating to all-time lows amid soaring unemployment and calls for 76-year-old King Juan Carlos to abdicate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County probation officials say they have made substantial strides in reducing criminal misconduct committed by department employees. They said the improvement -- from 74 cases in 2011 to 32 last year -- was the result of an expanded internal investigations team and the imposition of more stringent professional standards for the department's roughly 5,000 employees. Officers supervise criminals upon their release from jail or prison, or those who are sentenced to probation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar
L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy said Friday that he was relieved that the criminal case against an ex-Miramonte Elementary teacher accused of lewd acts against students was over and sharply criticized teachers unions for blocking attempts to streamline the dismissal of those suspected of misconduct. Former teacher Mark Berndt was charged in 2012 with committing lewd acts against nearly two dozen children at Miramonte Elementary School, including feeding them cookies tainted with semen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
Two San Bernardino city councilmen face criminal charges in separate cases, authorities said Thursday. Councilman Robert Jenkins, 33, has been charged in Riverside County with 18 felonies and 12 misdemeanor crimes related to identity theft and stalking, according to a statement from the Riverside County district attorney's office.  Councilman Chas Kelley, a 44-year-old running in the Nov. 5 election for mayor, faces a perjury charge for allegedly...
WORLD
September 24, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Julie Cart
MOSCOW - Russia opened a criminal case Tuesday against Greenpeace activists, accusing them of piracy for attempting to stage a protest on an Arctic oil rig. A Greenpeace spokeswoman called the accusation "absurd. " Russian border troops seized the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise, along with its multinational crew of 30 activists and sailors, in a commando operation Thursday in the Barents Sea. The day before, the group had been foiled while attempting to raise a protest banner on a Russian oil drilling platform.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2013 | By Kim Christensen
The criminal case against UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran moved closer to trial Monday when a judge refused to dismiss four felony charges stemming from a laboratory fire that killed a 23-year-old staff research assistant. Harran's trial could begin within 60 days of an Oct. 3 pretrial hearing - or roughly five years after Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji suffered severe burns when a plastic syringe she was using to transfer t-butyl lithium from one sealed container to another came apart, spewing a chemical compound that ignites when exposed to air. Sangji was not wearing a protective lab coat when she was burned over nearly half her body Dec. 29, 2008.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 1996 | PAUL ELIAS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Despite protests from lawyers in the Ventura County public defenders office, court officials said Friday that they have no immediate plans to remove Superior Court Judge Vincent J. O'Neill Jr. from hearing criminal cases. "If there comes a time when Judge O'Neill doesn't have anything to do, then we'll take some form of action," said presiding Superior Court Judge Robert Bradley, who assigns courtrooms to judges.
BUSINESS
June 26, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Federal prosecutors are stepping up efforts to bring to trial two former officials of the California Public Employees' Retirement System indicted on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges. The U.S. attorney in San Francisco wants to move ahead quickly on criminal cases brought against Alfred J.R. Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member and deputy mayor of Los Angeles, and Federico Buenrostro Jr., a former chief executive of the pension fund. To do so, the Justice Department has asked federal and state agencies and judges to delay action on various pending lawsuits involving the two men. A grand jury indicted Buenrostro, 64, of Sacramento and Villalobos, 69, of Reno, Nev., in March.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - Preet Bharara, the man dubbed the new sheriff of Wall Street, notched another arrest in the government's vast insider trading probe. This time the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan nabbed a top portfolio manager at one of America's biggest hedge funds. SAC Capital Advisors' Michael Steinberg was led out of his Park Avenue apartment building in handcuffs early Friday morning. It's a major arrest at a fund that has long drawn government scrutiny. Bharara, 44, has carved out a reputation for being a tough prosecutor who has overseen some of the most high-profile white-collar criminal cases since the 1980s.
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