April 21, 2014 |
Faced with the threat of a ballot initiative on teacher firings that could have placed it in the awkward position of publicly defending child molesters, the California Teachers Assn. agreed to a compromise: legislation to streamline the appeals process for teachers who are accused of such egregious misconduct. The procedures outlined in the bill strike the right balance of providing teachers with due process to ensure that they have not been fired unfairly, while speeding up the process and making it far simpler and less expensive.
April 20, 2014 |
Does the 1st Amendment allow states to make it a criminal offense to disseminate false statements about a political candidate? Should citizens who fear that their free speech will be chilled by such a law be permitted to challenge it even if they aren't in danger of imminent prosecution? Only the second question will be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, but it is inextricably linked to the first one. If the court rules that the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group, may not challenge Ohio's criminalization of false political speech, that law and similar ones in other states will remain on the books.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2014 |
Orange County prosecutors will consider filing criminal charges against 11 former Corona del Mar High School students and a tutor accused in an alleged cheating scheme in which grades were altered and class exams accessed. Newport Beach police investigated the alleged scheme, which used log-in names and passwords stolen from teachers' computers, and will forward their evidence to the Orange County district attorney's office. All 11 students eventually signed expulsion agreements that banished them from the high school but allowed them to transfer to other campuses in the Newport-Mesa Unified School district.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 |
No criminal charges will be filed against Kern County sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers after a 33-year-old man died last year within an hour of being beaten by authorities . Kern County Dist. Atty. Lisa Green said Friday that David Sal Silva's death was not a homicide, and law enforcement used reasonable force in subduing him. Silva's death received national attention because of the number of witnesses who stepped forward claiming police brutality and because officers detained two witnesses until they turned over their cellphones with video recordings.
April 7, 2014 |
For 16 months, Bay Area rapper Deandre Mitchell - better known as Laz Tha Boy - has been sitting in a jail cell faced with a decision no artist should have to make: whether to defend his innocence at trial, knowing his music likely will be used as evidence against him, or take a plea bargain and admit to crimes he maintains he did not commit. Mitchell's case dates to October 2012, when he was indicted for his alleged role in two gang-related shootings that occurred that year. Prosecutors didn't present a single arrest or conviction to establish Mitchell's association with a criminal gang, and with conflicting eyewitness testimony - and no physical evidence connecting him to the shootings, according to defense attorney John Hamasaki - prosecutors elected to introduce something else: Mitchell's violent gangsta rap videos and lyrics, which were presented to the grand jury as evidence of his criminal behavior.
April 5, 2014 |
MEXICO CITY - Mexican federal authorities have detained the interior minister of Michoacan state after determining that he has "possible contacts with criminal organizations," according to a statement released by prosecutors Saturday night. The aggressive action against Interior Minister Jesus Reyna, is a sign that the federal government, which has struggled for months to control the drug-plagued state, is considering the possibility that the influence of narcotics trafficking has spread nearly to the pinnacle of state government.