CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2014 |
Los Angeles County supervisors are considering an overhaul of the county's system for defending juveniles accused of crimes. Under-age criminal defendants who can't afford a lawyer are generally represented by someone from the county public defender's office. But when that office is already representing another defendant in the case or a special circumstance arises, lawyers from a separate panel step in to remove the potential conflict of interest. Advocates argue that the switch creates another problem: The private lawyers the county contracts with for these cases, known as panel attorneys, are paid less - a flat rate of $319 to $345 per case - and may not represent their clients as vigorously.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2014 |
A high school student who allegedly set fire to another teenager's skirt on a bus in Oakland will be tried as an adult. An Alameda County Superior Court judge on Thursday rejected arguments from defense attorneys that 16-year-old Richard Thomas should be tried as a juvenile, according to the San Francisco Chronicle . Instead, Richard will face hate-crime charges as an adult. Thomas allegedly told a police officer after the Nov. 4 incident that he set 18-year-old Luke "Sasha" Fleischman's skirt on fire because he was "homophobic.
December 24, 2013 |
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck down a judge's power to choose to give a life sentence without parole to juveniles. The unanimous ruling by the state's highest court came after the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down mandatory life sentences for minors. The state's top court went further in its Tuesday ruling, saying that even discretionary sentences should be banned. “Given the unique characteristics of juvenile offenders, they should be afforded, in appropriate circumstances, the opportunity to be considered for parole suitability,” the court wrote in its decision.
December 5, 2013
Re "L.A. County speeds up plan to rebuild youth probation camp," Nov. 26 Los Angeles County's probation camp system, based on an 80-year-old correctional design, represents an outdated approach to juvenile justice. The camps' institutional design, with barracks-style dormitories and open bathrooms, has failed to meet the complex needs of incarcerated youth and remains an impediment to reform. Through the Camp Kilpatrick replacement project, the county has the opportunity to further leave behind decades of abuse and poor outcomes and create a rehabilitative camp focused on treatment and improving the lives of young people.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2013 |
Los Angeles County officials took steps Tuesday to speed up a $48-million plan to rebuild and modernize one of the county's probation camps for young offenders. Camp Kilpatrick, an aging 125-bed facility for juvenile offenders in Malibu, is slated to be torn down and reconstructed under a new design that probation officials said would allow them to implement a new "small group treatment" model. "I think when it's finished, Los Angeles will have a state-of-the-art facility, and people will be coming from across the nation to see how to do it right," said probation department Assistant Chief Don Meyer, who oversees the county's 13 probation camps and three juvenile halls.
November 5, 2013 |
Imagine yourself taking a job where, for the first year or two, you have to put up with verbal taunts and physical intimidation from your more senior co-workers; where you are expected to serve their every whim, submit to involuntary head shaving and pick up the tab for thousands of dollars worth of meals that those more senior workers consume. You probably would say, “Take this job and shove it.” That is pretty much what second-year tackle Jonathan Martin told the Miami Dolphins this week when he left the team and returned home to Los Angeles.