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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2010 | Sandy Banks
There was applause this week when President Obama signed legislation cutting the federal penalties for possession of crack cocaine. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 is an overdue correction of a 20-year-old legal distinction that tended to punish blacks more severely than whites by mandating longer prison terms for crack cocaine violations than for those involving powder cocaine. African Americans account for more than 80% of federal crack cocaine convictions; whites and Latinos make up the majority — more than 70% — of those convicted in cases involving powder cocaine.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 1992
In the wake of her controversial sentencing of a Korean grocer who shot to death a black girl, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joyce A. Karlin has a new assignment. The presiding judge insists that the new posting in Juvenile Court is not related to the community's uproar over Soon Ja Du's suspended sentence for manslaughter; nevertheless, the development is helpful and necessary, if only to calm a tense situation.
NEWS
March 5, 1987 | ROBERT L. JACKSON, Times Staff Writer
Confessed spy Jonathan Jay Pollard, who seriously damaged national security by passing thousands of pages of U.S. defense secrets to Israeli intelligence agents, was sentenced to life imprisonment Wednesday and his wife received two five-year sentences. Pollard, 32, a former civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, stood passively as Chief U.S. District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson Jr. imposed the sentences. But his wife, Anne Henderson-Pollard, 26, screamed, "No, no, no!"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown's plan approved two years ago to ease crowding in state prisons has left county jails struggling with hard-core felons sentenced to spend years, even decades, in facilities meant to hold criminals for no more than a year. County sheriffs warn that these long-term inmates are more than they can handle. They say they pose security threats in their already-crowded lockups and invite the same costly class-action lawsuits over medical care and services that now dog state prisons.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2013 | By Abby Sewell
In a bid to ease jail crowding and increase time served by serious criminal offenders, Los Angeles County supervisors agreed Tuesday to spend millions to house more than 500 inmates at government firefighting camps in mountain and foothill areas. The $27-million, three-year deal will send 528 county inmates serving long-term sentences to five fire camps, jointly operated with the state prison system, that are scattered across the county. Supervisors acted after some complained about the increasing number of criminals -- including some serving time for violent offenses -- who are being released  after serving a fraction of their sentences.  As a result of budget cuts and so-called prison realignment, which shifted responsibility for some lower-level felons from state prison to county jails, inmates sentenced to county jail on some violent and sexual offenses currently serve 40% of their sentences.
NEWS
November 15, 2001 | From Associated Press
Egyptian men wept and screamed inside a courtroom cage Wednesday as a judge sentenced 23 of them to jail terms of one to five years for gay sex in a trial denounced by human rights groups as persecution of homosexuals. An additional 29 men were acquitted, prompting cries of joy from relatives who had denied the charges and accused the Egyptian media during the four-month trial of sensationalism and destroying the young men's reputations.
OPINION
January 18, 2010
When we learned that the Supreme Court was reviewing a law that allows the federal government to confine prisoners indefinitely even after they have completed their prison sentences, we naturally assumed that the legal issue involved due process for the prisoner. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case last week when the court heard arguments over the constitutionality of the indefinite detention of "sexually dangerous" prisoners. The justices' questions mostly focused on whether Washington, as opposed to the states, has the authority to do so -- not whether indefinite detention is allowable.
OPINION
September 1, 2010
By a 38-36 vote Monday night, the Assembly killed the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act authored by state Sen. Leland Yee (D- San Francisco), refusing to lead California out of the Dark Ages by banning sentences of life without the possibility of parole for juveniles. No other country sentences children to prison in this manner, and it is appalling, but not unexpected, that the Assembly could not muster enough political will to enact a law that in every way is beneficial to the public.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2011 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
The boring, bureaucratic word "realignment" masks the truly dramatic change in locking up California criminals that Gov. Jerry Brown just pulled off. "A lot of people say, 'Hey, what's new in Sacramento?'" Brown told a news conference last week. "Well, this is new. It's bold. It's difficult. And it will continuously change as we learn from experience. "But we can't sit still and let the courts release 30,000 serious prisoners. We have to do something. " In truth, the change was inevitable.
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