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February 25, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
She starting leaving home at 13, and soon she was gone for good. The streets drew her, the Barrio Pobre gang took her in. She does not deny that at 16 she was there in Long Beach the night her boyfriend killed a younger girl in a gang dispute over a piece of jewelry. Now she is 37, and though two decades have passed, Elizabeth Lozano still looks young — short, thin, with long black hair and expressive eyes. Even in her prison blues, she radiates youth, and she has won acclaim for reaching out to help teenagers in prison and others who are at risk of ending up there.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
June 9, 2009 | By John M. Glionna and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
North Korea's sentencing of two American TV journalists to 12 years of hard labor Monday could imperil the Obama administration's already difficult goal of curtailing the authoritarian nation's nuclear weapons ambitions. If no deal is reached, the two women face a grim future in a brutal prison system notorious for its lack of adequate food and medical supplies and its high death rate. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for San Francisco-based Current TV, were convicted by the nation's top Central Court of an unspecified "grave crime" against the hard-line regime after they were arrested in March along the Chinese-North Korean border while reporting a story on human trafficking.
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.
Opponents of California's three-strikes law took the first steps Saturday in an effort toward reforming legislation they say prosecutors have misapplied to target the poor, minorities and nonviolent drug offenders. In a rally and march through Westwood, members of Families to Amend California's Three Strikes bore placards and told stories of friends and family members they say have been given life sentences for petty theft, drug possession and other minor offenses. "It's cruel, it's unusual," said Robin Steffen, who said her husband, John, got a sentence of life plus four years for possession of half a gram of rock cocaine.
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