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WORLD
February 26, 2014 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Two Muslim extremists who butchered a young British soldier on a busy London street in full view of stunned passersby were sentenced Wednesday to long prison terms, including life without parole for the leader of the attack. A judge harshly denounced the men for planning and carrying out a frenzied public “bloodbath” for maximum effect, saying that Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale's “sickening and pitiful conduct” warranted severe punishment. Adebolajo, 29, is to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Democratic state Sen. Roderick Wright on Tuesday was granted a paid leave of absence from his position as he awaits sentencing in May on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud, leaving the Democratic supermajority no votes to spare in the upper house. Wright's decision could hasten Senate action against Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello), who was indicted last week on 24 federal counts involving the acceptance of nearly $100,000 in bribes in exchange for influencing legislation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Jean Merl
State Sen. Roderick D. Wright's sentencing on felony convictions has been postponed two months, until May 16, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday. Deputy Dist. Atty. Bjorn Dodd said Wright's defense attorney has asked for transcripts of all the trial testimony and those won't be ready until the middle of next month. Wright attorney Winston Kevin McKesson said Friday he needs the transcripts to prepare post-trial motions he will submit for Judge Kathleen Kennedy to consider.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Rick Rojas
A father convicted of fatally beating his 2-month-old daughter and leaving her remains in an Arkansas storage unit was sentenced Friday to the death penalty , adding to the prison time he's already serving in Vermont for the earlier killing of another of his children, an infant boy. A Riverside County judge affirmed the death-penalty recommendation of the jury that found Jason Michael Hann, 40, guilty in December of first-degree murder and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death penalty Thursday for a Montebello woman convicted of murdering her husband for life insurance and implicated in the choking death years earlier of her baby daughter. Angelina Rodriguez fatally poisoned her husband, a special education teacher, by serving him drinks laced with oleander and antifreeze in 2000, a few months after persuading him to take out joint life insurance policies, the court said. It was her second attempt, according to the ruling written by Justice Ming W. Chin.  She had previously tried to kill him by loosening natural gas valves in their garage, the court said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A man convicted in the only murder ever reported on the Caltech campus was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison. In 1995, Raul Alcazar Romero fatally shot Francisco Javier Mora, a 36-year-old Caltech custodian who was having lunch with co-workers near a loading dock. Among the people in the group was a woman who was Romero's ex-wife and Mora's new girlfriend. Romero fled the scene after firing six shots. He wasn't arrested in the U.S. until he was extradited from Mexico in 2012.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
Jesus Mendez, 23, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the 2012 murder and robbery of Jaime Sharif Abu Awad, a businessman and father of two. Speaking through an Arabic interpreter, Mohammed Abu Awad took the opportunity Tuesday morning in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to address the killer of his 27-year-old son. "You took someone's life for $300," he told Mendez. "You're trash. " HOMICIDE REPORT: A story for every victim Judge Ronald H. Rose said that Mendez, a gang member, lacked any remorse throughout the proceedings.
OPINION
February 9, 2014
Re "Too many prisoners," Editorial, Feb. 5 Mass incarceration plagues our nation, so the recent bipartisan effort in Washington to limit harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses is a welcome antidote. Because of excessive and unjust mandatory minimum sentences supported by both parties three decades ago, the federal prison population has increased by 800%. The result is the permanent fracturing of thousands of lives, including people whose potential is wasted behind bars and children whose parents have gone absent much longer than necessary.
OPINION
February 9, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
While he was in town late last month to talk with local water agencies and policymakers about the drought, Gov. Jerry Brown also had a lower-profile but just as urgent meeting with Los Angeles County's top criminal justice officials. What is it with you L.A. people, the governor asked, and your resistance to split sentencing? It's a good question, even if it requires a bit of explanation. Under California's AB 109 public safety realignment, low-level felons do their time in county jail instead of state prison, and courts have the option to split their sentences between time behind bars and time under supervised release.
OPINION
February 5, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Despite persistent polarization in Washington, a bipartisan consensus is emerging around the proposition that too many Americans are incarcerated for too long. Democrats tend to emphasize the injustice of excessive sentences that disproportionately affect racial minorities. Republicans are more likely to stress the cost of over-incarceration. But the common ground is real and significant. Last week, by a vote of 13 to 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Smarter Sentencing Act, sponsored by Sens.
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