Early Release for California prisoners in order to relieve prison over-crowding is now an option that Gov. Schwarzenegger is considering due to the pressured deadline set by federal judges. Supposedly "non-violent" offenders will be the candidates for the early release plan in order to prevent intervention from the federal courts as reported here by Mark Martin. The assumption that criminals specialize and that a person who is in for a "nonviolent" crime does not commit violent crimes is dubious.
The deceptively named group "Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety" issued a press release denouncing "scare tactics" intended to convince the Legislature and the judiciary to allow transfers and construction of additional cells. The release contains this revealing line: "We should all recognize that although at first blush the release of thousand's [sic] of inmates may sound like a wonderful thing...."
Juror Questions: The Supreme Court of Arkansas ruled that judges are acting improperly when allowing questions from jurors to be posed to witnesses and that this practice must end. The order states that this type of questioning "may cause delay, prejudice or error" as reported here by AP.
Racial Discrimination during jury selection is the reasoning a Hinds County Circuit Court Judge gave when he threw out Elicia Hughes' murder conviction and ordered a new trial. The District Attorney who tried the case was surprised and stated in an article by Jimmie E. Gates that witnessing a trial court judge order a new trial before an appeal was a first for her. The judge believed that a mistake was made early in the trial therefore exercised the right to correct it; however, the DA plans to re-try Hughes in the near future.