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Sacramento Sheriff to Ask for Jail Expansion Funds: Brad Branan of The Sacramento Bee reports Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said he will ask the Board of Supervisors next month to approve an application to the state for $100 million to expand the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center. Jones said the county would need the additional space regardless of the shift of state offenders to counties. The county would have to pay $10 million in matching funds and another $10 million in operational costs. Jones said he is working to identify funding for the county match. The expanded jail would add 384 beds, mental health and medical treatment, and other features. Apparently Sacramento isn't the only county applying for state funding to expand jail bed space. The Tulare County Board of Supervisors has authorized Sheriff Bill Wittman to apply for a $60 million state grant to fund construction of a new 200-bed jail that could eventually expand into 350-bed facility. The Kern County Supervisors gave Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood the go-ahead to apply for $100 million in state funding to build a new 790-bed facility.

Harris Announces New eCrime Unit: The Associated Press reports California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Tuesday the creation of the state's new eCrime Unit, which will investigate and prosecute identity theft, child exploitation, piracy, and other crimes involving technology. The unit, which began operating in August, consists of 20 attorneys and investigators. Harris said the unit will work with law enforcement agencies across the state because most cybercrimes cover a wide rang which often creates uncertainty over which jurisdiction should handle the investigation.

North Carolina Governor Vetoes Gutting of Racial Justice Act: Gary D. Robertson of the Associated Press reports North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have essentially repealed the state's Racial Justice Act, which Perdue signed into law in 2009. Prosecutors who pushed the repeal say the act is in effect halting capital punishment because the court is clogged with new appeals. Nearly all of the 158 inmates on North Carolina's death row, both black and white, have filed papers seeking relief under the Racial Justice Act. State lawmakers have until January 8 to consider an override of Perdue's veto.

ACLU, Holder Cry Foul Over States' Voting Policies: Ed Pilkington of The Guardian (UK) reports the ACLU has brought a federal lawsuit against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other state officials regarding a new state law requiring voters to carry photo ID before they can cast their ballot. The ACLU claims thousands of poor, black, and elderly people, even students and the disabled, could be disenfranchised under the law. One complaint is that poor people may not be able to afford the gas to get to the appropriate office to obtain an ID or driver's license. The article presents the case of 20-year-old Justin Luft, who made two trips to get a driver's license, but was told on both occasions that he could not obtain one because he doesn't have a social security card. Gary Scharrer reports U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday spoke at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, where he criticized Texas' redistricting and voter ID laws. Holder said his department will "argue vigorously" that the proposed map violates Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Texas and other southern states with a history of discrimination against minorities are required to get approval before making any changes affecting elections. The new state law that would require voters to show a Texas driver's license or DPS-issued photo ID card before casting a ballot was not approved by the Justice Department. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court put a hold on Texas redistricting maps pending a hearing next month. States that already have photo ID requirements on the statute books are: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. On the opposite end, the mayor of New Haven, Connecticut John DeStefano plans to ask the state Legislature to allow illegal immigrations who live in New Haven to be able to vote in municipal elections. They would still be unable to vote in state or federal elections. DeStefano says illegal immigrants should be able to vote because they pay taxes indirectly through rent and send their kids to New Haven schools. NBC Connecticut has the story here.

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Yes General Holder,

Not to put words in your mouth, but requiring photo identification is an outrageously egregious attack on disabled franchise. It's mean-spirited, and will surely have a chilling effect on our democracy.

I know of not one poor, Black, disabled, elderly student who has such a costly and rare possession as a photo ID, thus it is self-evident that no state could require one without violating both the 14th & 24th Amendments.

It is clear to all but Tea-Party extremists that 20-year-old Justin Luft was never issued a SSN card because of discrimination against handicapped, elderly, Black, & poor students.
You are so right, General Holder, that Wisconsin seems frighteningly desirous of returning to its Jim-Crow days and possibly to its status as a leading secessionist slave-holding state (those Rebel Wolverines).

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