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Jessica's Law Applied to Animal Abuser: Cynthia Hubert of The Sacramento Bee reports a Sacramento judge Friday sentenced a man convicted of animal abuse to state prison and order him to register as a sex offender in what may represent the first time that Jessica's Law has been applied to a case involving sexual abuse of an animal. Judge Thadd Blizzard said Robert DeShield's conduct represents "a serious threat to society," and said the crime DeShields committed was "inherently sexual in nature." Shadow, the Chihuahua mix, suffered abuse that includes strangulation and penetration with a foreign object, and sustained severe injuries that required surgery. DeShield's defense lawyer says she will appeal.  

California Could Lose 1,500 Inmate Firefighters: to help clear brush, cut fire lines, and stop infernos from spreading. Fire officials say the prisoners can be as much as half the manpower assigned to large fires. Realignment will keep thousands of low-level offenders out of state prisons and in county jails, where many could be released early due to scarce space. If fully implemented, the reduction would cut the inmate firefighting ranks by nearly 40%. State corrections and fire officials are working on a training program for county inmates, but it would cost $46 per inmate per day. State Senator Doug La Malfa (R-Richvale) questions whether there will even be enough eligible inmates in county jails to volunteer for fire crews. State officials said nonviolent offenders would continue to receive two days off their sentences for each day spent in a fire camp.   

California Ends Towing of Unlicensed Drivers:
Elliot Spagat of the Associated Press reports starting January 1, 2012, police officers in California can no longer impound vehicles from DUI checkpoints when the driver's only offense is driving without a valid driver's license. Thousands of cars are toward each year under these circumstances, which have been increasingly undermined the last few years by activists who look for checkpoints as they are being set up and send blast text messages to warn people to take an alternative route, or wave signs several blocks away. Supporters of the new law say the checkpoints are used to drive out illegal immigrants, who often have to surrender their vehicles to towing companies because they can't afford the fees.

Executions in California Remain in Limbo:
Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News reports on the status of executions in California after a judge ruled the state failed to adequately create a new lethal injection protocol. California nears its sixth year without an execution, as the judge's ruling represents the third of its type in that time. The ruling can be appealed, or the state has to again come up with new execution procedures. Kent
Scheidegger, legal director for the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, urges Matthew Cate, chief of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, to adopt the single-drug method used by other states to move executions forward. Scheidegger said state officials can cite "operational needs" to end run the administrative process and avoid further delays. "There is no excuse for holding up justice any longer," he said. CJLF's press release in response to the most recent ruling is here.

What Went Right?: Charles Lane of The Washington Post has this editorial about the plunging crime rate in the United States, a trend he says is as positive as it is unappreciated. Lane says what is most striking about the decline in crime is how little we know about its specific causes.


1 Comment

"California Ends Towing of Unlicensed Drivers...Supporters of the new law say the checkpoints are used to drive out illegal immigrants"

Bueno!

It's not as though the illegal immigrants
were doing anything illegal.

-Adamakis

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