<< A Unified Theory of Muppet Types | Main | A Victim's Plea for Justice >>

News Scan

CA Supreme Court Clarifies Residential Burglary: Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle reports the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that in the case of residential burglaries, "Something that is outside must go inside for an entry to occur," Justice Goodwin Liu said. The ruling came in the case of Christopher Magness, who was arrested in July 2010 after using a remote control to open a garage door. The homeowner heard the door opening, found Magness standing outside, chased him down, and called sheriff's deputies, who arrested Magness. Deputies found the garage remote control on the driveway, which Magness had taken from the owner's car. Magness was charged with burglary, but Liu wrote that even though Magness may have intended to break into the home, "he did not commit burglary because he did not enter the residence. Nothing penetrated the outer boundary," which means he can only be convicted of attempted burglary. Magness also has a previous felony conviction that falls under the state's three-strikes law. His lawyer said that by charging the more serious crime only if there is a physical entry, "you're giving perpetrators pause to think about what they're doing."  The case is Magness v. Superior Court, S194928.

Officer-Involved Shootings Trending Upwards Nationwide: Chip Johnson of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the recent increase in officer-involved shootings in the Bay Area (five since May 6) are part of a national trend. Craig W. Floyd, executive director of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., said the number of officers slain in the U.S. has risen by 75 percent since 2008. Johnson makes the point that while police officers face criticism and allegations over these incidences, it's police officers who have increasingly become the targets of violence as symbols of authority. "The cops across America I speak to every day say there is a more brazen, desperate criminal they are dealing with," Floyd said. "A lot of people who assault police officers are career criminals who've been in jail and don't want to go back. Oftentimes they don't think twice about assaulting the officer who comes to make the arrest, and we're seeing more and more of it."

CA Parolees Released From Supervision At Alarming Rate: "Taking away parolee status, from a law enforcement perspective, removes a valuable tool that officers use to ensure compliance with the law," Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said. "We will no longer have the ability to violate their parole based on criminal behavior but rather we will have to arrest and prosecute them on a new charge, which is resource-intensive and time-consuming." Under Realignment, some parolees can be discharged from supervision in as little as six months, whereas before they had to wait at least a year. Some law enforcement officials fear the reduction of services and assistance for offenders will make recidivism more likely.

Why Three-Strikes is Worth the Cost: Brik McDill, in an opinion piece for The Bakersfield Californian, discusses the criticism of the cost of California's three-strikes law, but says many cost analyses neglect to consider the incalculable costs of the direct and indirect damage caused by career-criminals. McDill reminds the reader that a criminal has typically committed numerous unapprehended crimes by the time of his first arrest, and is often given numerous second chances before incarceration, so to be sentenced for a third-strike is no small feat. He says the costs of not incarcerating a third-striker are greater when we factor in the front- and back-end costs of crime, in addition to the costs to the victims and those entities directly and indirectly affected by one criminal. "In the broader view, $47,000 per year to incarcerate the career criminal might be the better deal, at least until we've found what reliably works in terms of criminal rehabilitation," McDill says.

Arizona Public Defenders Withdraw Execution Petition: The Associated Press reports the Federal Public Defender's Office in Phoenix withdrew its petition to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday over Arizona's execution procedure. Dale Baich said his office wanted to clarify whether lawyers would be included as witnesses allowed to see the IV process before withdrawing the petition. Arizona's new policy will begin with the June 27 execution of Samuel Villegas Lopez. Baich says he is on the witness list as Lopez's counsel.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives