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News Scan

Raising Bail to Reduce Crime:  Two members of the Fairfield, CA city council want to raise bail amounts to help reduce their city's high crime rate.  Ryan McCarthy of the Daily Republic reports that the council members cited a study that indicated bail amounts in the county were among the lowest in the state, making it too easy for offenders to post bail and be back on streets to commit more crimes.  The District Attorney of nearby San Joaquin County noted that in his county, which includes the city of Stockton, they experienced a sharp decline in their homicide rate after doubling the bail amount from $50,000 to $100,000 for felons charged with illegally possessing a weapon. 

Convicted Triple-Murderer Given Life Sentence: A Colorado man convicted of murdering a couple and their daughter last November was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison after agreeing to a plea deal with prosecutors.  The Associated Press reports that 60-year-old Harry Mapps, who had been living as a guest in the couple's home,  killed the family and set their house on fire after being asked to move out.  The prosecutor cited Mapps' age and poor health as reasons why he did not pursue a possible death sentence, noting that death penalty appeals can last up to 20 years.

OK Man Resentenced After Death Sentence Overturned: An Oklahoma man convicted of murdering five women more than 20 years ago has been given five life sentences after his original death sentence was thrown out by a federal appeals court.  Matt Dinger of the Oklahoman reports that 55-year-old Danny Hooks was sentenced to die for stabbing murders of the women in 1998, but that sentence was overturned in 2010 after a federal appeals court ruled that statements made by the judge and prosecutor during sentencing improperly influenced jurors.  Hooks has been ordered to serve the five life sentences consecutively without the possibility of parole.

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