Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Monday Morning Memo: California alleged rapist awaiting trial for 14 years ordered freed and other stories

A summary of California law enforcement news for the past week

Courts & Rulings

Officers who arrested man for photography have immunity

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an order denying summary judgment to three Department of Veterans Affairs police officers who were sued by a man they arrested on two consecutive Sundays in June 2016 for taking photographs at the Great Lawn Gate entrance to the Los Angeles National Veterans Park, in alleged violation of a regulation, holding that they are entitled to qualified immunity.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Police Chief Moore disputes candidate Diamond's claim

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has disputed the claim by attorney David D. Diamond, a candidate for the Los Angeles Superior Court in the Nov. 3 run-off election, that he's endorsed by Moore's department. A slate mailer called "COPS Voter Guide," which Diamond's committee paid to carry a recommendation that its candidate be elected, contains this message.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

California rapist awaiting trial for 14 years ordered freed

A convicted rapist who spent 13 years in prison and nearly 14 years in a state mental hospital while awaiting a trial that never came was ordered released Wednesday by a state appeals court. The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco agreed with a lower court judge who said there had been a "systemic breakdown in the management" of Terrance Butler's case, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

NBC Bay Area

Public Records Act request not exempt from bond requirement, C.A. holds

Body: Private citizens seeking to block a public entity from destroying government records requested under California's open-access public records law are not exempt from a statute requiring parties to post bond in an amount determined by the court when issuing a preliminary injunction, the Third District Court of Appeal has held.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Judge won't stop LA sheriff from using rubber bullets, batons, pepper spray on protesters

A federal judge has denied an urgent request by protesters suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to put an immediate stop to the "indiscriminate" use of rubber bullets, pepper spray and other crowd control tactics during demonstrations, according to court papers obtained Friday.

City News Service

California Supreme Court orders Scott Peterson's murder convictions to be reexamined

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a reexamination of Scott Peterson's 2004 conviction in the murder of his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son. The court overturned his death sentence in late August of this year. The case has been remanded to the San Mateo County Superior Court.


State ruling against Contra Costa judges on hearing amid closures sets precedent

In a decision that judges across the state can use for guidance in similar cases, a California appeals court sided with a defendant who contended that his right to a speedy preliminary hearing was denied last March amidst the COVID-19 statewide shutdown of the courts system.

Bay Area News Group

Press, others remain exempt from dispersal orders

Journalists and legal observers will be exempt from federal officers' orders to disperse during Portland protests as federal agencies appeal a lower court's preliminary injunction, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday. The panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a split 2 to 1 ruling, declined the emergency motion by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Marshals Service, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.


Supreme Court halts census count as Ninth Circuit case plays out

The U.S. Supreme Court granted the Trump administration's request to halt the 2020 census count on Tuesday evening while litigation unfolds in the Ninth Circuit. A ruling by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California had extended the national head count until Oct. 31, and two weeks ago the Ninth Circuit refused to push pause on that decision.

Courthouse News Service

California bar exam takers say facial recognition software rejected them

California's first remote bar exam did not go off without a hitch - especially for test takers of color. Thousands of rising lawyers took the exam Monday and Tuesday over the web because of the ongoing pandemic. Required by state shelter-in-place rules, online testing raised concerns of a level playing field - those better off were more likely to have quiet space and stable internet connections - and of specific discrimination against students of color because of the software's use of facial recognition software to combat cheating.

San Francisco Chronicle

District Judge in L.A. dismisses case with prejudice for speedy trial violation

A federal judge in Santa Ana on Wednesday dismissed an indictment against a Newport Beach physician accused in a drug distribution case, ruling that his constitutional rights to a jury trial were denied due to an order barring trials in the federal courthouse in the Central District of California during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Southern District of Florida blog

One-sided phone recordings proscribed by Privacy Act

The right to keep phone conversations private applies even when only one side of the conversation is being recorded, the First District Court of Appeal has held, reversing a judgment for the consumer reviews website Yelp in a lawsuit alleging it secretly recorded sales calls in violation of the state's privacy act.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Judge largely upholds California law banning private prisons

California's law banning private prisons and immigration detention facilities was mostly upheld by a federal judge on Thursday, with the court denying a Trump administration request to block the law, but conceding that some private prisons would be exempt. Assembly Bill 32, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom last year and effective Jan. 1, prohibits the operation of private detention facilities within the state.

Courthouse News Service

Former cop convicted of working for cartel loses appeal

A federal appeals court has denied an appeal filed by a corrupt cop serving a 20-year prison sentence for assisting the Gulf Cartel in moving cocaine loads through the Rio Grande Valley. Geovani Hernandez, a 46-year-old Weslaco resident who was working as a sergeant for the Progreso Police Department when he was arrested, had appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing his conviction on two counts of aiding or abetting the possession with intent to distribute cocaine was not supported by the evidence.

The Monitor

DOJ frees federal prosecutors to take steps that could interfere with elections, weakening long-standing policy

The Department of Justice has weakened its long-standing prohibition against interfering in elections, according to two department officials. Avoiding election interference is the overarching principle of DOJ policy on voting-related crimes.


Appeals court: Ford committed fraud by selling defective Super Duty trucks

The owner of a 2006 Ford F-350 argued for years that Ford Motor Co. sold Super Duty trucks with defective 6.0L diesel engines to thousands of unsuspecting buyers and then concealed the known problems, saddling customers with repair bills and exposing them to engine failure. Now an appeals court has agreed with Charles Brian Margeson, 41, of Torrance, California.

Detroit Free Press

Billboard ban exemption shows bias for certain speech

A city's ban on mobile billboards that exempts those affixed to "authorized" emergency or construction-related vehicles is a form of a content-based restriction on free speech that must survive strict scrutiny review, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held yesterday.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Ninth Circuit upholds California's law governing meat production standards

A Ninth Circuit panel on Thursday upheld a district court's ruling that says meat producers who want to sell their products in California need to abide by the state's animal cruelty law. The three-judge panel reaffirmed a federal judge's ruling that denied the North American Meat Institute's fight to keep the law from applying to businesses from outside the Golden State.

Courthouse News Service

COVID-19 & Justice System

Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile prohibits use of face masks with valves in all Los Angeles County courthouses

Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile today issued a revised mandatory face mask order that prohibits the use of face masks with valves in all Los Angeles County courthouses. The new Order also requires that face masks be worn beneath face shields except as required by a physician. Children under the age of two are exempt from the Order.

LA Superior Court News Release

State Bar committee votes to expand access to licensing program amid pandemic

A State Bar committee voted Wednesday to extend a temporary licensing program to anyone who took the California bar exam in the last five years and earned a score that meets the new minimum standard. The program essentially functions as an apprenticeship. Participants must be employed by or have an offer from a law firm based in California, and must practice under the watch of a licensed supervising lawyer in good standing with the bar.

Courthouse News Service

Inconsistent California court livestreaming - a public access crisis

The global coronavirus pandemic has been a source of hardship and uncertainty for many. The force of COVID-19 has tested the foundation of our government, and in doing so, has exposed many weaknesses of our democratic process. Specifically, in an effort to comply with public health and safety guidelines, our judicial system has faced great hurdles in overcoming and adapting to new virtual formats.

The Davis Vanguard

San Diego Superior looks to boost juror attendance as trials resume

Only 41 prospective jurors out of 800 San Diegans summoned for jury duty showed up for service Tuesday as San Diego Superior Court held its first jury trial since initially suspending court operations in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne told Courthouse News around 350 of the jurors who received summons in September asked the court to postpone their service.

Courthouse News Service

What are the constitutional considerations in resuming civil jury trials during a pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has stalked the world for approximately seven months now, causing untold misery and deaths, disruption of many aspects of normal society and, in addition, bringing jury trials to a complete halt and otherwise wreaking havoc on court proceedings. Courts across the country have sought to address the situation in differing ways, all with the aim of restarting civil jury trials as soon as possible.

Class actions seeking refunds for flights canceled due to COVID hit turbulence

Lawsuits filed demanding refunds for flights the airlines canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic have barely gotten off the ground, with at least two dismissed by federal judges so far. Major airlines, both domestic and international, face more than two dozen class actions, most asserting breach-of-contract claims.

The Recorder


Slain LA cop's family hopes for retrial 37 years later

On June 2, 1983, Los Angeles Police Officer Paul Verna was killed in the line of duty. That is not in dispute. What is, however, is who pulled the trigger. And a combination of factors - from the current political climate to anti-police sentiments gripping the nation to the Los Angeles County district attorney's race next month - could impact what happens next.


Man charged with setting Santa Monica police car on fire at protest

A 27-year-old Irvine man was taken into federal custody Tuesday, Oct. 13, after being charged with setting an unmarked Santa Monica police car on fire during a protest, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Nathan Wilson is facing a federal charge of malicious damage to property owned by an institution or organization receiving federal financial assistance.

Orange County Register

Former deputy charged with stealing ceiling fans and guns from dead man's home

A former Orange County sheriff's deputy has been charged with burglarizing the home of a dead man, prosecutors said Thursday. Steve Hortz, a 12-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, was called to a Yorba Linda home on July 20 to check on the welfare of the owner. He discovered the man, who was in his 70s, had died of natural causes, according to a statement from the county district attorney's office.

NBC4 Los Angeles

First LAPD officers charged in falsified gang report case appear in court

The first three LAPD officers accused of filing falsified interview cards that allegedly labeled some innocent pedestrians and motorists as gang members made an initial appearance in court Tuesday but postponed entering pleas to dozens of felony charges.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Orange County DA says ballots dropped in unofficial boxes will be counted

The investigation into unofficial ballot boxes placed throughout Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties continued Tuesday. "We've had reports at a gun range down in south county," Neal Kelley, OC registrar of voters, said. "We've had reports at campaign offices." Kelley said there have been reports of a half dozen to a dozen of the unofficial ballot boxes located in Orange County, with at least one in the hands of Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer's office.

CBS Los Angeles

DA's Race

Twenty-four elected CA female DAs extol support for Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey

A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everybody else. Jackie Lacey is that stronger woman. It is no wonder that it was Jackie Lacey who was elected the first African American and the first female top prosecutor after 162 years of the existence of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. She is a woman of dignity, fairness and grace who performs her duties with quiet professionalism and a deep sense of personal responsibility.


Victims of violent crime support Jackie Lacey (Video)

Victims of Violent who support Jackie Lacey's reelection discuss the District Attorneys campaign from the perspective of crime victims.

NBC4 Los Angeles

4 key changes coming to L.A. if Soros-backed challenger wins biggest D.A. race in America

George Gascón is often referred to as the "Godfather of progressive prosecutors." While serving as San Francisco's District Attorney, he won the support of several liberal financiers, including mega-donor George Soros and several deep-pocketed philanthropists from the Bay Area. Now, they are backing his current campaign to take over the nation's largest prosecutor's office in Los Angeles County, home to more than 10 million people.

The Daily Wire

Race for Los Angeles district attorney increasingly bitter

After a scrappy debate that Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey believed lifted her campaign and was a "disaster" for her opponent, she got a text message from the LA mayor with unwelcome news: He was switching his endorsement to her challenger. Eric Garcetti's defection was a blow to Lacey after other high-profile Democratic politicians had withdrawn support or switched allegiances in the high-stakes campaign that has been reshaped after a summer of protests over police brutality.


Billionaire Soros funding LA prosecutor candidate who pledges to lock up less criminals

Leftwing billionaire George Soros, photo, just donated $1.5 million to help the nation's most populous county elect a Black Lives Matter-endorsed prosecutor who promises to lock up fewer criminals. The sizable contribution to former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon's campaign for Los Angeles District Attorney is part of a broader effort by Soros to place leftists in local prosecutors' offices around the country.

CNB News

Jackie Lacey, George Gascon hold debate in heated LA County DA's race

Incumbent Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey took part in a virtual debate Thursday night against George Gascón, the man attempting to unseat her, amid one the most closely watched Southern California races this November to decide will lead the nation's largest local prosecutor's office. "But now that he sees the job, he wants it, and he'll say whatever he can to get it," Lacey said.

CBS Los Angeles

Key takeaways in LA DA debate: Challenger George Gascón and incumbent Jackie Lacey make their cases

The future of L.A.'s criminal justice system was presented in stark terms Thursday night by the candidates for Los Angeles District Attorney. Challenger George Gascón promised a much-needed leap in the direction of 21st-Century prosecutorial reforms. Incumbent Jackie Lacey, meanwhile, warned of the dangers of rapid transformation and pledged to continue pursuing reasonable improvements.


Policy/Legal Issues

State panel urges more restraint by police officers dealing with crowds, protesters

Days after police and members of an unruly crowd were injured following the Los Angeles Lakers' latest basketball championship, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday released a report urging better communication and restraint by officers and warning that the use of tactical weapons for crowd control can escalate the sort of violence they are intended to deter.

NBC4 Los Angeles

LA Council votes to create program of unarmed mental health responders

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted today to create a pilot program to divert nonviolent emergency calls involving mental health issues from armed police officers to unarmed professionals. The city will now seek to partner with a nonprofit organization to implement the pilot program, and will receive recommendations from relevant departments on creating a set of city employees responsible for responding to nonviolent calls for service currently handled by police officers.

City News Service

Los Angeles County/City

LA's 2020 murder rate 25% above last year

The LAPD said a spike in street violence that was elevated by a gang feud in South Los Angeles in late September has continued to simmer into October, with scores of shooting reports and at least a dozen murders in the last week. "As of this morning, here today in the city, we've had 261 homicides," LAPD Capt. Ahmad Zarekani said Wednesday. "That is a 25% increase from last year at this point."

NBC4 Los Angeles

LAPD plans to increase presence during election week

An internal LAPD memo has signaled the Department has begun to prepare for the possibility of large demonstrations during the week of the Presidential election in November, by directing detectives and officers who typically work in street clothes to report on alternating shifts that week and to expect to have some days off changed to maximize the number of officers on duty.

NBC4 Los Angeles

LAFD reports a staggering rise in the number of fires, outpacing any year in recent memory

The latest public data from the Los Angeles Fire Department shows the number of fires that have burned so far this year has outpaced any other year in recent memory, with a staggering number of fires tied to the city's homeless population and an ever-increasing portion blamed on arson.

NBC4 Los Angeles

L.A. County to pay out $14 million over unlawful immigration holds

Los Angeles County on Tuesday agreed to pay out $14 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that the Sheriff's Department routinely held people in jail beyond their release dates solely because of pending immigration investigations. More than 18,500 people who were held illegally for days, weeks or months from October 2010 to June 2014 because of requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement could qualify for a share of the settlement, attorneys for the plaintiffs said.

Daily Republic

Oversight Commission to consider resolution condemning Villanueva's leadership

One month after some members called on Alex Villanueva to resign, the county's Civilian Oversight Commission on Thursday is scheduled to consider a resolution condemning the sheriff's leadership and vowing to hold him accountable if he continues to "facilitate dysfunction" in the agency.

City News Service

How a formerly homeless man reported dead is trying to untangle a records mixup and prove he's alive

A man who won a settlement in an excessive force case against the LAPD says he recently discovered he had been reported as deceased to the U.S. government, which caused his disability income and access to critical medical and mental health care to be terminated. Samuel C. Arrington, who is very much alive, told NBC4's I-Team he found out he was "dead" when his sister received a call from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office in April.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Los Angeles Police Department announces partnership with Bike Index

The Los Angeles Police Department has partnered with Bike Index, a bicycle registry, to aid in the return of stolen bikes to their rightful owners. Bike Index is a free, non-profit bicycle registry that is available to the community and will help individuals recover their stolen or lost bicycle regardless of where it is found.

Random Lengths News

LAPD's 'Trick Shot Cop' scores on the basketball court

When you see Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Arius George in uniform, it might not surprise you to hear he was a high school athlete. It's when he shoots and scores on the basketball court that will leave you stunned! The African-American officer has earned the name "Trick Shot Cop" and is using the unique talent to break barriers between police and the community.

Fox11 Los Angeles

Couple arrested in disappearance of Los Angeles firefighter in Baja California

Two people allegedly involved in the disappearance of a Los Angeles firefighter in Rosarito, Baja California have been arrested, the Attorney General's Office of the State of Baja California confirmed. According to the Attorney General, suspects Fanny N., 32, and Santos N., 27, were arrested Thursday, on a highway to Playas de Rosarito for their alleged involvement in the disappearance of Frank Aguilar, a California firefighter who disappeared without a trace in late August.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Protests & Politics

Riverside County deputies' union pulls endorsement of Inland assemblywoman

The union representing Riverside County sheriff's deputies has pulled its endorsement of the assemblywoman who represents Temecula because it says she supports criminals over law enforcement. In a letter dated Friday, Oct. 2, to Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron of Valley Center, the Riverside Sheriffs' Association wrote that the association's board voted Sept. 30 to rescind its endorsement.

Riverside Press-Enterprise

Protests become a 'lifestyle' for some L.A. activists: 'This has been like church for me'

Matthew Sanders had a broken rib and dried blood on his face when he was released from jail Sept. 9 after being arrested on suspicion of failure to disperse during a protest. For a moment, he questioned whether he could continue showing up at the demonstrations outside the South Los Angeles sheriff's station.

Los Angeles Times

Two injured during BLM protest in California

In Yorba Linda, California, two people were wounded after a car drove through a crowd of Trump supporters during a Black Lives Matter protest that took place in the afternoon of Saturday, September 26. The Black Lives Matter protest, organized by Caravan for Justice, clashed with Trump counter-protesters.

The Michigan Journal

LAPD Chief hits back at city councilman blaming increase in violent crime on cops

Since the Black Lives Matter "protests" started back in May, there's been a major increase in violent crime in Los Angeles, and South Los Angeles, in particular, has seen a spike in murders and assaults. Over a four-day period between September 28 and October 1, there were 11 shootings and two homicides in the area - and one of those killed was a 10-year-old child.


Ridley-Thomas sends Yoo cease-and-desist letter over attack website

The race to represent parts of South L.A. and Koreatown on the Los Angeles City Council is turning acrimonious following the launch of an attack website and accusations of cybersquatting. Grace Yoo, a candidate for the Council District 10 seat, last week launched, which criticizes Yoo's rival in the race, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Los Angeles Times

'People don't want to be cops' - During a charged time, law enforcement struggles to diversify staff

Law enforcement agencies have struggled in recent years to recruit potential officers, and now - after an explosive, racially strained summer when they need them on the force more than ever - they're fighting even harder to find candidates of color. "We get maligned and kind of criticized for everything we do, especially in the media. Coast to coast, we get labeled as racist and painted with a broad brush and people see that. And they're like, 'I don't want to be a part of that,'" said Col. John Bolduc, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol.

Lincoln Journal Star

Public Safety/Crime

Downtown LA businesses vandalized during unruly Lakers victory celebration

Several thousand exuberant Los Angeles Lakers fans gathered in downtown Los Angeles Sunday night outside Staples Center to celebrate the team's record-tying 17th NBA championship. The scene outside the home of the Lakers was mostly peaceful for the first half hour or so, but ended with several businesses damaged and vandalized, and dozens of arrests.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Editorial: In Los Angeles, murder is back. Now what?

Crime in Los Angeles has been on the decline for so long that it's easy to forget the years, in the fairly recent past, when parts of the city felt like they were under continuous, violent siege and L.A. was the murder capital of the United States. Homicide took more than 1,000 lives a year in this city during stretches of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. And then the number dropped below 500, and then 400, and then lower still.

Los Angeles Times

LAPD: Truck driver robbing evening walkers, joggers in West LA neighborhoods of their phones at gunpoint

Police are warning residents in the West Los Angeles area to be on alert after a rash of robberies of men and women who were walking or jogging alone at night. LAPD detectives say they have "recognized a pattern of robberies" over the past month in neighborhoods including Mar Vista, West Adams, Picfair Village, Westchester, Mid-Wilshire, Carthay Circle, Beverly Grove, Fairfax, Crestview, Faircrest Heights and Palms.


Mexico's former defense secretary arrested at LAX on drug, money charges

Former Mexican defense secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the country's army for six years under ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested on drug trafficking and money laundering charges at Los Angeles International Airport, U.S. and Mexican sources said Thursday. Two people with knowledge of the arrest said Cienfuegos was taken into custody on a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warrant.


LAPD data show few officers report excessive force by peers; better tracking promised

With a new state law requiring police officers to report excessive force by their peers, the Los Angeles Police Department has only two such documented incidents in the last five years. With a new state law requiring police officers to report excessive force by their peers, a Los Angeles police commissioner this summer asked department commanders how many times such reporting had occurred in the last five years.

Head Topics

Cop-assaulting NYC teen back on streets after latest arrest

A Manhattan man who head-butted an NYPD cop amid a string of recent arrests, including three for assaulting officers, was back on the streets Saturday, just days after landing behind bars for another brazen attack on law enforcement, The Post has learned. Angel Rivera, 18, may be the latest poster child for junk justice in the Big Apple.

New York Post

At least 118 Seattle police officers left department in mass exodus

At least 118 Seattle police officers separated from the department, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has confirmed. In September alone, 39 officers left the force when the typical number for that month is between 5 and 7. Even new recruits are leaving. There are now only about 1,200 officers in service for the entire city, the lowest it's been in two decades. And even this number is misleading.


Virginia could make it harder for officers to pull you over. Police aren't happy

A bill that proponents say will reduce what they contend is police targeting of Black drivers with unwarranted traffic stops and vehicle searches has passed the General Assembly - and is on the way to the governor for consideration. The legislation bars police from stopping drivers for a wide range of vehicle equipment infractions - from tinted windows and faulty brake lights to loud mufflers and objects dangling from rear view mirrors.

Daily Press

Police officers' social media posts under increasing scrutiny

As a young cop in Richmond, in 2008, Ben Murdoch made a mistake that cost him his career and led some to label him a racist. At a Halloween party, a Latino friend came dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit meant to be a costume of a pop culture character created by comedian Dave Chappelle - Clayton Bigsby, a blind Black man who is also a white supremacist.

Daily Republic

Consumer - The risky counterfeit marketplace files to go public

Consumers looking to may be attracted to its brand-name products offered by China sellers at a fraction of retail. Shipping may take weeks, or over a month for customers who prioritize savings over speed of delivery. However, many items are counterfeit, fake, or replica products, a common issue among major e-commerce sites including Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

The Counterfeit Report

Trump pushes for tighter sanctions of counterfeits sold online

Just in time for Amazon Prime Day - along with a host of competitors offering online shopping deals - President Trump is cracking down on counterfeit trafficking by way of e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon and eBay. On Tuesday, Trump signed a memorandum asking the executive branch to exercise tighter control over online shopping sites in the U.S. that offer third-party selling.



Los Angeles County man sentenced to jail for repeatedly putting semen in co-worker's water, food

A California man who put his semen in a co-worker's water bottle, in a jar of honey she ate and on her computer was sentenced Tuesday to 2 ½ years in jail, prosecutors said. The judge also ordered 30-year-old Stevens Millancastro, of Hawthorne, to register as a sex offender, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Fox40 Sacramento

Buena Park man sentenced to 50 years to life for molesting toddler

A 24-year-old Buena Park man was sentenced Friday to 50 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl. Arthur William Robert Callender was convicted in April following a trial that was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic that forced a closure of the county's courthouses for a time. Jurors agreed to return to the Central Justice Center to hear closing arguments and then deliberated in a separate courtroom so they could keep six feet apart.

City News Service

Disgraced financial advisor to ex-NHL players sentenced to 17 years in prison

Former NHL player and 1995 number one draft pick Bryan Berard was one of several people who gave emotional victim impact statements in Long Island federal court last Monday, when financial advisor Phil Kenner was sentenced to 17 years in prison for stealing millions of dollars from Berard and over a dozen other former professional hockey players and Long Island citizens in an elaborate investment scheme.


Ex-eBay workers plead guilty to roles in cyberstalking campaign

Two former eBay Inc. security employees admitted they participated last year in a bizarre harassment campaign against a suburban Boston blogger who angered top executives with posts critical of the company. Ex-eBay manager Stephanie Popp, 33, and contract analyst Veronica Zea, 26, pleaded guilty Thursday in Boston federal court to conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges for their role in a scheme that involved anonymously sending live cockroaches, a bloody-pig mask and a funeral wreath to the victim' s home.

BNN Bloomberg

Ex-Guantanamo commander sentenced for lying in man's death

A former commander of the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison for interfering with an investigation into the death of a civilian with whom the commander had fought and argued over his affair with the man's wife. A federal judge in Jacksonville sentenced Navy Capt. John R. Nettleton, news outlets reported.

NBC4 Los Angeles

Man who faked Marine Corps status sentenced to more than a year in prison

An Orange County man who falsely held himself out to be a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient to fraudulently obtain veterans' health care and housing benefits was sentenced today to 16 months in federal prison. James Stiles, 43, of Orange, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt, who also ordered him to pay $167,234 in restitution.

City News Service

Ballot Issues

Reading the Props: 20's new supermajority

Prop 20 offers voters a chance to revisit reforms of sentencing and criminal supervision laws passed in the first half of the 2010s decade. Usually, going back and reconsidering previous laws is healthy, because it promotes badly needed flexibility in California's inflexible system. But Prop 20 does this in a very inflexible way. Prop 20, officially titled the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018, is an initiative statute that runs 9,242 words, longer than the U.S. constitution.

Fox & Hounds

L.A. County Measure J seeks to fund community programs, incarceration alternatives

Los Angeles County Measure J, also known as "Budget Allocation for Alternatives to Incarceration Charter Amendment," is on the ballot this November for Santa Clarita residents and seeks to provide funding for community programs and alternatives to incarceration. If passed, the county's charter would be amended to require no less than 10 percent of the county's general fund to be allocated to community programs and alternatives to incarceration, such as youth development programs and mental health services.


The 'strange bedfellows' of Proposition 25 and California's fight to end cash bail

A ballot measure aimed at ending cash bail in California has civil rights groups at odds over what should replace it. In 2018, then-Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 10, doing away with California's money bail system and enacting criminal justice reforms that were lauded in the Legislature but sharply criticized by civil rights advocates for not going far enough.

Courthouse News Service

Yes on Prop 20: Hold violent and repeat offenders accountable

Propositions 47 and 57 were part of what supporters called "criminal justice reform" and were intended to reduce penalties for so-called nonviolent crimes; however, both were deeply flawed. Proposition 47 eliminated felonious consequences for stealing property valued at less than $950 to the detriment of small businesses and homeowners.

Prop. 25 would not help the San Francisco man who is the face of bail reform

San Francisco can be considered the birthplace of California's bail reform movement thanks to the case of Kenneth Humphrey. Humphrey was arrested in 2017 and charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors after allegedly robbing and threatening a 79-year-old man.

San Francisco Chronicle

Prop 20 looks to get tough on crime & roll back some criminal justice reforms

Criminal justice reform is back on the California ballot. This year, it's in the form of Proposition 20. The proposition would roll back some of the reforms voters decided in 2014 and 2016. San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow is voting "yes." "Prop 20 is really going to help save California from the real extreme legislation of Prop 47 and 57 and the undesired effects of it," Dow said.


Corrections & Parole

California kept prison factories open. Inmates worked for pennies an hour as COVID-19 spread

While much of California shut down this spring, Robbie Hall stitched masks for 12 hours a day in a sewing factory at a women's prison in Chino. For several weeks, Hall and other women said, they churned out masks by the thousands but were forbidden from wearing them. The incarcerated seamstresses at the California Institution for Women grew increasingly worried: The fabric they used came from the nearby men's prison, where an outbreak ended up killing 23 inmates.

Los Angeles Times

Articles of Interest

Apple pays $288,000 to white-hat hackers who had run of company's network

For months, Apple's corporate network was at risk of hacks that could have stolen sensitive data from potentially millions of its customers and executed malicious code on their phones and computers, a security researcher said on Thursday. Sam Curry, a 20-year-old researcher who specializes in website security, said that, in total, he and his team found 55 vulnerabilities.

Ars Technica

He'd waited decades to argue his innocence

The judge's notice of retirement, marked personal and confidential, was dated July 31, 2020. "It was my life-long ambition to wear a robe and to serve the judicial system faithfully, as well as with objectivity and integrity," it said. "Having achieved this goal, with the will and guidance of God, I must continue to walk in accordance with his plan for me."


She was afraid of her lawyer. Then the text messages started

In January 2016, attorney Paul Letourneau arranged to meet his newest client one evening at Sea Dog Brewing Co., a local brewpub in southern Maine. She had a drug arrest, a shaky relationship and was struggling to hold onto her nursing license. Letourneau ordered a beer. They settled into a booth. Suddenly, his phone rang. His daughter was having car trouble, he told her.


Apprehension totals suggest migrants undeterred by Trump's pandemic border measures

Border agents last month recorded the highest number of apprehensions of people illegally crossing the southern border during any September since 2006, suggesting that harsh border enforcement measures put in place by the Trump administration at the beginning of the pandemic are doing little to deter migrants.

U.S. News & World Report

Liberal group calls for Feinstein to stand down from Judiciary Committee role after Graham hug

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein's words and gestures of friendship towards Republican committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday were viewed not as a model of proper behavior, but of weakness by a liberal group who now wants her to step aside. Demand Justice, a left-wing organization that aims to reshape the Supreme Court, immediately chastised Feinstein.

Fox News


Should felons keep their California pensions? This court case could give a new answer

A landmark state Supreme Court decision from July might have breathed new life into a felon's four-year fight to get his full public pension back. Contra Costa County firefighter Jon Wilmot retired in December 2012 and was later convicted of felony embezzlement for stealing from his employer for more than a decade.

Sacramento Bee


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