Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

California Inmates Already Received Vaccine - Before Our Elderly Population, and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

Most prolific serial killer in California dies or old age complications in hospital, attempted armed robber shot by employee at cell phone store

 

January 8, 2021

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A man shot and killed his estranged wife inside this Kohls in Whittier on December 22, shortly before Christmas

Courts & Rulings

Sex offenders can qualify for early parole, California court rules

The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that inmates who have been convicted of nonviolent sex crimes may be eligible for early parole consideration in the state as part of a ballot measure that nearly two-thirds of voters approved of four years ago. "The initiative's language provides no indication that the voters intended to allow the (Corrections) Department to create a wholesale exclusion from parole consideration based on an inmate's sex offense convictions when the inmate was convicted of a nonviolent felony," wrote Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye in the unanimous decision.

AP: Trauma' does not excuse lack of filing timely claim over deputy's misconduct

Div. One of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, in separate opinions, yesterday rejected the contentions of three women who contend the trauma of having been sexually assaulted by a deputy sheriff excuses their failure to file a timely claim against the county. Justice Joan K. Irion wrote the opinion in N.G. v. County of San Diego, D076539, which was certified for publication, and the unpublished opinions in T.M. v. County of San Diego, D076636, and D.F. v. County of San Diego, D076533.

LA judge rebukes DA Gascón's lawless new policies siding with criminals

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge recently made clear in court that California Penal Code stands "in the interest of justice," over newly elected Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón's radical news policies dismissing enhancements and special circumstances in criminal cases. The transcript from the case of PEOPLE v. RUDY DOMINGUEZ shows a very interesting back-and-forth between Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Arnold and LA Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Herring.

DA Gascón's push for shorter prison terms runs into resistance from judges, Prosecutors

In office less than a month, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón has brought dramatic changes into the criminal courts with his progressive agenda. In his biggest move so far, he has directed prosecutors to seek shorter prison sentences for most criminal defendants by eliminating sentencing enhancements. While winning plaudits from some quarters, the new policy has run into opposition from some of Gascón's deputy DA's and some judges.

LAist: California court allows lawsuits for emotional distress when events are seen virtually

In 1989 the California Supreme Court allowed people to sue for the shock they suffered from seeing a close family member seriously injured by someone else. Now a state appeals court, for the first time, is allowing damage claims by parents who said they saw the frightening events by smartphone. Since the 1989 ruling, which involved an auto accident, California courts have permitted such suits only by individuals who were present when a close relative was injured or killed.

San Francisco Chronicle

California Chief Justice launches program to fast track backlogged criminal cases

California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Tuesday announced she will launch a program to fast track the resolution of criminal cases and make retired judges available through the Temporary Assigned Judges Program to reinforce those efforts. The temporary program aims to help ease significant criminal case backlogs that have accrued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as California trial courts take meaningful steps to protect the health and safety of court users and staff.

Orange County Breeze: A cheerleader's vulgar message prompts a First Amendment showdown

It was a Saturday in the spring of 2017, and a ninth grade student in Pennsylvania was having a bad day. She had just learned that she had failed to make the varsity cheerleading squad and would remain on junior varsity. The student expressed her frustration on social media, sending a message on Snapchat to about 250 friends. The message included an image of the student and a friend with their middle fingers raised, along with text expressing a similar sentiment.

New York Times: Privacy right in juvenile records not 'clearly established'

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said yesterday that its 2003 opinion in a case was "opaque" and did not render it "clearly established" that peeking at Juvenile Court records without court permission is a constitutional violation. A majority of the three-judge label rendering yesterday's decision called for an en banc reconsideration of the 2003 decision in Gonzalez v. Spencer.

Feds can't back out of landmark deal protecting immigrant children

The Trump administration failed to satisfy the requirements of a landmark settlement when it sought to impose new rules governing the detention and release of immigrant children in federal custody and therefore cannot terminate the agreement, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled Tuesday. The 1997 Flores settlement sets standards for U.S. immigration authorities overseeing the detention, release and treatment of all accompanied and unaccompanied immigrant children in federal custody.

Courthouse News Service: C.A. affirms judgment L.A. Superior Court awarded on MSJ to L.A. Superior Court

The Court of Appeal for this district has upheld a summary judgment which the Los Angeles Superior Court granted in favor of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Justice Brian M. Hoffstadt of Div. Two wrote the opinion, which was filed Thursday and not certified for publication. It affirms a judgment by then-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth R. Feffer, now mediator/arbitrator.

Ex-maintenance supervisor loses appeal in sexual battery case

A state appellate court panel Thursday rejected an appeal filed on behalf of a former maintenance supervisor who was convicted of sexually assaulting or battering three female underlings at an Arcadia shopping mall. The three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal turned down the defense's contention that there was insufficient evidence of unlawful restraint to support Diego Briones Cervantes' conviction for sexual battery involving one of the women.

MyNewsLA: COVID-19 & Justice System

Presiding Judge-elect Eric C. Taylor issues order authorizing judicial emergency continuances for criminal, juvenile dependency matters as COVID-19 cases soar in Los Angeles County

Presiding Judge-elect Eric C. Taylor issued a General Order today extending last-day deadlines for Criminal trials as well as Juvenile Dependency cases pursuant to the emergency powers granted to him by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye under Government Code 68115. The new Order takes effect upon today's expiration of General Order 2020-GEN-026-00, issued on December 2, 2020.

Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles News Release

How COVID-19 changed the California legal community in 2020

In late January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first known U.S. case of COVID-19 in Washington state. By March, the legal industry had embarked on a transformation - one that some experts say will change the profession forever.

Law.com: Marin judge might let San Quentin inmates relocate over virus

A Marin County judge might soon begin ordering the transfer of San Quentin State Prison inmates to other prisons in response to a wave of coronavirus safety complaints. Some inmates, however, might prefer to remain where they are if they can't be released. Charles Carbone, a prisoner rights lawyer in San Francisco, said that is because "right now everywhere else is hotter than San Quentin."

Marin Independent Journal: Trial by Zoom: Using online platforms in administrative proceedings, trials, and oral arguments

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all judicial proceedings were held in person, as were quasi-judicial proceedings like appeals to local hearing examiners. In response to the pandemic, however, courts and hearing examiners have adopted remote technologies like Zoom and other platforms, which are now widely used for a variety of proceedings.

MRSC: How the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a major hurdle to California courts' emergency response system

This year, California's Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye signed nearly 400 court emergency orders, as state courts responded to the coronavirus pandemic. During the early days of the health crisis, some attorneys voiced their frustration at the disparate policies that had emerged to protect court staff, legal practitioners and communities.

Prosecutors' union files civil lawsuit over DA's new directives. The RecorderADDA Lawsuit

The union representing Los Angeles County prosecutors filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging newly seated District Attorney George Gascon's directives to eliminate three-strikes allegations and some sentencing enhancements, alleging the moves are "unlawful." The Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County contends the directives - handed down the day the county's top prosecutor was sworn into office just over three weeks ago - violate state law.

LA prosecutors file lawsuit to stop District Attorney Gascón from breaking California law: City News Service

Tuesday morning the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County (ADDA) served newly elected Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón with notice of a Petition for Writ of Mandate and TRO. Wednesday, the ADDA filed a civil lawsuit seeking a writ of mandate, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. The suit asks that District Attorney George Gascón follow California state constitutional and statutory law.

California Globe

Prosecutors union asks courts to stop new L.A. District Attorney George Gascón's policies

The union representing Los Angeles County prosecutors filed a lawsuit against District Attorney George Gascón on Wednesday, Dec. 30, asking the courts to stop some of the directives he has asked prosecutors to follow. Since taking office earlier this month, Gascón has announced several policies that have been met with disdain by many prosecutors and police unions, including eliminating cash bail and sentencing enhancements.

Long Beach Press-Telegram

LA Association of Deputy District Attorneys files new lawsuit aims to reverse many of DA George Gascón's reforms

On Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys filed a lawsuit, along with an application for a temporary restraining order. Both legal filings aim to keep Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón from continuing to institute a series of reforms that Gascón put in place during the first few days after his virtual swearing on December 7, 2020, and which represent many of the campaign promises he made to voters during the course of the runoff election to unseat two term LA District Jackie Lacey.

Witness LA

LA District Attorney's Office

Deputy DAs view Gascón's top lieutenants with distrust

There is not only apprehension within the District Attorney's Office concerning the new and unconventional head of the office, George Gascón - who laments the days when a "tough on crime" sentiment prevailed - but there's leeriness, also, of those he's placing in key positions - chiefly, Interim Chief Deputy Joseph Iniquez, special assistant Mario Trujillo, and incoming Community Relations Director Tiffiny Townend Blacknell.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Gascón told by staff that policies don't comport with law

District Attorney George Gascón has been told by his office's Appellate Division that the appeals courts would find no merit in his contention that a judge is obliged to blot out a strike allegation whenever a prosecutor requests it, and has been warned that his effort to thwart the Three-Strikes Law by ordering that no enhancements be sought based on prior strikes could be subject to a challenge in a taxpayer's action, internal documents show.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

A DA George Gascón has an offer no criminal can refuse

Are you a convicted felon with a history of violent crime? A murderer? Rapist? Child molester? Human trafficker? Drunk driver who kills? Do you take pleasure in using firearms to ratchet up body counts in all types of crimes? Do you think it unfair that your history of violent crimes makes your punishment for new crimes higher? If so, I have an exciting opportunity for you.

Bakersfield.com

Gascón's best bet for juvenile reform: Code switching

The recent election of District Attorney George Gascón presents an immediate opportunity for the County of Los Angeles to mitigate the consequences of a juvenile justice system handcuffed by an adult-driven penal code. Although the rehabilitative spirit of the juvenile system is delineated within the text of the state Welfare and Institutions Code, the reality is that the text and punitive nature of the penal code undermines that and negatively impacts the juvenile population in ways that most people don't consider.

The Imprint

What happens when we tear a hole in the social fabric

The Los Angeles district attorney, elected just a month ago, has come up with an innovative way to cut down on crime: Pretend that a crime isn't really a crime and don't prosecute anyone who commits the crime. Brilliant, right? George Gascón, the new D.A. in L.A. is a perfect example of what can go wrong when a far-left social justice warrior finds himself in a position of authority.

BernardGoldberg.com

Gascón adviser accused of offering 'sweetheart' deal to gang murder suspect behind back of prosecutor

A special adviser to L.A. District Attorney George Gascón is being accused of going behind the backs of the prosecutor and victim family in a gang murder case to offer a secret "sweetheart" plea deal to the defendant in the case via his public defender, who serves of Gascón's public policy committee. The alleged offer comes in the case of the People of the State of California vs Rudy Dominguez.

Fox11 Los Angeles

ABC's Los Angeles affiliate bows to threats from Gascon's office, substitutes critical article with puff piece

Last night I reported that, according to court transcripts from a December 15 proceeding, LA District Attorney George Gascon attempted, through his special advisor Mario Trujillo, to offer a "sweetheart" plea deal to Rudy Dominguez, a gang member charged with murdering one man and shooting another during a drive-by (neither of the victims were gang members).

RedState

Critics and family torn by violence hold a 'Recall George Gascón' vigil

Families who have been torn apart by violence and senseless murders of their loved ones gathered for a candlelight vigil outside the Hall of Justice Thursday. They congregated to send a message to new LA County District Attorney George Gascón. At issue are Gascón's new policies which these families say benefit only the defendants.

Fox11 Los Angeles

Prosecutors

Co-founder of Grossman Burn Foundation charged with murder in crash that killed two boys

A co-founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation was charged with murder and other counts for allegedly running over two young boys in Westlake Village. Rebecca Grossman, 57, of Hidden Hills, is set to be arraigned in a Van Nuys courtroom on two felony counts each of murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, along with one felony count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

NBC4 Los Angeles

California man charged with killing praying roommate in hospital's COVID-19 ward

New Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon's decision to backtrack on criminal enhancements will come into play in the hate crime slaying of a praying coronavirus patient. Jesse Martinez, 37, is accused of beating 82-year-old David Hernandez-Garcia to death on Dec. 17 with an oxygen tank - because he didn't like his Catholic prayers. They shared a room at Antelope Valley Hospital.

Fox News

In 2021, cases of slain deputy, officer and 2 children could see verdicts

The pandemic prompted the courts in Los Angeles County to temporarily close then operate on a limited basis for a time. Court services resumed in June, but wearing face masks and limitations of the number of people in courtrooms have become the norm. A lot of criminal cases were continued, including the murders of a Whittier officer, a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in Alhambra, a 4-year-old girl at a Whittier motel - whose body was taken to Mexico - and a 9-year-old girl whose body was dumped near a Hacienda Heights trail.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Local prosecutors plead for more state help probing massive fraud by prisoners

That California's state prisons and county jails may harbor fraudsters and thieves should probably not shock or surprise. But the revelation that inmates have bled hundreds of millions of dollars from state coffers via fake unemployment claims - while still behind bars - seems to have done just that. In early December, nine county district attorneys implored Gov. Gavin Newsom for more help ferreting out fraud - a task made tougher by rules that can prevent the right hand from knowing what the left hand is doing.

Orange County Register

New California law will require state prosecutors to investigate police shooting deaths of unarmed civilians

State prosecutors in California will investigate all police shootings that result in the death of an unarmed civilian, under a new law that takes effect in 2021. Fatal shootings by police are generally investigated by local prosecutors. Under Assembly Bill 1506, the responsibility will fall under the state Attorney General's office, which will have to publish a public report on each investigation.

CapRadio

Beverly Hills-based Ticketmaster to pay $10M fine to resolve hacking charges

Beverly Hills-based Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million fine to avoid prosecution and resolve criminal charges from the Department of Justice that it hacked into a rival company's computer systems on repeated occasions. The fine is part of a deferred prosecution agreement Ticketmaster entered into with federal prosecutors in New York over five counts of alleged criminal conduct including charges of computer intrusion, conspiracy and fraud, officials announced late Wednesday.

MyNewsLA

Costa Mesa bar owner charged with illegally operating during pandemic

The owner of a Costa Mesa bar has been charged with illegally operating during curfew hours for nonessential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors announced Thursday. Ronald Michael Barrera, who owns the Westend Bar, is facing one misdemeanor count of violating and neglecting to obey a lawful order and regulation, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

ABC7 Los Angeles

Policy/Legal Issues

Los Angeles must change use of gang injunctions under court settlement

Los Angeles police and prosecutors can no longer blanket entire areas of the city with gang injunctions and must instead use them in a more targeted, deliberate way under the terms of a court settlement reached last month. The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit filed four years ago by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the Youth Justice Coalition.

Los Angeles Times

Discussion of 'backdoor offer' extended to murder defendant raises tensions in district attorney's office

One Friday night four years ago, Fernando Rojo Jr., 26, was sharing a cooler of beer with friends outside his parents' home in South Los Angeles when a white SUV pulled up in front of them. "Where you from?" someone in the car called out. Rojo and his five friends, who weren't in a gang, didn't respond. Their silence was met with gunfire.

Los Angeles Times

Beware of the mask police

If I'm calculating this correctly, we're about to enter our forty-second week of "Two Weeks to Stop the Spread." I'm just a cop with no claim to medical expertise, but if I may offer a layman's opinion, weeks three through forty-one don't seem to have been any more effective than the first two. What would lead anyone to believe the next two, three, or forty-one will be?

The Pipeline

Los Angeles County/City

Travelers to L.A. County must quarantine for 10 days under new guidelines

As Los Angeles County continues to see an unprecedented wave of coronavirus cases, travelers returning to the region must quarantine. Everyone who traveled out of the county is required to quarantine for 10 days upon return, the L.A. County Department of Public Health announced in a press release Monday. If a person begins to experience symptoms of the virus or tests positive, they should isolate for 10 days and until they are fever-free for 24 hours.

Los Angeles Times

Crime in L.A. looked far different during pandemic, LAPD stats show

When Los Angeles went silent in March 2020 amid citywide lockdown orders, so too did reports of many types of crimes. Among the most notable dips, law enforcement officials say, were reports of child abuse and domestic violence. That didn't mean there were fewer abuse victims. In fact, advocates say, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic trapping people in their homes meant more victims were sequestered with their abusers for longer periods of time: Researchers with the National Domestic Violence Hotline said calls decreased 6% that month compared to the same time the year before.

Los Angeles Daily News

Councilmen call on city council to arm Los Angeles' park rangers

Councilmen Joe Buscaino and John Lee joined park rangers today to call on the City Council to change the Los Angeles Municipal Code and arm the city's 30 park rangers. "During this pandemic, our parks have proven to become so much more important than they used to be, and it's just as important to make sure that we protect the people who visit these spaces,'' said Lee, who is the newly appointed chair of the council's Parks and Recreation Committee.

City News Service

Public Safety/Crime

Wild arrest video woman goes off on cops ... as she watches son get arrested

A vile woman whose son was being taken into custody did everything she could to make a simple arrest turn violent, as she ordered her son to escape the cops and then hurled obscenities at the officers. Law enforcement sources tell us, the sheriff's department has seen the video and is considering sending the D.A. a report on the woman for possible obstruction of justice charges.

TMZ

13 suspects arrested months after looting, vandalism in Long Beach

Nearly seven months after the unrest that followed protests over the death of George Floyd, Long Beach police have arrested 13 additional people in connection with looting and vandalism in the city, authorities said. The Long Beach Police Department has now arrested nearly 60 suspects in the aftermath of the civil unrest on May 31, according to the agency.

ABC7 Los Angeles

Seven days, 29 killings: L.A. County's deadliest week reveals pain, inequity and injustice

On a night in late June, Carla Walton lighted a candle where a childhood friend had been gunned down the previous day. Walton didn't intend to stay long at the sidewalk vigil in Long Beach. She had to be up the next morning to bury another friend - a young mother who'd been shot dead while waiting at a red light in Compton.

Los Angeles Times

Where your car is most likely to be stolen in every state

Over 720,000 cars were stolen in the United States in 2019, or 220 motor vehicle thefts for every 100,000 Americans. Those thefts disproportionately occurred in the nation's urban areas. In some cities, the motor vehicle theft rate was well over 1,000 per 100,000 residents, and in nearly every state, there was at least one city with a higher rate than the national average.

24/7 Wall St.

Three detained for reported stolen vehicle; mother interferes

Two minors and one adult were detained at gunpoint in a residential neighborhood by Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's deputies Thursday afternoon responding to a report of a stolen vehicle. The driver of a Chevy Camaro was arrested by deputies on suspicion of driving a stolen and embezzled vehicle, while one of the minors was arrested on suspicion of possession of a weapon, according to Deputy Eric Ortiz with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Information Bureau.

The Signal

LAPD seeking potential victims of man suspected of sexual assault against minor

Los Angeles police are searching for more potential victims of an alleged child predator who has been released without bail after he was arrested in Ohio. The LAPD says Antonio Carlos Diaz was arrested Tuesday in Ohio on a L.A. County warrant and faces 14 felony counts of sexual assault against a minor that took place between 2008 and 2013. LAPD says they have evidence that there may be more victims and want anyone with information to contact them.

ABC7 Los Angeles

Husband charged with shooting and killing estranged wife inside Whittier Kohl's

A felon accused of gunning down his estranged wife inside a Kohl's store in Whittier was charged Monday with murder and child abuse, and alleged to have prior convictions for domestic violence and voluntary manslaughter. Enrique Acosta, 41, is set to be arraigned Tuesday in a Bellflower courtroom for the killing of 46-year-old Yvonne Annette Acosta.

City News Service

Consumer

As counterfeit whisky grows, a new service promises to authenticate your bottle's age

Is your hootch as old as its bottle says? A new age-dating service for high-end whisky may have some answers. London-based blockchain company Everledger and the Scottish Universities Environment Research Centre (SUERC) at the University of Glasgow have teamed up to produce the first age verification system for whisky, reports The Spirits Business.

Robb Report

Amazon's sleazy business practices are crushing businesses and deceiving consumers

Amazon's shocking pattern of behavior illustrates an unchecked monopoly power over Amazon's third-party sellers, bullying of its retail partners, deceiving consumers, and improperly using third-party data for its strategy for developing and selling its own private-label products. The e-commerce giant has grown into a global juggernaut of fraud, counterfeits, replicas, scams, and false claims.

The Counterfeit Report

Odometer fraud increasing in used-car market, experts warn

Vehicle experts are warning anyone in the market for a used car to be on the lookout for rolled-back odometers, which can trick consumers into believing a car has less mileage or wear and tear than it actually does. According to CARFAX, the number of vehicles on the road with a rolled-back odometer increased in 2020 by 13% compared to the previous year.

ABC7 Los Angeles

Whole Foods gets first ever FDA warning letter about mislabeled food that leads to recalls

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to Whole Foods Market, citing a "pattern of receiving and offering for sale misbranded food products" that fail to highlight allergens. This failure has led to recalls. Whole Foods Market is part of the Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -0.88% portfolio. The FDA says Whole Foods recalled 32 products between October 2019 and November 2020 due to undeclared allergens.

MarketWatch

From vape pens to airbags, counterfeit holiday gifts flood the market

Few things feel as good as scoring a great deal on something expensive

Unfortunately, as the saying goes, not all that glitters is gold. "It's incredible because each year that goes by, the fakes get better. They actually are more and more real looking and feeling," said John Leonard, Executive Director of Trade and Policy programs with U.S. Customs & Border Patrol.

KSDK

California/National

New California laws going into effect in 2021

Assembly Bill 685 ensures the right of employees to quickly learn if COVID exposure has occurred in the workplace. Within one day, private and public employers who learn of possible coronavirus exposure must provide written notice to all employees and employers of subcontractors who shared a worksite with the potentially infected person.

SF Gate

California's 2021 minimum wage increase to impact exempt and nonexempt employees

A new year means new changes to California's minimum wage laws. California employers should take note of the following changes to state and local minimum wage laws - set to take effect on January 1, 2021 - that will impact both nonexempt and exempt employees.

JD Supra

Attempted robber shot and killed by Humboldt Park cell phone store employee

An armed man who attempted to rob a cell phone store Saturday night was fatally shot by an employee of the Humboldt Park business, police said. At approximately 6:50 p.m., the unknown male offender walked into Metro PCS, 3239 W. Chicago Ave., presented a handgun and demanded property, according to law enforcement. An employee, a 29-year-old man who holds a valid Concealed Carry License and Firearm Owner's Identification Card, produced his own handgun and fired shots toward the offender.

NBC5 Chicago

7-year-old's shooting death fuels calls for private police in affluent Atlanta neighborhood

The random shooting death of a 7-year-old girl in Atlanta has prompted a coalition of politicians, police and businesses to ramp up calls to establish a private security force to supplement the Atlanta Police Department. Seven year old Kennedy Maxie was fatally shot on Dec. 21 shortly after she had finished Christmas shopping with her family at the Phipps Plaza mall in Buckhead, an affluent residential and commercial neighborhood in Uptown Atlanta.

NBC News

Convictions/Sentences/Pleas

He was convicted in a historic healthcare fraud. Trump is letting him walk free

President Trump's tsunami of pardons and commutations has been such an effective guide to the most loathsome individuals in today's America that it's hard to know where to begin in pulling out case histories. But here's a standout: It's the case of Philip Esformes, who was convicted last year in what federal prosecutors termed "the largest healthcare fraud scheme ever charged by the Department of Justice."

Los Angeles Times

Judge grants Palm Springs vandalism suspect's mental health treatment request

Criminal proceedings were suspended Tuesday against a man accused of spray-painting racist and anti-LGBTQ graffiti and causing other damage at a Palm Springs community center, with a judge allowing the defendant to undergo mental health treatment in lieu of trial. Charinda Godakanda, 46, of Palm Springs, is accused of vandalizing the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center at Desert Highland Park in early July, along with an electric car charging station.

City News Service

Corrections & Parole

Man called most prolific serial killer in US history dies

The man authorities say was the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, with nearly 60 confirmed victims, died Wednesday in California. He was 80. Samuel Little, who had diabetes, heart trouble and other ailments, died at a California hospital, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was serving a life sentence for multiple counts of murder.

AP

California's 'high risk' inmates among first to get COVID-19 vaccinations

California inmates with special needs were among the first to get vaccinations against COVID-19 in the Golden State this week, according to a Tuesday report. Sixty-five inmates and employees of California Health Care Facility in Stockton, volunteered to receive the vaccine Tuesday, said Steve Crouch, director of public employees for the International Union of Operating Engineers, which represents maintenance and systems employees.

Fox News

Inmate accused of stabbing, killing cellmate, CDCR says

An inmate from California State Prison, Sacramento is accused of stabbing and killing his cellmate, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Monday. Braydon Lesseos, 25, was found unresponsive and with multiple stab wounds Christmas Day around 1:10 p.m. during a security check, CDCR said. Lesseos was transported to the prison's medical building, but he died of his injuries roughly a half-hour later.

KCRA

Articles of Interest

Can Trump pre-emptively pardon allies or himself? Clemency power, explained

As President Trump enters the endgame of his time in power, he is said to have consulted advisers about the possibility of granting pre-emptive pardons to his relatives and to allies like his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr. Trump has also claimed that he has "the absolute right to pardon myself," raising the possibility that he may try to impose roadblocks against any future federal prosecution of himself.

New York Times

Oracle's hidden hand is behind the Google antitrust lawsuits

With great fanfare last week, 44 attorneys general hit Google with two antitrust complaints, following a landmark lawsuit the Justice Department and 11 states lodged against the Alphabet Inc. unit in October. What's less known is that Oracle Corp. spent years working behind the scenes to convince regulators and law enforcement agencies in Washington, more than 30 states, the European Union, Australia and at least three other countries to rein in Google's huge search-and-advertising business.

Bloomberg

A cop debunks four core myths of the #DefundPolice movement

As a progressive who wants to decriminalize drugs and advance the welfare state, I fit in well in my Pacific Northwest community. Except, that is, for my job: I've been a big-city cop here for 26 years. Before that, I served in the military. The raging #DefundthePolice movement doesn't know me and my colleagues at all - and persistent myths about police and their critics do more harm than good.

New York Post

Businesses are fleeing California. Blame bad government

Amid raging wildfires, rolling blackouts and a worsening coronavirus outbreak, it has not been a great year for California. Unfortunately, the state is also reeling from a manmade disaster: an exodus of thriving companies to other states. In just the past few months, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. said it was leaving for Houston. Oracle Corp. said it would decamp for Austin. Palantir Technologies Inc., Charles Schwab Corp. and McKesson Corp. are all bound for greener pastures.

Bloomberg

Donald Odorizzi: Forgotten case shows how a California schoolteacher was persecuted for being gay

Forty hours after he was arrested for being gay, Donald Odorizzi, a California schoolteacher, made a decision he would come to regret. On June 10, 1964, Odorizzi picked up his phone and started dialing numbers at random. These weren't prank calls. In a time when homosexuality was considered a psychiatric illness, Odorizzi was just a distraught man, fresh off a breakup, looking for someone to talk to.

Washington Post

Judge rejects Apple copyright claims against cybersecurity firm

A lawsuit filed by Apple against the producer of a virtual iPhone security tool hung on by a thread Tuesday, as a federal judge ruled against the smartphone giant on all but one count. U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith in southern Florida granted summary judgment in favor of cybersecurity software company Corellium on a slew of copyright infringement claims brought against it by Apple.

Courthouse News Service

For more ADDA news and information, visit http://www.laadda.com.

 

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