San Diego DA Frees Street Gangs to Roam; California State Bar Fails in its Job; Federal Judge Bans a New California Gun Control Law and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo
DC Police hit by Russian ransomware attack; Scott Peterson seeks retrial for murder of his wife and son; Pentagon gives millions of IP addresses to a Florida company
May 5, 2021
Courts & Rulings
Suit over disclosing officer’s personnel file not a SLAPP
An anti-SLAPP motion does not lie where a suit was brought based on conduct in prior litigation, the Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday, saying that the act of revealing the plaintiff’s personnel file without judicial authorization was not protected conduct because it was a misdemeanor. The opinion by Justice Gail Ruderman Feuer of Div. Seven reverses a decision by Ventura Superior Court Judge Vincent J. O’Neill who granted a special motion to strike brought by the County of Ventura, former Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten, and others.
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issues its highly-anticipated decision on website accessibility
On April 7, 2021, a split panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (the “11th Circuit”) issued its highly-anticipated decision in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, reversing a 2017 judgment against Winn-Dixie that found that the grocery chain’s website violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The 11th Circuit reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings, in part, based on its finding that websites are not a “public accommodation” under the ADA.
The National Law Review
U.S. court upholds COVID-19 delays in criminal trials, citing half a million lives lost
In a partial rebuke of a lower court jurist, a federal appeals court decided Friday that criminal defendants were not robbed of their right to speedy trials or forced unconstitutionally to remain behind bars because the COVID-19 pandemic delayed their trials. “Surely a global pandemic that has claimed more than half a million lives in this country, and nearly 60,000 in California alone, falls within such unique circumstances to permit a court to temporarily suspend jury trials in the interest of public health,” said a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Los Angeles Times
Amazon dealt a harsh blow by CA Appellate Court
Amazon has long skirted liability for third-party sales of dangerous, fake, and fraudulent products, leaving injured consumers without recourse or compensation. California Appellate Court Judge John S. Wiley Jr. agreed in a recently published decision, "The Amazon is the world’s largest river. Amazon.com supposedly chose its trademark because it aimed to create the world’s largest river of commerce. Amazon.com can control what it created.”
The Counterfeit Report
Judge properly ordered doctor to pay USC’s attorney fees, costs based on no-suit vow
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed an order that a medical doctor pay USC $182,925.97 in attorney fees and $1,009.32 in costs based on breaching a 2008 settlement agreement which provided he would not to sue it in connection with events occurring before the date of the accord, with a dissenter insisting that his promise cannot be interpreted to apply to a suit to enforce a 2007 settlement agreement.
Sovereign immunity, legislative censure and another habeas question
The Supreme Court has 138 cases scheduled for review at this Friday’s conference. The court will likely be paying special attention to three of them, which are this week’s new relists. The court will be considering each of these cases for a second time. We begin with a subject that is all too familiar to long-time readers of this feature.
How a Supreme Court case about nonprofit donations could affect America's elections
Upon first glance, the U.S. Supreme Court case Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Rodriquez might not seem like it could impact elections. The case, which will be argued before the Supreme Court Monday, examines the constitutionality of a California regulation requiring nonprofits wishing to raise money in the state to disclose their largest donors to the state Attorney General.
Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor announces new voluntary fast track personal injury bench trial pilot program
Balancing safety and timely access to justice, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County is launching a new voluntary pilot program for litigants to obtain a prompt bench trial in cases assigned to the Personal Injury Hub courtrooms upon receipt of a stipulation by all parties to participate, Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor announced today.
Superior Court of California News Release
The Biden Administration is limiting ICE arrests at courthouses after years of controversy
In 2019, a New York prosecutor set to take a burglary case to a grand jury needed the testimony of an undocumented immigrant to secure the indictment. The victim of the alleged burglary wondered: Would being undocumented affect the investigation? The Queens County prosecutor, Gee Won Cha, assured her that her immigration status would play no role in the prosecution’s case.
Equal protection not denied those charged with illegal entry
Two men who were apprehended attempting to sneak into the United States were not denied equal protection by virtue of being tried on the District Court’s regular criminal docket rather than through a process used for other petty offenses, generally with lesser sentences meted out, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held yesterday. Neither defendant - Eduviges Ayala-Bello and Walter German Velez-Gonzalez - actually received harsher sentencing by virtue of the docketing of his case.
Judge Anderson erred in barring defendant, born a male, from using ‘Nadine’ socially
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday invalidated a condition of probation that a transgender defendant not use the name “Nadine,” even in a social setting, without permission of her probation officer. The defendant, tried as Todd Kamawu Paishon, was found guilty of the possession of stolen mail. She was sentenced by District Court Judge Percy Anderson of the Central District of California to two years and three months in prison, to make restitution in the amount of $9,104.23, and to a three-year period of supervised release.
Ninth Circuit lifts ban on 3D-printed gun blueprints
A divided Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday lifted a court order against two Trump-era rules that make it easier to share untraceable 3D-printed gun blueprints, just as the Biden administration seeks to tighten restrictions on so-called ghost guns. The appeals court ruling will lift restrictions on exporting specs for 3D-printed guns, but President Joe Biden announced in early April that the Justice Department would issue new rules for ghost guns within 30 days.
Courthouse News Service
Judge rules video from NC OIS cannot be released
The body-camera footage of Pasquotank County, NC, sheriff's deputies fatally shooting Andrew Brown Jr., a in Elizabeth City will not be released to the public but will be disclosed to Brown’s family, a judge ruled Wednesday, following days of outcry and protests. North Carolina law requires a judge to permit release of law enforcement videos. Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster ruled against a petition filed by a coalition of media outlets, including The Washington Post, to release the footage of the fatal police encounter involving Brown, 42, on April 21.
Supreme Court Committee cautions judges to be careful in use of social media
Judges have every right to use social media, the California Supreme Court’s Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions said yesterday, but cautioned that whatever steps are taken to restrict the viewing of comments, it should be assumed that they will be available to the general public. The committee said in an expedited advisory opinion: “Judges must assume that all statements made on social media platforms will reach the widest possible audience regardless of whatever viewing restrictions or privacy settings a judge applies.”
Audit finds California State Bar failing in its job to discipline lawyers
The California State Bar’s failure to do an efficient or effective job of investigating and disciplining delinquent attorneys has allowed those who abuse the public trust to continue practicing law while their cases wend their way through the system, the state auditor found. For reasons the bar could not adequately explain, its backlog of unresolved discipline cases increased 87% and its case processing times increased 56% from 2015 through 2020, auditor Elaine Howle found, even as it started to prioritize more serious cases in 2018.
Courthouse News Service
Los Angeles District Attorney
La Mirada, Whittier cast votes of no confidence against LA County DA George Gascon
La Mirada and Whittier city councils joined three other cities - the most recent was Pico Rivera - in casting votes declaring “no confidence” in Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. La Mirada’s vote on Tuesday, April 27 was 4-0 - Councilman Anthony Otero recused himself because his wife is a deputy district attorney. Whittier’s vote the same night was 4-1. Councilman Henry Bouchot provided the lone no vote.
Whittier Daily News
Three L.A. County city councils issue ‘no confidence’ votes to DA Gascón
On Tuesday, city councils in Lancaster, La Mirada, and Whittier approved votes of “no confidence” in L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón. The votes are symbolic and not legally binding; in December Lancaster’s city council issued the same type of no confidence vote to County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. The three L.A. communities join the city councils of Beverly Hills, Santa Clarita, and - by a single vote - Pico Rivera, which previously approved no confidence votes to rebuke Gascón’s policies.
Los Angeles Magazine
Victims’ families want to recall LA County District Attorney
Last Christmas was the worst for Patricia Hernandez. Last Dec. 13, her daughter, Jonisha Mendoza, was found shot to death in a Reseda apartment. The homicide investigation into Mendoza’s death continues. Mendoza, a 32-year-old mother of three, did not live in the apartment. Her mother said it took investigators eight days to locate the person who lived in the home.
The San Fernando Valley Sun
Los Angeles D.A. was voted into office on pledge to reform the system, but critics say he's going too far
Less than three months after Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón was sworn in, victims advocates and members of law enforcement agencies gathered outside his office to demand his removal. Their dissatisfaction led to an organized recall effort against Gascón, who ran on a progressive campaign to bring sweeping change to the country's largest prosecutor's office. But critics want him out, saying he prioritizes criminals over victims, making the county a less safe place to live.
L.A. County D.A. Gascón dismantles hardcore gang unit for new ‘public health approach’
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón confirmed this week that the office’s Hardcore Gang Division would be downsized, reorganized, and renamed as part of a new approach to improve public safety. According to Gascón’s office, the new Community Violence Reduction Division will be made up of experienced prosecutors who will collaborate with activist groups, gang intervention workers, and the Los Angeles Police Department “in some of the most challenged areas.”
The Daily Wire
Our View | Gascón chickens home to roost
George Gascón’s policies have come home to roost in the Santa Clarita Valley.
We predicted that the new Los Angeles County district attorney and his policies aimed at “justice reform” would diminish public safety and embolden criminals throughout the county, and even here in the SCV, one of the safest communities in the nation. That prediction is already coming true, in many small ways - and now, one big one.
Justice Dept. now expects to charge more than 500 in Capitol riot probe
The Justice Department has notified federal judges in Washington that it expects to charge more than 500 people with taking part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The current number of people charged is 440, a law enforcement official said Friday. Court documents show that those charged come from nearly every state, with Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas topping the list in number of residents arrested.
Suspected gang members accused of manufacturing and selling cocaine in South LA arrested
Law enforcement Wednesday arrested 19 defendants, most of whom are suspected members and associates of a street gang named in federal grand jury indictments alleging the manufacture and sales of crack cocaine in and around the Nickerson Gardens public housing projects in South Los Angeles. The 19 people arrested are among 22 defendants charged in nine federal indictments filed in Los Angeles that allege violations of federal narcotics and firearms laws, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
City News Service
San Diego County district attorney moves to lift all gang injunctions
In a move some view as a win for criminal justice reform, San Diego County Dist. Atty. summer Stephan said this week that her office has filed petitions in court to lift all 20 injunctions against street gangs in cities throughout the county. Seven of the 20 gang injunctions - court-approved orders that restrict the movements of alleged gang members - were dissolved as of Tuesday, with approval from judges in San Diego Superior Court.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Newsom may have to decide whether to sanction heroin injection sites
California could become the first place in the nation where people can inject illicit drugs under medical supervision, pushing legal and ethical boundaries amid an alarming spike in overdose deaths. State lawmakers have debated the idea each year since 2016, a recurring struggle between progressive lawmakers who say it will save lives and moderate Democrats and Republicans who warn it would normalize hard drug use.
Split-second decisions: How a Supreme Court case shaped modern policing
In case after case, it took only a split second for an officer to pull the trigger. Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old in Chicago, had tossed away a handgun and begun raising his hands. Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old in Columbus, Ohio, lunged with a knife at another teenager. Tyrell Wilson, a 33-year-old mentally ill homeless man in Danville, Calif., had a knife in hand when he shouted “Kill me” at an approaching deputy sheriff.
New York Times
California’s new Attorney General pledges to police the police
It would be easy to assume that Rob Bonta, 49, California’s new attorney general, is simply the right man at the right time. Bonta, the first Filipino-American to hold the job, made a name for himself advocating for police reform as a Democratic assemblyman representing Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro. So it was no surprise that his colleagues focused on that record during his confirmation hearings this week, held a day after a jury convicted disgraced Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin for crushing George Floyd’s neck with his knee.
Bay Area News Group
Double murder spurs negligence lawsuit against Central Valley suburb
A woman whose mother and sister were killed in a brutal 2016 murder sued a suburban Central Valley city Friday, claiming police negligently failed to protect the two women after they reported fearing for their safety. David McCann is accused of killing his estranged wife, Tierney Cooper-McCann, 37, and her mother, Judith Cooper, 68, on May 7, 2016, in a home McCann previously shared with his wife in the Fresno suburb of Clovis, population 109,000.
Courthouse News Service
Video: California's police use-of-force law explained
In the culmination of one of the fiercest political battles in recent years, California in 2020 put in place a new legal standard tightening the rules around when police can use deadly force. The new standard was a compromise between police and civil rights groups. It legally permits police to use deadly force only when “necessary in defense of human life.” That’s a steeper standard than prosecutors used to apply, which said officers could shoot when doing so was “reasonable.”
Gun lobby challenge to California handgun roster advances
A federal judge found California’s new handgun law provision requiring the removal of three grandfathered handguns for every new handgun added to its list of guns that can be sold in the state “substantially infringes” Californians’ ability to purchase handguns for self-defense. U.S. District Chief Judge Dana Sabraw found the “three-to-one” provision of California’s Unsafe Handgun Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, “imposes a greater restriction on the pool of handguns available for sale in California” and may violate the Second Amendment.
Courthouse News Service
A showdown over crime and punishment looms
Should California continue to reduce punishment for crimes large and small, or has it gone too far and implicitly allowed criminals to prey upon Californians without fear of imprisonment? The question has reverberated throughout the state over the last half-decade, ever since former Gov. Jerry Brown lunched a personal crusade to scale back the lock-‘em-up laws that California enacted - including some that he signed - in the 1980s and 1990s.
Los Angeles County/City
California officer captured on video punching handcuffed woman
A California police officer was placed on paid leave and under internal investigation after he was captured on video punching a handcuffed woman in the face, the Westminster Police Department said. The district attorney in Orange County will evaluate the officer’s use of force and determine whether criminal charges will be filed, the department said in a statement. The Westminster Police Officers' Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
LAPD officer pens letter to LeBron James hoping the two can ‘sit down and talk’ about realities of policing
A Los Angeles Police Department officer took to Facebook Sunday to write a lengthy letter to Lakers player LeBron James hoping the two can sit down together and talk about the realities of policing. LAPD Officer Deon Joseph started his letter by saying, “I am not going to come at you from a place of hatred. There will be no name-calling. I was raised to see the whole of a human being. Not to hyper-focus on their flaws or make said flaws the whole of who they are. I’m an honest man.”
LAPD wants nearly $67 million more in funding, more officers to comply with recommendations for improving response to civil unrest
Los Angeles police officials want nearly $67 million more in funding and about 50 additional officers to comply with dozens of recommendations for improving its response to protests and other civil unrest. The estimates, which were detailed in a report from LAPD Chief Michel Moore and are expected to be discussed by the civilian Police Commission on Tuesday, drew a quick backlash from LAPD critics.
Los Angeles Times
In-depth interview with LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (Video)
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva weighed in candidly on the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict and the challenges he faces at the Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff’s Chief Eliezer Vera announces run for L.A. County sheriff against Villanueva
A senior Los Angeles County Sheriff’s official announced Wednesday he will run for sheriff in next year’s election, becoming an early challenger to Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Chief Eliezer Vera said he decided to try to unseat his boss in order to bring a level of stability to a Sheriff’s Department that he said has been roiled by Villanueva’s clashes with other elected officials and oversight bodies.
Los Angeles Times
Police watchdog sues LA County DA and sheriff for misconduct lawsuit records
A law enforcement and prison watchdog group sued the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and the Sheriff’s Department on Thursday alleging a pattern of unlawful restricting of public access to misconduct claims and lawsuits against the agencies. The Human Rights Defense Center claims the LA County Sheriff’s Department is refusing to grant public access to at least 1,000 claims and lawsuits alleging misconduct ranging from wrongful deaths, excessive force and sexual assaults by police officers and other department agents.
Courthouse News Service
Five arrested in shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker and theft of her French bulldogs
Three reputed gang members were charged Thursday with attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker and the theft of the pop star's two French bulldogs, authorities said. Two other people - including a woman who claimed to have found the animals - were charged with being accessories after the fact. The LAPD said four of the five people arrested are gang members from Los Angeles.
‘Random acts of violence': Two killed in LA shootings that led to standoff and gunfire on freeway
Two people were killed in a series of drive-by shootings Tuesday morning at separate locations in Los Angeles, including a Starbucks drive-thru, that led to a police chase and deadly freeway standoff in Orange County. The five shootings in Exposition Park and downtown Los Angeles and an ensuing pursuit led to an hours-long morning standoff nearly 30 miles away on the 91 Freeway between Fullerton and Anaheim that ended with gunfire.
LAPD shoot, kill man wearing body armor and 'counting down' in Hollywood - police
LAPD shot dead a man wearing body armor in Hollywood after he backed his vehicle into a police car and then failed to comply with officers' orders, police have said. The officers were responding to a radio call with their siren and lights on when a vehicle cut in front of them on Sunset Boulevard near Fairfax Avenue around 2.30 p.m. on Saturday, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said on Twitter.
Gig workers fear carjacking, other violence amid spike in crimes
Just before Christmas last year, Willy Solis, a 42-year-old residential construction worker-turned-delivery driver, was hired to take a late-night $100 bottle of cognac to an apartment complex in Denton, Texas. Once Solis found the apartment, he met a stocky man who gave a name that not only didn't match the ID he showed, but it also wasn't the name of the person who placed the order. Confused, Solis called Instacart's phone support line.
Shocked cop wounded in wild gunfight in Van Nuys garage: Suspect wore body armor, had stolen gun
An off-duty Los Angeles Police officer was in a hospital Thursday recovering from a number of bullet wounds sustained in a Sherman Oaks apartment garage shootout with a suspect who was also hospitalized with gunshot wounds. According to police, the officer left his apartment and entered the subterranean locked parking garage of the complex in the 5200 block of Vesper Avenue, near Van Nuys and Magnolia boulevards, where he was surprised to discover the suspect sitting in the officer’s car at about 2:25 p.m. Wednesday, said LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
Apple’s ransomware mess is the future of online extortion
On the day Apple was set to announce a slew of new products at its Spring Loaded event, a leak appeared from an unexpected quarter. The notorious ransomware gang REvil said they had stolen data and schematics from Apple supplier Quanta Computer about unreleased products and that they would sell the data to the highest bidder if they didn’t get a $50 million payment. As proof, they released a cache of documents about upcoming, unreleased MacBook Pros. They've since added iMac schematics to the pile.
‘Golden State Killer’ prosecutor Anne Marie Schubert announces run for California AG
Anne Marie Schubert - the prosecutor who rose to national prominence in helping crack the Golden State Killer case - announced on Monday that she is running for California attorney general. Schubert, who is currently the Sacramento County District Attorney, will challenge new Attorney General Rob Bonta in next year’s campaign, joining a field that also includes a former assistant U.S. attorney general.
Garland commits to police department probes with their voices at the table
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday told leaders of the nation’s largest law-enforcement organizations that an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department will be the first - but not last - broad civil-rights probe of a local agency that the Justice Department intends to launch as it takes a larger role in local policing.
Wall Street Journal
D.C. police hit by ransomware attack from Russian-speaking cyber criminals
The Washington, D.C., police department was victimized by a ransomware attack. The Russian-speaking hackers claimed to have stolen 250GB of sensitive data and threatened to release it to local gangs. The attackers gave the department three days to contact them and warned they "will start to contact gangs in order to drain the informants" if their demands are not met.
WBZ 1030 News Radio
FBI nabs Westminster suspect in Capitol insurrection: Alleged ‘scuffle’ injured cop, obstruction of justice, violent entry
A 61-year-old Westminster man was arrested at his home Friday morning in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Kevin Louis Galetto was arrested just after 6 a.m. as federal authorities were executing a search warrant at his residence, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jason Dalton said.
USPS conducting covert surveillance on Americans' social media posts
The US Postal Service is running a shadowy surveillance program that tracks Americans’ social media posts - including ones about planned right-wing protests, a report revealed Thursday. The so-called Internet Covert Operations Program enlists the law enforcement arm of the USPS to hunt down “inflammatory” posts - made by groups ranging from the Proud Boys to demonstrators protesting coronavirus lockdowns, according to documents obtained by Yahoo News.
New York Post
Congress should hold hearings on Air Force delays in converting C-130 firefighting airtankers
The conversion of the seven HC-130H aircraft into air tankers destined for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is racing along like a herd of turtles. Congress appropriated $130 million in December, 2013 and directed the U.S. Air Force to perform the needed maintenance on the aircraft and to arrange for all of the conversion work, including installation of the retardant tanks.
In Sacramento, legislative attempts to slow down drivers have hit speed bumps
If you have any doubt that lead-footed drivers are everywhere, elevating risks for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, I’m guessing you haven’t been outdoors in the last year or so. Nationally, there was an 8% increase in auto fatalities, with a death toll of 42,060 - and that was in a pandemic year with significant reductions in traffic .
Los Angeles Times
A Florida man got pulled over because of an air freshener. He fought the law - and won.
Dwight Gordon headed west on Alligator Alley to make the weekly drive from his family home in Miami to his kids in Sarasota. It was mid-day, sunny, light traffic, Gordon recalled. His 1988 Cadillac de Ville smelled like cherries from the two red tree-shaped air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror. Just before the turn north toward Naples, he passed two Collier County deputies. He made sure he wasn’t speeding. Minutes later, emergency lights flashed behind him.
Tampa Bay Times
Biden vowed to end the death penalty. Activists are demanding action as he nears the 100-day mark
As President Joe Biden nears the milestone of his first 100 days in office, anti-death penalty advocates are growing frustrated with his silence and inaction on a campaign promise to end capital punishment. While there haven't been any federal or state executions since Biden took office, about 2,500 men and women sit on death row in federal and state prisons across the country - and advocates say that, in the absence of an executive order from the White House, a state can at any moment schedule executions or the Justice Department can decide to calendar a federal inmate's death date.
Deadly 17-year-old Lamborghini 106 MPH driver’s $200,000 SUV kills innocent woman in West LA: Teen admits vehicular manslaughter
A 17-year-old boy who was behind the wheel of a $200,000+ Lamborghini SUV that slammed into a woman in West Los Angeles at more than 100 mph admitted a Juvenile Court petition Friday charging him with vehicular manslaughter. The teenager was placed on house arrest pending his next court appearance in Inglewood on June 30, when a disposition date is scheduled to be set, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Ex-cop sentenced for selling gun to outlaw motorcycle gang in Orange County
A former police officer who lives in the Hudson Valley has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with selling a handgun to an outlaw motorcycle club member and alerting them they were the target of a police investigation. Ulster County resident Gregg Marinelli, age 39, of Plattekill, a former sergeant with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police, was sentenced on Wednesday, April 21, said Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler.
Court upholds embezzlement convictions of ex-Pasadena Public Works employee, contractor
A state appeals court has upheld convictions of two former Pasadena employees who embezzled millions from the city. In a 33-page opinion posted this week, a panel on the Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, in Los Angeles, rejected the appeal of Danny Wooten, a former management analyst in the city’s Public Works Department, and Tyrone E. Collins, an electrical contractor, both convicted by a jury in 2018 of collaborating to embezzle more than $3 million from the city.
Los Angeles Daily News
Corrections & Parole
Sexual predator sentenced to life behind bars for 1980s cold case killings of two 6-year-old California boys
A sexual predator who evaded capture for more than three decades was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of two 6-year-old boys who were abducted near their homes in Anaheim Hills and Agoura Hills. Kenneth Rasmuson, shackled next to his attorney in a Pomona courtroom, showed no emotion as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Juan Carlos Dominguez sentenced him under a plea bargain arranged in February with the District Attorney’s Office.
Orange County Register
New COVID-19 cases cause Donovan Prison to lock down again
A COVID-19 outbreak at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa has forced the facility back on lockdown, but officials are refusing to clarify the scope of the problem, leaving families and advocates frustrated at the prison’s handling of the health emergency. A spokesperson for the state corrections department confirmed Wednesday that multiple staff members at Donovan have contracted the virus, leading the facility to temporarily cancel in-person visits and reinforce restrictions on the thousands of people living there.
Closing of California Correctional Center could cripple Susanville
“I think it has the potential to cripple Susanville,” said Dan Newton, the city of Susanville’s interim city administrator. Getting rid of Susanville’s second largest employer - that is what is expected to happen by June 30, 2022. Earlier this month the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced plans to close the California Correctional Center. That means more than 3,000 total inmates and staff will have to find somewhere else to go.
Scott Peterson appears in court seeking retrial in murders of his wife and unborn son
Seventeen years after Scott Peterson was convicted of killing his wife, Laci, and unborn son, a judge has allowed his attorneys more time for discovery relating to issues connected to a possible retrial of the death penalty phase of his sentence. Peterson, 48, appeared on a Zoom call from San Quentin State Prison in California on Tuesday for a pair of hearings tied to his 2004 conviction.
Articles of Interest
Rich Archbold: Jose Flores made impossible dreams come true in Long Beach
Jose M. Flores worked all of his 88 years making impossible dreams come true for people in need in Long Beach. He fed the homeless. He helped kids in trouble. He helped neighbors. He helped create and maintain a park honoring Daryle Black, a Long Beach police officer killed while on duty. He worked tirelessly as a volunteer helping the youth division of the Long Beach Police Department.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
Pentagon gave control of millions of dormant IP addresses to Florida company before Trump left office: report
The Pentagon gave control of millions of dormant IP addresses to a Florida company before former President Trump left office, The Washington Post reported. The previously unknown Florida company, Global Resource Systems LLC, had obtained control of 56 million Pentagon-owned IP addresses on Jan. 20 and is now nearing 175 million IP addresses.
Justice delayed is justice denied in AV cases
There’s an old saying in courthouses: “Delay is the defendant’s friend.”
The idea is that if a case drags on long enough, eventually the prosecution will settle it for far less than what they initially wanted. In Los Angeles County, you could modify it to say, “The DA is the defendant’s friend,” because we have a district attorney - Train Wreck Gascón - who acts more like a defense attorney than a prosecutor.
Antelope Valley Press
Critics of California governor gather enough signatures to force recall election
Critics of California Gov. Gavin Newsom have met the state's threshold with enough validated signatures to force a recall election of the Democratic governor this year, a contest that could land on the ballot as early as this summer or as late as December. The recall had long been expected to qualify because it was driven by a well-organized grassroots group that gathered signatures in every county of the state - and backed by key Republican strategists in California who brought their fundraising heft and direct mail expertise to the effort.
California court affirms PAGA claims based on Cal/OSHA violations: Are further PAGA-Cal/OSHA actions to come?
In Sargent v. Board of Trustees of the California State University, the California Court of Appeal highlighted an important distinction between Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims asserted against a public entity employer based on statutes that themselves provide for civil penalties and PAGA claims that are based on PAGA’s default civil penalties provisions under California Labor Code § 2699(f).
The National Law Review
California is awash in cash, thanks to a booming market
As the pandemic raged last May, California was reeling. Spending on unemployment assistance and health care had jumped, while tax revenues were on the verge of cratering. State officials, just months earlier counting on a $5.6 billion budget surplus, now anticipated a $54 billion shortfall. Severe cuts would be needed, making an already frightening recession even worse.
New York Times