Posts Tagged: judges
Laura Wilcox, whose shooting death in Nevada County inspired "Laura's Law." (Family photo)
Legislation to strengthen California’s 2002 “Laura’s Law,” which gives family members a legal tool to get treatment for their severely mentally ill relatives, has been approved 77-0 by the state Assembly, despite opposition from some California counties, behavioral health directors and a labor union representing employees in local mental-health programs.
The California Supreme Court, left to right, standing: Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Carol Corrigan, Goodwin Liu, and Leondra Kruger. Seated: Kathryn Werdegar, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and Ming Chin.
Calpensions: The state Supreme Court last week agreed to hear an appeal of a groundbreaking ruling that allows cuts in the pensions earned by current state and local government workers, including judges. When judges have an obvious conflict of interest and excuse themselves from ruling on a case, the legal term is “recuse.” But the seven Supreme Court justices seem unlikely to recuse themselves from a possible landmark ruling on this Marin County pension case.
An inmate gestures through the bars of his prison cell. (Photo: Sakhorn, Shutterstock)
Gov. Jerry Brown has a lot riding on the November ballot. Voters will decide on his Proposition 57, which Brown says would let nonviolent inmates become eligible for parole sooner, create “good behavior” credits for state prisoners and let judges decide whether to try a juvenile as an adult. With California’s prisons crowded and facing a court-imposed population cap, and thousands of inmates housed outside the state, Brown says his measure makes sense.
An illustration of blind justice. (Image: Sebra, via Shutterstock)
The Marshall Project: After the sentencing last Thursday of a Stanford University student for sexual assault, hundreds of thousands of people became outraged, and social media lit up with calls — including one by a Stanford law professor — that the judge be recalled by popular vote. Yet recalling a sitting judge is almost unheard of, both in California and nationally.
Demonstrators protesting police conduct at a gathering in Capitol Park, Sacramento, October 2014. (Photo: Rachael Towne)
An effort is under way to make California the first state in the nation to have its top law enforcement officer independently investigate deaths in police custody, bypassing the prosecutors in California’s 58 counties. Under the plan, the state attorney general would appoint a special prosecutor to direct an investigation when a civilian dies as a result of deadly physical force by a peace officer.
For the new plan the state this fiscal year is paying $63.2 million (24.6 percent of pay) for the pensions of 1,407 judges (1,352 active). Judges Retirement System II is 95 percent funded with a debt or “unfunded liability” of $41.2 million.
Payments seven judges make toward their pensions would be cut nearly in half by a bill approved last week in a Senate committee, despite a warning from the chairwoman of a “slippery slope” undermining the governor’s pension reform.