Posts Tagged: misdemeanors
A photo illustration of court finances. (Rusian Grumble, Shutterstock)
California’s courts impose hundreds of millions of dollars of “excessive and disproportionate” fines each year for common infractions, then use much of the money to support their own operations. A blue-ribbon panel examining the system said the fines should be collected by the executive branch — not the courts themselves — to avoid conflicts.
Illustration by Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly
At the heart of California’s Emerald Triangle is Humboldt County, a legendary locale in the world of weed, as prized by marijuana aficionados for its cannabis as Napa Valley is for its wine. “Humboldt is the absolute, undisputed leader in cannabis,” said Luke Bruner, a local resident who has advised state and local officials on marijuana issues.
An inmate gestures through the bars of his prison cell. (Photo: Sakhorn, Shutterstock)
For decades, Californians and their representatives in the state Capitol had a “lock-‘em-up-and-throw-away-the-key” approach to lawbreakers. But that view is changing. Following years of a steadily increasing prison population and some communities repeatedly being devastated by crime, public discussion has shifted in part toward reforming law enforcement’s approach to crime prevention.
Inmates in a crowded area at the state prison in Lancaster, Los Angeles County. (Photo: Associated Press)
The statewide battle in the airwaves over Tuesday’s ballot propositions has been dominated by health insurance regulation, water works and drug testing doctors, but one measure that would have a far-reaching effect on judicial policy is flying under the radar. Proposition 47 would resentence thousands of California prison inmates imprisoned for nonserious or nonviolent crimes.
Two days after he was convicted of eight felony counts of voter fraud and perjury, state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, introduced legislation that would allow nonviolent felonies to be reclassified as misdemeanors in some cases.