The New York Times continues its on going series of investigatory features on wrongful convictions or likely wrongful convictions produced by Brooklyn’s law enforcement and court system in the 1980s and early 1990s with a gripping and sad story by Frances Robles on two Brooklyn teenagers (now 30 and 31) … More >
Thanks to the persistence of my wife who has insisted for some time that as residents of the East Bay we must see it in the theater along with fellow East Bayers, our whole family saw this remarkable film a couple of weeks ago. The film moved me to tears … More >
When Governor Brown appointed Jeffrey Beard to be the new Secretary of Corrections in California last year, it was supposed to signal a new era. After decades of Correctional leaders who were insiders, brought up in a system that had normalized a state of permanent crisis and systemic inhumanity, Mr. … More >
Today, July 8, 2013, prisoners in California’s supermax “SHU” units (for Secured Housing Units), are commencing a hunger strike and work stoppage, their second in two years (read the solidarity statement here).
This is tragic. Hunger strikes are an extraordinary act of self deprivation by people who have almost nothing. They … More >
There should be a difference between prosecution and persecution.
The long “War on Crime,” America’s longest, has gone on a lot longer (’67 to now), and done a lot more damage to American law and society, than most people reckon (at least those who missed my 2007 tome, Governing through Crime: … More >
Any reader of the paper of record will be impressed with the series of impressive features dealing with various aspects of county level justice in the five boroughs that make up New York City. While not all of them have cast their gaze backwards (for instance the superb recent series on delay … More >
Watching California politics these days I can’t help feeling that I’m lost in the late 1970s, when I first moved to the Golden State (in August of ’77 with the Eagle’s hit released that March still riding high on the charts).
It’s not just that Jerry Brown is still governor. It’s … More >
Just about two years ago, in May 2011, the US Supreme Court in Brown v. Plata 131 S.Ct. 1910 (2011) upheld what Justice Scalia called the “most radical court injunction in our nation’s history.” The injunction imposed by a special 3-Judge federal court in August 2009, required California to reduce its prison … More >
It has all the feel of a Twilight Zone episode, only in a setting that is unmistakably contemporary. The nightmare is framed by this setting, a house in a gated community. It could be a very posh house, like the one where Oscar Pistorious lived and admits he shot to … More >