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California's 'Broken' Death Penalty System

California’s death penalty system needs to change. The death penalty is not an easy topic to discuss. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we lived in a perfect world where we did not have to worry about protecting our family and loved ones from evil? However, we do! My mother, sister and two nephews were murdered in 1984 in a home invasion murder for hire. An 18-year-old rolling 60's Crips gang member, Tiqueon Cox, along with two accomplices entered my mother […]

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Has Jerry Brown Changed His Views On Crime?

California's governor traditionally declares his intention to sign or veto dozens of bills that have been approved by the legislature during the month of October. Jerry Brown's vetoes this year have got a lot of Californians wondering about whether their governor has changed some of his long-held views on criminal justice. Last month, for example, Gov. Brown rejected State Bill (SB) 347, which would have created a 10-year ban on weapon ownership for certain people convicted of gun-related crimes. Existing […]

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A Prisoner of the State

At California's five state psychiatric hospitals, patients are mostly criminal defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial. They've been sent to these institutions for psychiatric care. But sometimes the patients can be violent. Five years ago this week, a staff member was murdered by a patient at Napa State Hospital, in California's wine country. In the time since, the hospital has tried to improve safety. While the majority of patients are not violent, sometimes […]

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The “Broken” Justice System for the Mentally Ill

In mid-September, three California corrections officers were charged with beating a mentally ill inmate to death. Judge Stephen Manley, who runs Santa Clara County’s Mental Health Treatment Court and is on a commission investigating the case, said in an interview with KQED's Scott Shafer that the lack of training for first responders in how to deal with mentally troubled offenders is “one of the greatest problems” facing the U.S. justice system. Such specialized training for corrections officers, judges and court […]

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