November 01, 2012
By Assemblymember Mike Davis
Anyone who tells you that the Three Strikes law in California should be credited for reducing or controlling violent crime is mistaken.
In fact, studies show that there is no correlation between Three Strike imprisonments and a drop in crime rates or recidivism. Counties that are inflexible about implementing the Three Strikes law saw an increase in violent crimes as compared to counties that have not been so strict.
Furthermore, national crime trends show states without the Three Strikes law have exhibited a drop in crime since the early 1990s.
So why not reform the Three Strikes law?
Mike Reynolds, the author of the Three Strikes law that passed in 1994, says that passing Prop. 36 would weaken it.
Not true. Prop. 36 is a modest reform to our current Three Strikes law. The law will continue to empower prosecutors to put violent repeat offenders in prison for life and sentence nonviolent offenders twice the ordinary prison term.
More importantly, as it was originally intended, crimes such as rape, murder and child molestation will not receive any benefit from the passage of Prop. 36. And, no prisoner will be released without resentencing in front of the judge.
Prop. 36 will make sure that the punishment fits the crime, so that precious financial resources are used effectively to impose life sentences for violent criminals. At this very moment, dangerous criminals are being released early from prison because jails are clogged up with non-violent offenders. We have to make more room in our prisons for violent criminals.
Prop. 36 was drafted by professors at Stanford Law School in conjunction with law leaders in California and lawyers at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. It is based on policy that was implemented by Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley. Other law enforcement leaders, professors, civil rights leaders and taxpayer advocates are supporting the proposition because the law today is costly, ineffective and unfair.
And as Assemblymember, I work hard to find ways to reduce our state budget deficit each year. It makes perfect sense to reform the law so that California saves upwards of $100 million dollars every year by making this modest reform.
Furthermore, three strikes reform in California will put our state in concert with the 22 other states in the country that have three strikes policies which require a violent and serious offense for every offense including the third strike. This is a just and fair policy.
So Vote Yes on Prop 36 because it is smart, fair and just.
November 01, 2012
LAWT Wire Service
Legendary athlete and respected businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson endorsed Jackie Lacey for Los Angeles County District Attorney today.
Johnson joins a growing group of bipartisan business and community leaders in supporting Lacey in her bid to become Los Angeles County’s next District Attorney.
“Jackie Lacey is, by far, the best candidate for Los Angeles County District Attorney,” Johnson said. “She has a proven record of working with the community to implement groundbreaking programs that offer nonviolent offenders, including veterans, a one-time opportunity to turn their lives around. We need someone like Jackie who is innovative and dedicated to improving public safety for us all.”
For a complete list of Lacey’s endorsements, visit her website at www.JackieLacey.com.
November 01, 2012
Jesse Jackson Jr.'s publicist says the ailing Illinois congressman has voted by absentee ballot.
However, Kevin Lampe says in a statement that Jackson won't hold an election night event next week.
Jackson has been at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic for treatment for bipolar disorder. He recently checked in for the second time and there's been no indication of when he'll return to work.
The Chicago Democrat took medical leave in June and hasn't campaigned beyond a recent robocall to voters. In it, he asked for patience and says he wants to return to work.
Jackson first took office in 1995 and is widely expected to win again. He faces two little-known challengers on the Nov. 6 ballot, including a Republican college professor and postal worker running as an independent.
November 01, 2012
LAWT News Service
Judge Greg Mathis, star of the award-winning nationally syndicated television court show “Judge Mathis” has endorsed Laura Richardson for California’s 44th Congressional District.
“I’m proud to support Laura Richardson for Congress in Southern California because it’s the right thing to do and she’s the right person for the job,” Mathis said.
“As one of three African-American members in Congress from Southern California, Laura has the track record of getting the people’s work done and we need her in Washington. Join me on Tues. November 6 in supporting Laura Richardson for Congress.”
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the California Legislative Black Caucus are also endorsing Richardson, they said as well as numerous community, civic, faith-based, and local elected leaders.
California’s new 44th Congressional District includes the cities and communities of Compton, Carson, Watts, Willowbrook, North Long Beach, Lynwood, South Gate, Walnut Park, Wilmington, and San Pedro.
For a complete list of Richardson’s endorsements, please visit her website at www.LauraRichardson.us.
Tens of thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate coastal areas on Sunday October 28, as big cities and small towns across the Northeast buttoned up against the onslaught of a super-storm threatening some 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation.
“The time for preparing and talking is about over,” Federal Emergency Management Administrator Craig Fugate had warned as a monster Hurricane Sandy headed up the Eastern Seaboard on a collision course with two other weather systems. “People need to be acting now.”
New York City announced its subways, buses and trains would stop running Sunday night because of the risk of flooding, and its 1.1 million-student school system would be closed on Monday October 29. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also ordered the evacuation of part of lower Manhattan and other low-lying neighborhoods.
“If you don’t evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you,” he said. “This is a serious and dangerous storm.”
Tens of thousands of people along the coast in Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut and other threatened areas were also under orders to clear out because of the danger of as much as a foot of rain, punishing winds of 80 mph or higher and a potentially deadly wall of water 4 to 11 feet high. Communities opened shelters across the region.
Sandy was headed north from the Caribbean, where it left nearly five dozen people dead.
Forecasters had warned that the resulting megastorm could wreak havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. Parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina could get snow — 2 feet or more in places.
The danger was hardly limited to coastal areas, with forecasters worried about inland flooding. They also warned that the rain could saturate the ground, causing trees to topple onto power lines and cause blackouts that could last for several days.
States of emergency were declared from North Carolina, where gusty winds whipped steady rain, to Connecticut. Delaware ordered 50,000 people in coastal communities to clear out by 8 p.m. Sunday.
Sandy was at Category 1 strength, packing 75 mph winds, about 270 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and moving northeast at 14 mph as of 2 p.m. on October 28, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was about 575 miles south of New York City. But the storm was so big that forecasters could not say with any certainty which areas would get the worst of it.
Amtrak began canceling train service Saturday night to parts of the East Coast, including between Washington and New York. Airlines started moving planes out of airports to avoid damage and added Sunday flights out of New York and Washington in preparation for flight cancellations on Monday.
The Virginia National Guard was authorized to call up to 500 troops for debris removal and road-clearing, while homeowners stacked sandbags at their front doors in coastal towns.
In Arlington, just outside Washington, D.C., a few shoppers strolled in and out of a supermarket. Cathy Davis said the supermarket was sold out of the water she wanted to purchase, but she wasn’t doing much else to prepare. She figured she would bring her outdoor furniture inside later in the day, and might make some chili.
She said the storm did lead her to decide against decorating for Halloween.
“I was like, ‘Eh, it will just be blown away anyway,’” she said. “What’s the point?”
President Barack Obama was monitoring the storm and working with state and locals governments to make sure they get the resources needed to prepare, administration officials said.
The storm forced the presidential campaign to juggle schedules. Mitt Romney scrapped plans to campaign Sunday in Virginia and switched his schedule for the day to Ohio. First lady Michelle Obama canceled an appearance in New Hampshire for Tuesday, and Obama moved a Monday departure for Florida to Sunday night to beat the storm. He also canceled appearances in northern Virginia on Monday and Colorado on Tuesday.
Breed reported from Raleigh, N.C. Contributing to this report were AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein in Washington; Emery Dalesio in Nags Head, N.C.; Verena Dobnik, Karen Matthews and Samantha Bomkamp in New York; Randall Chase in Lewes, Del.; Dave Dishneau in Wilmington, Del.; Jessica Gresko in Arlington, Va.; and Nancy Benac in Washington.