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NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.

Judicial Profile: John R. Zitny

January 15, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Although he loves training, Orange County Superior Court Judge John R. Zitny is purposefully not trying to train lawyers now that he is on the bench because he believes it would impact his reputation for fairness.

Gay man leads state habeas corpus center

January 14, 2016 | The Bay Area Reporter
Michael J. Hersek, who served three terms as the state public defender, is now directing the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, which is based in the city. Hersek, whose first day was January 4, is serving as acting director as he awaits state Senate confirmation.

Judicial Profile: Sean Lafferty

January 13, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Sean Lafferty grew up figuring he would one day be a police officer. He doesn't remember how the idea originally came into his head, but he saw it as a position that was worthwhile and had some nobility to it.

Opinion: Prop. 49 should go straight to November ballot

January 13, 2016 | Sacramento Bee
In a major victory for democracy, the California Supreme Court upheld the Legislature’s powers and the people’s constitutional right to “instruct” elected representatives in its ruling this month on Proposition 49.

Judicial Profile: Daniel A. Flores

January 12, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) "We can have smiles on our faces, I like to be as casual as the formality of the proceedings allow ... but I think it's important to maintain that [formality] ... so that no one loses sight of how important our job is - we're dealing with people's lives," Flores said.

State depublication rule draws criticism from judges, lawyers

January 11, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A majority of judges and attorneys who responded to a request for public comment favor abolishing the state's 110-year-old practice of stripping precedential authority from appeals court opinions.

Judicial Profile: Keith H. Borjon

January 06, 2016 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) After working on capital appeals at the appeals, writs and trials section of the state attorney general's office, Superior Court Judge Keith Borjon now finds himself on the opposite end of the criminal spectrum, mostly dealing with just plain folks.

California prison reforms have reduced inmate numbers, not costs

January 05, 2016 | Reuters
In 2012, under court order to reduce prison overcrowding, California announced an ambitious criminal justice reform plan that promised not only to meet the court mandate but also to improve criminal sentencing and “save billions of dollars.”

Editorial: Don't crowd the ballot with Citizens United advisory measure

January 05, 2016 | Los Angeles Times
The California Supreme Court ruled 6-1 this week that the state Legislature has the authority to ask the voters whether the Legislature should propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
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