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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.

Supreme Court limits criminal reversals based on inadequate rights waivers, but reverses conviction based on inadequate rights waiver

June 22, 2018 | At the Lectern
In People v. Farwell, the Supreme Court today makes it harder generally for a criminal defendant to obtain a reversal because his or her waiver of constitutional rights was allegedly insufficient. The defendant in this particular case, however, is able to overcome the obstacle and has his conviction reversed for driving with a suspended license.

How Law Schools Fared on Calif.'s February 2018 Bar Exam

June 21, 2018 | The Recorder
The state bar on Thursday released figures showing how alumni from many schools in California and around the country performed on the notoriously difficult-to-pass test. There is good news in the numbers for some schools. Some schools, however, produced dismal pass rates.

Active electronic monitoring a viable alternative to pretrial detention

June 18, 2018 | The Hill
Across the United States, approximately 450,000 people are held in jail while awaiting trial, costing taxpayers more than $38 million on a daily basis. By implementing active electronic monitoring, states can establish an effective alternative to pretrial detention, all while promoting public safety and decreasing the cost of incarceration.

Improper Defendant Named in Challenge to Fee for Jury Trial

June 20, 2018 | Metropolitan News-Enterprise
An action challenging the constitutionality of a $150 fee for a jury trial in a civil case should have been brought against the Judicial Council, not the state, the First District Court of Appeal has held.

California Supreme Court by the numbers: oral arguments

June 18, 2018 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) So what can we learn from the oral arguments in the 84 cases decided by the California Supreme Court in 2017? The court was slightly more active in civil than criminal cases, asking 2,572 questions in civil appeals and 2,473 in criminal cases.

Could Pay for Success Help Make Bail Reform a Reality?

June 12, 2018 | Governing Magazine
San Francisco has made history by becoming the first jurisdiction in the country to stop charging people fees for “using” - or being subjected to - the criminal-justice system. An ordinance unanimously adopted by the Board of Supervisors eliminates fees including for probation, electronic monitoring and jail booking.

Opinion: When it comes to court fees, San Francisco gets it right

June 13, 2018 | The Herald News, Fall River, MA
California, like virtually every other state in the country, fines people who are convicted of felonies, misdemeanors and traffic violations as punishment for violating the law. But on top of those fines, states also charge often exorbitant fees. Some fees underwrite the costs of the justice system, such as incarceration or court construction. Others go directly into a state or municipality’s general fund.
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Audio: Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye on Access 3D

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye lays the foundation for reforms within the branch to make access to justice physical, remote, and equal. 

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