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.

Family Wellness Court Brings Healing to Tribal Families

April 02, 2019 | California Courts Newsroom
The Superior Court of Humboldt County and the Yurok Tribal Court formed a new Family Wellness Court to help parents end their substance use—an underlying issue of many child abuse and neglect cases—and ultimately reunite them with their children ensnared in the child welfare system.

Justice Liu Says Death Penalty System In State Is Ineffective, Dysfunctional

March 29, 2019 | Metropolitan News-Enterprise
The jurist declared that “the promise of justice in our death penalty system is a promise that California has been unable to keep,” remarking that voters and legislators must “decide whether California should double down on the current system or chart a new course.”
Opinion: Ensuring access to public records is key to holding police accountable

Opinion: Ensuring access to public records is key to holding police accountable

March 28, 2019 | Press-Enterprise
Transparency and accountability in government is nowhere more important than in law enforcement, where every officer on the street carries the state’s power over life and liberty. That’s why as journalists and as citizens, we take seriously the responsibility to serve the public interest by reporting the public record.
Funds From Ballot Initiative Help Newly Released Prisoners Find a Home in Los Angeles

Funds From Ballot Initiative Help Newly Released Prisoners Find a Home in Los Angeles

March 27, 2019 | California Health Report
Much of the legwork that landed Madison into a relatively secure post-incarceration life was performed by the Los Angeles-based Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS). But the funding for Madison’s transformation materialized as a result of Proposition 47, one facet of extensive criminal reform ballot initiatives passed by California’s voters in recent years.

Calif. newsrooms team up to handle police misconduct records dump

March 27, 2019 | Columbia Journalism Review
The law, signed last year by then–Governor Jerry Brown, gives the public access to internal investigations of serious injuries, including shootings, inflicted by law enforcement officers and confirmed cases of sexual assault and lying on duty.

Opinion: Newsom disrespects victims, their families and voters

March 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Justice. It means giving people what they deserve. For stone-cold killers convicted in the justice system, passed through the appeals process and sitting on death row, justice actually is to be executed.

Opinion: Newsom may have halted executions, but the machine keeps on ticking

March 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Gov. Gavin Newsom made history by declaring a moratorium on executions in California and even tweeting out images of the execution chamber being dismantled. Although I was in Sacramento, I missed the announcement. I was in court on one of my death penalty cases.

Opinion: Death Penalty Politics

March 25, 2019 | Fox & Hounds
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s anti-death penalty position will not only intensify the politics of district attorney campaigns but may one-day reach as high as California Supreme Court retention elections.

Opinion: Fewer California youths are getting arrested.

March 24, 2019 | Cal Matters
It’s hard to believe how fast crime by youths has plunged. In 2007, 237,000 Californians under age 18 were arrested for criminal offenses. In 2017, just 56,000, a decline of 76 percent over the decade.
Opinion: California's death penalty, an appreciation

Opinion: California's death penalty, an appreciation

March 23, 2019 | Ventura County Star
If Gov. Gavin Newsom’s moratorium on the death penalty becomes permanent, we Californians should celebrate the end of a policy that magnified our worst disparities and created the risk of putting an innocent person to death.

Opinion: Gavin Newsom believes he’s better than you and me

March 22, 2019 | Orange County Register
Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom, overrode the people when he signed his executive order to halt capital punishment. He declared, “I think we’re better than this,” alongside his fellow democratic constitutional officers and legislators.

Could California reclassify janitors, truck drivers, construction workers as employees?

March 22, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
As California wrestles with determining who’s a gig worker and who’s an employee, with big implications for benefits and taxes, researchers at UC Berkeley have delved into three industries with a high share of workers classified as independent contractors: trucking, construction and janitorial services.

Vanishing Violence (Part 1)

March 21, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
Serious youth crime has fallen off drastically since the 1990s, leaving juvenile halls emptied.

Why does Alameda County charge up to $1 a page to view court records online?

March 19, 2019 | Berkeleyside
The Alameda County Superior Court system charges $1 a page, dropping to 50 cents after five pages, to view civil court filings. Don’t know the case number and want to search by party name? That costs $1. The fee per document is capped at $40, but it can certainly add up if you’re in the business of tracking and reporting on civil lawsuits.

Judicial Council Eyes Revamp of Harassment Policies

March 15, 2019 | Courthouse News Service
Judge Stacy Boulware Eurie of Sacramento, who chairs the sexual harassment workgroup, said Friday they will likely recommend a new rule of court that would address how courts can adopt reporting procedures, promote a standard branch-wide response to complaints, and provide training for court employees and judges.

Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

March 15, 2019 | The Atlantic
Though superficially similar, the fragility of American capital punishment today is quite different from its fragility in the early 1970s. The United States is virtually alone among developed democracies in regarding the death penalty as an acceptable moral practice. But Newsom’s moratorium might finally change that.

California police accountability: Appellate court upholds ruling in favor of disclosure of discipline records

March 13, 2019 | The Mercury News
Appellate judges found no reason to think that Superior Court Judge Charles Treat’s decision that the state’s new police transparency law, Senate Bill 1421, covered past years would be overturned on appeal and dropped the matter. A stay on the release of records will end on March 19 unless the unions appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Judicial Profile: Orange County Judge Richard King

March 06, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Now in his 19th year as an Orange County Superior Court judge, King has a reputation as a no-nonsense, criminal law expert who takes time to analyze everything, explains his decisions in detail and has a knack for long, difficult cases that test the emotions of all involved.
County's new courthouse should be complete by winter of 2020

County's new courthouse should be complete by winter of 2020

March 06, 2019 | Siskiyou Daily News
The new building will have five courtrooms and will also include adequately sized jury deliberation rooms, a self-help center, a children’s waiting room, a family court mediation area, attorney interview and witness waiting rooms, enough courtrooms for all judges, and ADA accessibility.
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