In less than a decade, California has gone from being a standard-bearer for the ills of prison overcrowding to a national exemplar of reform, letting tens of thousands of people out of prison and reducing penalties for many crimes.
(Subscription required) The Judicial Council's goal when it revised California Rules of Court, Rule 10.500 concerning the disclosure of judicial administrative records was to provide increased transparency into how state courts spend taxpayer funds to resolve claims of harassment and discrimination. But the responsive records made possible by the amendment provided little insight into the context in which the judges named in the records were alleged to have engaged in misconduct, making it difficult to hold judicial officers accountable, according to some legal observers who have suggested the council left too much room for interpretation of the rule.
(Subscription required) Hate crimes in California jumped more than 17 percent from 2016 to 2017, increasing from 931 to 1,093 incidents, according to a report released by the state Department of Justice.
(Subscription required) Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Wade Rhyne’s career as a lawyer started in a U.S. Air Force courtroom and his years of government service have given him the tools to see cases from both sides.