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: Court of Appeal, Second Appellate Justice Audrey Collins

November 27, 2018 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Collins has a long history of working on salient issues still relevant to criminal justice efforts today. Early in her career as a federal judge, she chaired a task force run by the Los Angeles County Bar Association that recommended improvements within the criminal justice system in the aftermath of a police corruption scandal known as the Rampart investigation.

Gang murder conviction overturned

November 26, 2018 | KGET
Last week's appeals decision means all Perez's 2008 convictions and sentences are erased. He must be returned to Kern County Juvenile Court, where the case can start over again - if prosecutors can find the necessary witnesses and evidence.

Supreme Court says trial court didn’t sufficiently analyze competency for trial of defendant convicted of stabbing homeless men

November 26, 2018 | At the Lectern
The court also finds that a remand for a retrospective competency hearing might be an adequate remedy in some cases, but not in this one. The defendant will get a new trial, if he’s competent.

Commission Confirms Five Appointments to Courts of Appeal

November 26, 2018 | California Courts Newsroom
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, chair of the Commission on Judicial Appointments, announced that the commission confirmed five appointments by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

Opinion: Reforms have made Californians less safe and cost lives

November 23, 2018 | San Francisco Chronicle
It started with the passage of AB109, which shifted tens of thousands of state inmates to local jails and ultimately onto our streets. It continued with Propositions 47 and 57, changing sentencing and parole policies, and authorizing mass early release. And this year, SB10 made California the first state in the nation to eliminate cash bail.

Uninformed and Unengaged

November 23, 2018 | U.S. News & World Report
"I'm proud to see this important civics education bill signed into law," Massachusetts state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Democrat who heads the Joint Committee on Education, said during the signing. "In light of recent reports of voter suppression and the perilous state of our country's civic and political life today, this legislation is especially critical."

Opinion: US Supreme Court Party Time

November 22, 2018 | New York Times
The Federalist Society celebrated the four Supreme Court justices in attendance at its annual gala in Washington last week, including the newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, who received a minute-long ovation when his name was announced.

Monster Energy fights in state high court and Riverside Superior Court

November 21, 2018 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The state Supreme Court has granted a petition to review an appeal by Monster Energy Co., seeking to renew its suit against an attorney it says breached a confidentiality agreement in a settlement of a suit blaming Monster’s energy drinks for the death of a teenager.

New death penalty rules establish guidelines for attorneys

November 21, 2018 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The state Supreme Court has released new rules for death penalty cases, and the most significant changes require a higher level of experience for counsel representing clients facing death row. The 17-page document posted Monday afternoon is in response to Proposition 66, a 2016 voter initiative that mandates tighter deadlines in capital cases.

Rebuking Trump, Chief Justice Roberts defends judiciary as 'independent'

November 21, 2018 | Washington Post
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement released the day before Thanksgiving. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

Opinion: Bar Exam Blues

November 21, 2018 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The real issue for the California bar exam -- and the reason for the focus on the cut score -- are issues of fairness and even legitimacy.

Clemency recommendation draws motion for transparency

November 20, 2018 | At the Lectern
The Supreme Court today recommended that Governor Jerry Brown pardon former State Senator Roderick Wright, but a public interest organization is asking the court to open up the records it reviewed in making that recommendation.

California court clears way for possible pardon of lawmaker

November 20, 2018 | Associated Press
The justices' decision came after the governor's legal affairs secretary, Peter Krause, sought the court's input last month. Wright presented a "favorable case for a pardon," Krause said in a letter to the justices in October, saying the Legislature has since clarified the law about a politician's residence.

US Supreme Court rejects ad challenge from state grape growers

November 20, 2018 | San Francisco Chronicle
On Monday, without comment, the court denied an appeal by five grape companies from a California Supreme Court ruling in May that said the advertising by the California Table Grape Commission, based on a 1967 state law, does not violate free-speech rights of growers who unwillingly subsidize the ads.

Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Proclamation Targeting Some Asylum Seekers

November 20, 2018 | New York Times
Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the government from carrying out a new rule that denies protections to people who enter the country illegally. The order, which suspends the rule until the case is decided by the court, applies nationally.
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