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.

Column: 2 ballot measures will test Californians' attitudes on crime

January 27, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
A new generation of liberal legislators and an old governor — Brown — have been dismantling the tough penal policies of the earlier era, arguing that they disproportionately targeted the poor and the nonwhite and failed to rehabilitate offenders.

Opinion: Improve SB 10, don't eliminate it

January 27, 2019 | Sacramento Bee
The key problem is that SB 10 has no criteria for how risk will be determined. As revised, SB 10 leaves this to each locality and ultimately it gives judges total discretion during the arraignment hearing to decide whether to release an individual and on what conditions.
Yolo Superior Court welcomes new judges

Yolo Superior Court welcomes new judges

January 26, 2019 | Daily Democrat
“We have been looking forward to filling these vacancies for a long time,” explained Judge David Rosenberg, who emceed the event. He commented on the “wonderful turnout,” which included hundreds of attorneys, court staff and members of the public.

New bill would require justices to prepare candidate statements

January 25, 2019 | At the Lectern
A bill introduced yesterday would mandate that Supreme Court justices on the ballot for confirmation or retention prepare a short “statement” for inclusion in the state voter information guide. Court of Appeal justices and superior court candidates would also be required to prepare election statements under the legislation, Assembly Bill 265.

Prosecutors designating personnel for mental illness diversions

January 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The Mental Health Diversion law, which went into effect in July, allowed diversion for any suspect with mental illnesses — with the exception of anti-social personality disorders and pedophilia — even those who committed serious or violent felonies.

Bar explores projects to promote diversity

January 25, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) One long-term goal may be for the diversity of the attorney population and judiciary to match that of the statewide population though interim objectives still need to be established, according to board chair Jason Lee.

Supreme Court blocks reduction of felony burglary to misdemeanor shoplifting under Prop. 47

January 24, 2019 | At the Lectern
The court’s unanimous opinion by Justice Leondra Kruger concludes that, under the pertinent — but not entirely clear — statutory language, “entering an interior room that is objectively identifiable as off-limits to the public with intent to steal therefrom is not shoplifting, but instead remains punishable as burglary.”

Supreme Court refuses to hear internet libel case

January 24, 2019 | Jurist
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up an appeal in Hassell v. Bird, in which the California Supreme Court ruled that the Communication Decency Act provided that interactive websites were immune from liability for defamatory comments posted on the website.

Judge rules that state law barring teens from adult court is unconstitutional

January 24, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A Kern County judge has ruled that a new state law barring 14- and 15-year-olds from being tried in adult court is unconstitutional. The order sets up an appellate test of whether SB 1391 interfered with voters' intent when they passed Proposition 57 in 2016.

ABA once again considers tightening bar passage standard

January 24, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Next week, the American Bar Association’s policymaking body will once again consider a resolution requiring 75 percent of a law school’s graduates to pass the bar exam within two years. The revised standard protects students and the public and simplifies the existing standard, according to an ABA memo, but some California schools may have difficulty meeting the benchmark.

VTA tax survives court challenge; state supreme court won't hear appeal

January 23, 2019 | Palo Alto Daily Post
The California Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a case challenging VTA’s Measure B from 2016, which means the transit agency is one step closer to getting its hands on the money accumulating from the half-cent sales tax voters approved.

Case Remanded for New Trial Under Court Reporter Ruling

January 23, 2019 | Metropolitan News-Enterprise
“Because there is no way to now provide a reporter for a trial that has already occurred,” Justice William Dato of Div. One wrote, “we have no choice but to reverse and remand for a new trial at which an official court reporter will be furnished.”

Opinion: Voters are free to rein in Prop 57

January 23, 2019 | Daily Journal
(Subscription required) If voters wish to narrow the sentence reductions of Prop. 57 in a way that does not conflict with its actual text, they are free to do so.

The fate of California's cash bail industry will now be decided on the 2020 ballot

January 17, 2019 | Sacramento Bee
Proponents of the reform say it would help reduce racial and economic discrimination they say is inherent in California’s cash bail system. But a referendum effort well surpassed the necessary number of signatures to push the law, Senate Bill 10, to a direct voter decision before it can take effect, state officials certified Wednesday.
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