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(Subscription required) Court representatives in Alameda and Kern counties noted they participate in bench-bar committees to address bias and other courtroom concerns, while San Bernardino County has an internal committee that focuses on community outreach and bias.
(Subscription required) Taniguchi said while he thinks Wagstaffe makes a valid point about the privacy of his deputy, the court still wants to find a protocol "so that we can at least then discuss with our employees whether or not they were in close contact" with the prosecutor.
After two weeks of national protests over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, the top federal judge in Southern California sat for a webinar to discuss the reopening of courthouses.
(Subscription required) U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd of Fresno ruled the court should instruct sheriff's deputies and private security officers to allow people to request access to court proceedings either through defense counsel or to the judge handling the case.
(Subscription required) "A lot of people might be scared," Reyna said. "They've never been to court or aren't as sophisticated on how things work. So I'm always cognizant of that. I make my courtroom accessible so folks understand it's a respectful environment."
Scott Erskine, who was on death row for the gruesome 1993 abduction and murder of 13-year-old Charlie Keever and his 9-year-old friend Jonathan Sellers — in a case that haunted the county for almost a decade before it was solved — died this week from what prison officials said appear to be complications from COVID-19.
Expect to receive your invitation soon. We just sent out hundreds of them. Perfect timing coincident with our favorite summer holiday – the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, like almost everything else we love, holiday celebrations have fallen victim to COVID-19. No parades, picnics and fireworks for the first time since 1776.
As Covid-19 continues its inexorable spread throughout California’s state prisons, a federal judge implored corrections officials to release elderly inmates and those with serious health conditions to free up bed space.
The budget cuts $200 million from the state court system, though $150 million could be restored if the federal government sends additional aid by the fall. Further cuts may be necessary if revenues are lower than expected after the extended July 15 deadline for tax payments.
(Subscription required) New cases filed during the superior court shutdowns decreased by about half in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, and slightly in Sacramento County, according to legal analytics company Lex Machina. The report encompasses April and May, when courts significantly scaled back operations.
(Subscription required) While jail populations were reduced to historic lows in many counties, prosecutors and other criminal law experts question whether two months was enough time to draw empirical conclusions about what would happen if voters in November uphold a law that would replace cash bail in California with a risk assessment system. The referendum proposes to block implementation of Senate Bill 10, passed in 2018 but held in abeyance once the initiative qualified for the ballot.
Evictions have been on hold throughout California since the state Judicial Council issued a ban on courts processing “unlawful detainer” cases and foreclosures until 90 days after the governor lifts the current state of emergency. But Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties had a backlog of 1,433 move-out judgments that predated the emergency.
Reuters scoured thousands of state investigative files, disciplinary proceedings and court records from the past dozen years to quantify the personal toll of judicial misconduct. The examination found at least 5,206 people who were directly affected by a judge’s misconduct. The victims cited in disciplinary documents ranged from people who were illegally jailed to those subjected to racist, sexist and other abusive comments from judges in ways that tainted the cases.
(Subscription required) Days after Cormac J. Carney relinquished his post as chief judge over comments he made that were seen as racially insensitive, judges on the nation's largest federal trial court vowed Monday to move beyond the controversy.
A group called United for Diploma Privilege, made up primarily of recent law school graduates that initially aimed its efforts at California, has been leading the charge. The effort got a boost on Monday when law school deans in the Golden State reversed course and endorsed the diploma privilege option over the state’s tentative plans to offer an online exam in September.