These are my links for July 21st from 10:55 to 16:42:
- Poll shows Californians prefer easing prison terms to paying more – Cash-strapped Californians would rather ease "third-strike" penalties for some criminals and accept felons as neighbors than dig deeper into their pockets to relieve prison overcrowding, a new poll shows.
In the wake of a court order that the state move more than 33,000 inmates out of its packed prisons, an overwhelming number of voters oppose higher taxes — as well as cuts in key state services — to pay for more lockup space.
The survey, by The Times and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, shows a clear shift in attitude by residents forced to confront the cost of tough sentencing laws passed in recent decades.
The poll canvassed 1,507 registered California voters between July 6 and July 17, about six weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an earlier court order requiring the inmate numbers to be cut. It was conducted by two firms in the Washington, D.C., area: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Democratic firm, and American Viewpoint, a Republican firm. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.52 percentage points.
The ailing economy far outweighs crime as the top concern for most people today, the pollsters said. That, along with the court order, could help explain voters' new receptivity to changes long sought by prisoner-rights advocates:
— More than 60% of respondents, including majorities among Democrats, Republicans and those who declined to state a party preference, said they would support reducing life sentences for third strike offenders convicted of property crimes such as burglary, auto theft and shoplifting.
— Nearly 70% said they would sanction the early release of some low-level offenders whose crimes did not involve violence.
— About 80% said they approve of keeping low-level, nonviolent offenders in county custody — including jails, home detention or parole — instead of sending them to state prisons. The same percentage favors paroling inmates who are paralyzed, in comas or so debilitated by advanced disease that they no longer pose a threat to public safety.
The pollsters noted that people don't generally favor the release of convicted criminals. But "when it comes to prisons," said Linda DiVall of American Viewpoint, "voters are looking for solutions that don't raise taxes or take money from other priorities like education."
Read it all…..
Just wait until some horrendous crime by a just released felon occurs.
Want to bet whether poll results change?
- For California redistricting commissioners, what’s a conflict of interest? – In the spring of 2010, when he applied to become a member of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Gabino Aguirre of Santa Paula described himself as a "community activist" who had been an "advocate for a variety of causes."
Aguirre survived the rigorous screening process conducted by the State Auditor's Office and was ultimately chosen as one of 14 commissioners selected from a pool that originally included 25,000 applicants.
Now, with the commission poised to adopt political district maps that are certain to displease many Californians, Aguirre, one of five Democrats on the panel, has become the subject of sharp attacks from Republican Party leaders who accuse him of being a community activist who has been an advocate for a variety of causes.
The attacks raise anew questions that the State Auditor Elaine Howle struggled with in 2009 as she developed guidelines and regulations for the selection of commissioners, a task with which she was charged under Proposition 11, the initiative that created the independent redistricting process.
Kim Alexander, president and founder of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, said she believes the auditor "struck the right balance" in disqualifying those whose political connections were so strong as to make them potentially beholden to a particular party or politician while at the same time keeping the process open to those who had been engaged in civic activities.
"No one involved in crafting this commission expected you to have applicants who had zero political involvement in their history," she said.
Indeed, a review of applications reveals a history of civic and political activism on the part of several commissioners. Some examples:
Read it all…..
The California Citizen's Redistricting Commission is a disaster. The law should be changed to empower the California supreme Court to draw the lines.
- See which areas have the most unauthorized immigrants in California – Undocumented immigrants comprise about 7 percent of the state's population and 9 percent of its workforce, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the state has held fairly steady at just below 3 million for the past five years — even shrinking slightly — as immigrants settle more often in states other than California, according to the report, which is based largely on federal tax returns. Undocumented immigrants are heavily concentrated in farming areas and urban coastal communities. This map shows which areas have the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants.
The map is at the link….
- Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone takes California Secession Online – PE.com – Politics – Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, who proposed that 13 counties secede from California, has taken his effort online.
Stone's wants to create South California. And although he tempered the secession talk at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, he did convince his colleagues to give him the go ahead to put together a summit on state issues — provided no county funds or staff went toward the effort.
In a statement today, Stone proposed the summit for September or October and wants local officials to discuss ways to change the state. Stone, a Republican, wants a part-time Legislature, a balanced-budget requirement and changes to public employee pensions.
He has launched both a website — californiarebellion2012.com — and a Facebook page to bolster his efforts.
Never going to happen….
- Meth Addict with Flame Thrower to Be Spared Prison as States Cut Spending – Zackariah Lehnen, a 30-year-old transient, was paroled from a California prison in November after serving five months of a 16-month sentence for drug possession. He left under a program intended to reduce state costs by freeing nonviolent prisoners without supervision.
Six months later he was arrested and charged with murder in the torture and stabbing deaths of an 89-year-old man and a 27- year-old woman in a Los Angeles suburb, according to court documents. He’s in jail, with a plea hearing set for July 28.
Lehnen’s case, reminiscent of Willie Horton, the Massachusetts inmate who committed rape in 1987 after failing to return from a weekend pass, is an extreme illustration of the risks states face when they look to reduce prison spending by locking up fewer convicts.
“It’s a perfect example of what goes wrong when you prioritize saving money over public safety,” said Ted Lieu, a former military prosecutor who’s now a Democratic state senator from Torrance, in a telephone interview.
U.S. crime has dropped in the past two decades, a period when the number of state prison inmates doubled to 1.4 million and correctional spending more than tripled to $52.3 billion in 2009, according to the Pew Center on the States and the National Association of State Budget Officers, respectively. Now deficits, and a rethinking of how convicts are handled, are prompting states to reduce the number of convicts they hold.
Read it all….
If they start letting these criminals out of prison, there will be more violent crime eventually.
Then, the media will show the outrage that built all of the prisons in the fist place.
But, at what cost…..
- Mexico seizes over 800 tons of methamphetamine chemicals – The Mexican army has seized just under 840 tons of chemicals used for manufacturing methamphetamine in a raid in central Mexico, one of the biggest finds of its kind ever made in the country.
The seizure in a warehouse took place in an industrial area in Queretaro, about 125 miles (200 km) north of Mexico City, the Mexican defense ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday.
The seizure, which the army made on Monday, included 787 tons of phenylacetamide and 52.5 tons of tartaric acid, all in 25 kilogram (55 pound) packets. Both chemicals can be used in the manufacture of meth.