Final Thoughts on California’s Proposition 57

Vote 2016The so-called “Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016” overturns four decades of criminal justice laws that have lowered crime rates in California. The Proposition allows tens of thousands of violent, dangerous and career criminals to be released early.
 
It gives Department of Corrections bureaucrats the Constitutional Authority to reduce sentences for “good behavior”, even for inmates previously convicted of murder, rape, child molestation and human trafficking,
 
Prop. 57 disregards previous criminal history and sentences imposed by Judges for repeat and career criminals, treating the worst career criminals the same as first-time offenders
 
It unravels decades of work to provide crime victim rights, protect communities, and hold criminals accountable for their actions. Key provisions of Marsy’s Law, “3-Strikes and You’re Out”, the Victims’ Bill of Rights, Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, and the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act, are either overturned or neutered.

Don’t believe the lies:

If you believe that rape by intoxication, rape of an unconscious person, human trafficking involving sex acts with minors, drive by shootings, assault with a deadly weapon, taking a hostage domestic violence involving trauma, supplying a firearm to a gang member, and lewd acts upon a child, are violent crimes, then you must vote NO on Proposition 57. Otherwise we will revert to a time when crime was rampant, victims were plentiful, and the dark heart of evil infects our communities.
 
Don’t be fooled by slick rhetoric. In recent months the California Attorney General and the F.B.I. have published separate studies that demonstrate a ten percent rise in violent crime in the last year alone. If you haven’t done so already, when you go to the poling precinct tomorrow vote NO on Proposition 57.

Death Penalty Abolitionist Mike Farrell Endorses Torture

graphicfarrellLast night, Tuesday, November 1, 2016, I engaged a death penalty debate on KGO 810 AM radio with famed death penalty abolitionist Mike Farrell. Mr. Farrell is the author of California’s Proposition 62, which would retroactively replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. It was a heated discussion that took a remarkable turn near the end.
 
I had made the point that the last person executed in California, Clarence Ray Allen, was serving Mr. Farrell’s preferred sentence of life without parole when he organized the revenge killing of three people he felt had betrayed him and landed him in prison. In 2006, Allen was executed for those murders and, as I pointed out, he is no longer a threat to society.
 
Mr. Farrell’s response? “There are degrees of incarceration and if somebody is deemed, or demonstrated, or thought to be a danger to the rest of the people, that person can be put in solitary confinement, that person can be confined in a way that he or she has no human contact. We have the capacity to simply maroon human beings.
 
According to multiple sources, “Solitary confinement is considered to be a form of psychological torture with measurable long-term physiological effects when the period of confinement is longer than a few weeks or is continued indefinitely.”
 
I believe that all death row inmates meet Mr. Farrell’s standard of “somebody (who) is deemed, or demonstrated, or thought to be a danger to the rest of the people.” After all, isn’t that why they are on death row in the first place?
 
Going into the debate I knew that Mr. Farrell would wrap himself in a cloak of moral superiority for working so diligently to save the lives of human beings. However, I never, in my wildest imagination, thought that cloak would slip to such a degree that he would reveal an affinity for torture. I may be an unflinching supporter of the death penalty, and I know that in the eyes of many I am considered unfeeling, without moral compass, or worse. Be that as it may, at least I haven’t revealed myself, as I believe Mr. Farrell has, to be a sadist.
 

Death Penalty Abolitionists Alternate Universe

graphicMy reasons for supporting the death penalty are visceral. I have actively promoted this issue, which stirs my passions as it spikes my emotions, for more than 20-years now. Whatever the outcome of the two death penalty propositions on California’s Election Day ballot (62 will abolish the death penalty in favor of life without parole while 66 will mend, not end the death penalty), I will continue to believe in the moral, spiritual, financial, and public safety benefits of this most extreme form of punishment.

little-boy-mourningDuring the 65-days between October 1 and December 4, 1993, I received a crash course in the nature of good and evil. That thousands of strangers would rally around a kidnapped child that most had never met was as pure an act of benevolence as I have ever witnessed. That a knife wielding sexually sadistic psychopath would steal my daughter from a slumber party, then rape and murder her so that he could avoid A.I.D.S. was a deed so dastardly, so evil, that it changed my life forever.

aaaSo, I was not surprised to learn at trial, that Polly’s killer once told Psychiatrist Llewelen Jones that he, “Masturbates twice daily and thinks of female victims of his past crimes.” That there are people who advocate for his life as he continues to violate my child twice daily in his death row cell is vile and repugnant. Her memory and soul deserve the peace that she will only receive after her killer has drawn his last breath of air.

aaaaDeath penalty abolitionists will tell you that we need to look at the big picture, the totality of the issue, not anecdotes or stories taken out of context. However, Polly’s killer is simply a variation on a theme, as is my daughter’s story. All of California’s death row inmates have either murdered children (229), sexually assaulted and tortured their victims prior to murdering them (294), killed peace officers (43), or committed multiple murders. They are unrepentant killing machines: people like Ramon Salcido who slit the throats as he murdered his own children; Scott Peterson who killed his wife Lacy and the full term baby that she was carrying; or Joseph Naso who killed at least six women as he travelled the country for more than two decades. They weren’t driven to commit these crimes by drugs or alcohol. No, they were driven by a bankrupt moral compass to commit crime with impunity without consideration for the consequences of their actions.

aaThe last inmate executed in California was a murder machine named Clarence Ray Allen. He was sentenced to life without parole for a murder he committed in 1974. As a means of getting even he orchestrated the assassination of 3-people he believed had ratted him out. In 2006, Allen was finally executed for those murders. He is no longer a threat to public safety.

aDeath penalty abolitionists advocate that the death penalty is indefensible, beneath the dignity of a civilized society and fails to serve as deterrence to murder and other violent crimes. They overlook the fact that young soldiers are regularly sent to war to kill or be killed, or that U.S. military drone strikes kill innocent people, or that we all applauded and stood a little taller when we learned about the death of Osama Bin Laden.

aI believe that embracing evil, defending the indefensible, and advocating on behalf of sadism and psychopathy are misplaced priorities at best, and in league with the devil at its worst. When I hear abolitionists say that death row inmates “Are us, they’re our children. We are a community,” or that they “Are capable of becoming productive citizens if given the chance,” I think that they must live in an alternate universe.

The Death Penalty & DNA Exonerations

graphicSince the days of Perry Mason, television has fed the public a constant diet of citizens accused and convicted of capital murders that they did not commit. Currently, the plethora of CSI series would have us believe that forensic evidence miraculously and regularly exonerates innocents as they rot in prison cells.
 

Cameron Todd Willingham

Cameron Todd Willingham

The wrongful accusation, conviction, imprisonment and execution of innocents was a staple of The Good Wife on CBS, which recently featured Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck and the case of Cameron Todd Willingham. The elegance of that particular case is that it is impossible to prove if Willingham truly was innocent as the Good Wife and Scheck claim, or was the remorseless arsonist who was executed in 2003 for torching his three young daughters in 1991. The point is that on these television programs forensics are always definitive, defense lawyers are never wrong, and innocent people are convicted, imprisoned and executed.
 
 
w-colemanOf course, print media is complicit as well. Convicted killer Roger Coleman made the cover of Time Magazine on May 18, 1992 with the caption “This Man Might Be Innocent: This Man Is Due To Die”. Fourteen years after being executed DNA evidence proved that Coleman was guilty of murdering his sister-in-law.
 
The June 12, 2000 cover of Newsweek Magazine featured death row inmate Ricky McGinn. Again, the suggestion was that an innocent man was about to be executed. McGinn stated that DNA testing would prove that he didn’t rape and murder his 12-year-old step-daughter. Under intense media pressure Texas Governor George Bush ordered a 30-day reprieve. When DNA testing proved that McGinn was guilty beyond any doubt he was finally executed.
 
Wouldn’t you be surprised to learn then, that at the end of 2013 there were 2,220,300 prisoners incarcerated under state and federal jurisdiction, yet the total number of DNA exonerations for any kind of felony is less than 350? To date, despite years of parading remorseless killers as innocent victims the abolitionists and other death row apologists cannot definitively demonstrate that an innocent man has been executed.
 
The ultimate irony is that death penalty abolitionists crave the execution of an innocent man so that their indignation can run amok, while those who favor the death penalty pray that an innocent is never executed so that the fragile system of ultimate justice can be preserved.
 

Vote NO On Prop 57: List of Fake Non-Violent Crimes Part 2

Prop 57In California, the following crimes are not technically considered “violent,” so therefore, qualify as “non-serious, non-violent offense” eligible for early release in Governor Brown’s Proposition 57, the so-called Public Safety & Rehabilitation Act of 2016. Crimes with an asterisk (*) appear more than once in the categories below.
 
Terrorism-Related Crimes

  • Exploding or Attempting to Explode a Destructive Device in a Specified Place (e.g., health facility, place of worship, bookstore, library, courthouse, judge’s home, or school (Pen. Code § 11413)
  • Possessing, Manufacturing, Transferring, or Acquiring a Weapon of Mass Destruction (Pen. Code § 11418(a))
  • Possession of a Restricted, Biological Agent (Pen. Code § 11419)
  • Possession of a Destructive Device or Explosion in or Near a Specified Place, Private Habitation, or in a Public Building or Public Place (Pen. Code § 18715)
  • Possession of a Substance or Material With Intent to Make Destructive Device or Explosive (Pen. Code § 18720)
  • Carrying or Placing a Destructive Device or Explosive in a Vessel, Aircraft, Vehicle, or Baggage (Pen. Code § 18725)
  • Selling, Offering for Sale, or Transporting a Destructive Device (Pen. Code § 18730)
  • Carrying a Concealed Explosive Substance on the Person (Pen. Code § 19100)
  • Assembling or Placing a Booby Trap Device (Pen. Code § 20110(a))
  • Possession of a Device with Intent to Use it as a Booby Trap (Pen. Code § 20110(b))
  • Mingling Poison or Harmful Substance With Any Food, Drink, or Medicine; Or, Placing a Poison or Harmful Substance in a Spring, Well, or Water Supply (Pen. Code § 347(a))
  • Possession of Destructive Device (Pen. Code § 18710)
  • Exploding a Destructive Device or Explosive With Intent to Injure (Pen. Code § 18740)

Domestic Violence-Related Crimes

  • Violation of a Restraining Order Where Defendant Has a Prior Conviction Within Seven Years for Violating a Restraining Order That Involves a Credible Threat of Violence (Pen. Code § 273.6(d)*
  • Violation of a Restraining Order Within One Year of a Restraining Order Conviction That Resulted in Physical Injury to the Victim (Pen. Code § 273.6(e))*
  • Domestic Violence Resulting in a Traumatic Condition (Pen. Code § 273.5)*
  • Stalking When the Defendant Has a Prior Felony Conviction for Domestic Violence, Violation of a Restraining Order, Criminal Threats, or Stalking (Pen. Code § 646.9(c))*

Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse

  • False Imprisonment of an Elder or Dependent Adult by Violence, Menace, Fraud, or Deceit (Pen. Code § 368(f))*
  • Inflicting Physical Pain or Mental Suffering on an Elder or Dependent Adult; Or, a Caretaker Endangering the Health of an Elder or Dependent Adult (Pen. Code § 368(b)(1))*
  • Non-Caretaker Committing Theft, Embezzlement, Forgery, Fraud, or Identity Theft Against an Elder or Dependent Adult Where the Loss is Over $950 (Pen. Code § 368(d))
  • Caretaker Committing Theft, Embezzlement, Forgery, Fraud, or Identity Theft Against an Elder or Dependent Adult Where the Loss is Over $950 (Pen. Code § 368(e)

Gang-Related Crimes

  • Active Participation in a Criminal Street Gang (Pen. Code § 186.22(a))
  • Supplying, Selling, or Giving a Firearm to a Person to Commit a Gang Crime, and the Person Commits the Gang Crime and is Convicted of It (Pen. Code § 186.28)*
  • Soliciting or Recruiting Another Person to Participate in a Criminal Street Gang (Pen. Code § 219.2)
  • Carrying a Loaded Firearm on the Person or in a Vehicle Where the the Defendant Has a Prior Felony Conviction, or the Firearm is Stolen and the Defendant Knows it, or the Defendant Is an Active Participant in a Criminal Street Gang, or the Defendant Is in a Class of Person Prohibited From Possessing or Acquiring a Firearm (Pen. Code § 25850)
  • Any Felony with a Gang Enhancement Attachment (with exception of extortion and threats to victims/witnesses) (Pen. Code § 186.22(b))

Crimes Against Victims/Witnesses

  • Stalking When There Is a Temporary Restraining Order or Injunction in Place (Pen. Code § 646.9(b))
  • Stalking When the Defendant Has a Prior Felony Conviction for Domestic Violence, Violation of a Restraining Order, Criminal Threats, or Stalking (Pen. Code § 646.9(c))*
  • Convicted Sex Offender in County Jail or State Prison Revealing the Name and Address of a Sexual Assault Victim to Another Prisoner with Intent That the Victim Be Harassed (Pen. Code § 136.7)*
  • Credible Threat of Force or Violence Against a Witness or Victim of the Crime the Defendant was Convicted of (Pen. Code § 139(a))
  • Using Force or Violence Upon a Witness or Victim Because of Assistance Provided to a Law Enforcement Officer or Prosecutor (Pen. Code § 140)*
  • Violation of a Restraining Order Where Defendant Has a Prior Conviction Within Seven Years for Violating a Restraining Order That Involves a Credible Threat of Violence (Pen. Code § 273.6(d))*
  • Violation of a Restraining Order Within One Year of a Restraining Order Conviction That Resulted in Physical Injury to the Victim (Pen. Code § 273.6(e))*
  • Making a Credible Threat to Cause Serious Bodily Injury and Within 30 Days Entering the Victim’s Residence or Workplace With Intent to Carry Out the Threat (Pen. Code § 601)

 

Vote NO On Prop 57: List of Fake Non-Violent Crimes Part 1

Vote 2016The term “non-violent felony offense” is not defined in the initiative, or elsewhere in California law. However, Penal Code section 667.5(c) defines a limited number of felonies as “violent” for purposes of sentencing only. These are the worst of the worst kind of crimes, and is a list of only 23 offenses. The Governor has said any felony not included in this list of “violent felonies” would be a “non-violent felony” for purposes of his initiative. These are the criminals the Governor proposes to let out of prison years, or decades before the sentence given by the judge.
 
Voters may imagine that “non-violent felonies” are limited to low-level crimes like drug possession or auto burglary. But in California there are numerous dangerous felonies that are referred to by the Governor as “not violent,” but which are, in fact, violent in nature.
 
The following crimes are not technically considered “violent,” so therefore, qualify as “non-serious, non-violent offense” eligible for early release in the Governor’s initiative. Crimes with an asterisk (*) appear more than once in the categories below.
 
Crimes Involving Acts of Violence:

  • Assault by Means of Force Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury (Pen. Code § 245(a)(4))
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Pen. Code § 245(a)(1))*
  • Taking a Hostage (Pen. Code § 210.5)
  • Any Felony in Which a Defendant Personally Uses a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon, or Personally Uses a Firearm, or Personally Inflicts Great Bodily Injury (Pen. Code § 667/1192.7)*
  • Hit & Run Resulting in Death or Permanent, Serious Injury (Pen. Code § 20001(b)(2))
  • Domestic Violence Resulting in a Traumatic Condition (Pen. Code § 273.5)*
  • False Imprisonment by Violence, Menace, Fraud, or Deceit (Pen. Code §§ 236-237)
  • Using Force or Violence Upon a Witness or Victim Because of Assistance Provided to a Law Enforcement Officer or Prosecutor (Pen. Code § 140)*
  • Soliciting Another Person to Commit Murder (Pen. Code § 653f(b))
  • Resisting a Peace Officer and Proximately Causing Death or Serious Bodily Injury to the Officer (Pen. Code § 148.10)*
  • Peace Officer Beating or Assaulting a Person Without Lawful Necessity (Pen. Code § 149)
  • Supplying, Selling, or Giving a Firearm to a Person to Commit a Gang Crime, and the Person Commits the Gang Crime and is Convicted of It (Pen. Code § 186.28)*
  • Assault with a Stun Gun or Less Lethal Weapon (Pen. Code § 244.5)
  • Corporal Punishment or Injury on a Child Resulting in a Traumatic Condition (Pen. Code § 273d)*
  • False Imprisonment of an Elder or Dependent Adult by Violence, Menace, Fraud, or Deceit (Pen. Code § 368(f))*
  • Hate Crime Causing Physical Injury, Property Damage Over $950, or Where the Defendant Has a Prior Conviction for a Hate Crime (Pen. Code § 422.7)*
  • Soliciting Another Person to Commit a Specified Crime Such as Carjacking, Robbery, Burglary, Kidnapping, Arson, Grand Theft, Perjury, Extortion, or Assault With a Deadly Weapon (Pen. Code § 653f(a))
  • Inflicting Physical Pain or Mental Suffering on an Elder or Dependent Adult; Or, a Caretaker Endangering the Health of an Elder or Dependent Adult (Pen. Code § 368(b)(1))*
  • Unlawfully Causing a Fire that Causes Great Bodily Injury (Pen. Code § 452(a))*
  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs and Causing Bodily Injury (Veh. Code § 23153)*
  • Conspiracy to Commit Any Serious or Violent Felony (Pen. Code § 182)
  • Involuntary Manslaughter with Personal Use of a Weapon, or Personal Infliction of Great Bodily Injury (i.e., death) (Pen. Code § 192(c))*
  • Vehicular Manslaughter with Personal Infliction of Great Bodily Injury (i.e., death) (Pen. Code § 192(c))
  • Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated with Personal Infliction of Great Bodily Injury (i.e., death) (Pen. Code § 191.5(b))*

Sexual Assault Related Crimes

  • Rape of a Person Incapable of Giving Legal Consent (Pen. Code § 261(a)(1))
  • Rape By an Intoxicating, Anesthetic, or Controlled Substance (Pen. Code § 261(a)(3))
  • Rape of an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 261(a)(4))
  • Sexual Penetration of an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 289(d))
  • Sexual Penetration By an Intoxicating, Anesthetic, or Controlled Substance (Pen. Code § 289(e))
  • Sexual Battery By Unlawful Restraint (Pen. Code § 243.4(a))
  • Sexual Battery of a Disabled or Medically Incapacitated Person (Pen. Code § 243.4(b))
  • Sexual Battery on an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 243.4(c))
  • Sodomy on an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 286(f))
  • Sodomy on a Person Incapable of Giving Legal Consent (Pen Code § 286(g))
  • Sodomy By Intoxicating, Anesthetic, or Controlled Substance (Pen. Code § 286(i))
  • Oral Copulation on an Unconscious Person (Pen. Code § 288a(f))
  • Oral Copulation on a Person Incapable of Giving Legal Consent (Pen. Code § 288a(g))
  • Oral Copulation By an Intoxicating, Anesthetic, or Controlled Substance (Pen. Code § 288a(i))
  • Soliciting Another Person to Commit a Forcible Sex Crime (Pen. Code § 653f(c))

Crimes Against Children

  • Abandonment of a Child Under Age 14 (Pen. Code § 271)
  • Failing to Provide for a Child Under Age 14 (Pen. Code § 271a)
  • Corporal Punishment or Injury on a Child Resulting in a Traumatic Condition (Pen. Code § 273d)*
  • Child Abduction By a Person Not Having a Right to Custody (Pen. Code § 277)
  • Child Abduction to Deprive a Lawful Custodian of a Right to Custody (Pen. Code § 278)
  • Transporting or Providing a Child Under Age 16 For the Purpose of a Lewd Act (Pen. Code § 266j)*
  • Abduction of a Minor For the Purpose of Prostitution (Pen. Code § 267)*
  • Physical Child Abuse/Endangering the Health of a Child (Pen. Code § 273a(a))
  • Sodomy With a Minor Under Age 18; Or a Person Over Age 21 Participating in an Act of Sodomy With a Minor Under Age 16 (Pen. Code § 286(b))
  • Lewd or Lascivious Act on Child Age 14 or 15 Where the Perpetrator is at Least 10 Years Older (Pen. Code § 288(c)(1))
  • Contacting a Minor With Intent to Commit to a Specified Offense Such as Kidnapping, Sexual Assault, Physical Abuse, or Distribution of Obscene Matter (Pen. Code § 288.3)
  • Arranging a Meeting With a Minor For Lewd Purposes, Where the Defendant Has a Prior Conviction for an Offense Requiring Registration as a Sex Offender; Or, Arranging a Meeting With a Minor for Lewd Purposes and Actually Going to the Meeting Place at the Arranged Time (Pen. Code § 288.4)
  • Oral Copulation With a Minor Under Age 18; Or a Person Over Age 21 Participating in an Act of Oral Copulation With a Minor Under Age 16 (Pen. Code § 288a(b))
  • Employing or Using a Minor, or a Parent Permitting a Minor, to Pose or Model or Produce Matter Involving Sexual Conduct by the Minor Alone or With Other Persons or Animals, for Commercial Purposes (Pen. Code § 311.4(b))
  • Soliciting or Encouraging a Minor Violate Laws With Respect to Drugs Such as Heroin, Cocaine, or Cocaine Base (Health & Saf. § 11352)*
  • Employing or Using a Minor to Sell or Transport a Controlled Substance (Health & Saf. § 11353(b)*
  • Selling, Furnishing, Administering, Giving or Offering to Sell, Furnish, Administer, or Give Heroin or Cocaine to a Minor (Heath & Saf. § 11353)*

Human Trafficking

  • Human Trafficking Involving Forced Labor or Services (Pen. Code § 222)
  • Human Trafficking Involving Sex Acts, Obscene Matter, or Extortion (Pen. Code § 236.1(b))
  • Human Trafficking Involving a Minor and Commercial Sex Acts (Pen. Code § 236.1(c))
  • Pimping (Pen. Code § 266h)
  • Pandering (Pen. Code § 266i)
  • Transporting or Providing a Child Under Age 16 For the Purpose of a Lewd Act (Pen. Code § 266j)*
  • Abduction of a Minor For the Purpose of Prostitution (Pen. Code § 267)*

Vote NO On Prop 57: Early Prison Release – X,Y&Z

In August 2009, a federal 3-judge panel ordered California to cap its prison population at 137.5% of capacity by releasing nearly 43,000 inmates. That threshold was met in January 2015, when the state reported that the institutional population had been reduced to 113,463 inmates.
 
Much of the credit for that record reduction has been directed to 2011’s Public Safety Realignment legislation, and Proposition 47 which was affirmed by voters in 2014. Public Safety Realignment transferred responsibility for supervising certain kinds of felony offenders and state prison parolees from state prisons and state parole agents to county jails and probation officers. Proposition 47 reduced certain drug possession felonies to misdemeanors.
 
Starting January 1, 2015, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) began a new early parole determination process, evaluating “nonviolent second-strikers” for parole once they have served only 50 percent of their sentence or are within 12 months of having served 50 percent of their actual sentence. The following fake “non-violent” offenders were released under this program.
 
This begs the question: Who is left to release under Proposition 57 if it passes in November? The answer is not pretty.
 
Yeng XiongXiong, Yeng: Xiong is a self-admitted member of a criminal street gang who has previously committed a violent felony – a well-planned armed take-over bank robbery – with his fellow gang members in 2008. Despite being on parole for that armed bank robbery, Xiong absconded in 2013, and when located by parole agents, was found to be in possession of a semi-automatic handgun as well as MDMA.  Such conduct demonstrates not just an extreme risk to public safety, but shows that Xiong has no interest in complying with the rules and regulations of parole or in becoming a productive, law-abiding member of society. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
 
Travis Coleman YorkYork, Travis Coleman: York has a history of serious felony convictions, including vehicle theft, larceny from a person, weapons possession, and first degree burglary. Furthermore, in the incident that led to his most recent incarceration, York while committing yet another first degree burglary, attempted to punch the homeowner who chased him from the home. A search of the trunk of the vehicle York used to get to the burglary, revealed a loaded shotgun. When York was arrested on the felony burglary warrant, he resisted arrest and was found in the possession of a weapon along with indicia of drug sales. His behavior in prison is less than exemplary as well.  A review of York’s criminal history reveals a history of disciplinary actions involving serious violations, including; refusing to undergo drug testing in November of 2013, possession of a cellular phone and charger in November of 2013, and falsification of prison documents in October of 2014. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
 
Charles James YoungYoung, Charles James: In January 2002, Young was convicted of misdemeanor assault and was placed on informal probation. Less than 2-months later Young was convicted of felony possession of narcotics for sale. He violated his probation in September 2005, after receiving another conviction for possession of narcotics for sale.   Young was found in violation of his probation in January 2008, July 2008, and March 2009.  In July 2011, he was arrested for residential burglary of an ex­ girlfriend’s house. The victim reported that he broke into her house and stole her property. She further stated that she was fearful of the, as he is a G-Mobb gang member who had previously threatened her and her family. Young was convicted of residential burglary and received two years in prison and paroled in November 2012. On October 29, 2013 Young was the passenger in a car being driven by another gang member, which was involved in a short police pursuit.  At the end of the chase Young foot bailed from the car, dropping a loaded Tec-9 handgun on the ground. After his arrest, he acknowledged that he was a G-Mobb gang member. At the time of this offense Young was also a parolee at large. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
 
Daniel Jerome YoungYoung, Daniel Jerome: Young has made a career of victimizing others.  He has been a menace to the community since the age of 19 when he began committing misdemeanor burglaries.  From 1984 until the present, Young has committed a vast array of crimes that include: burglary (numerous), grand theft person, petty theft with a prior, narcotics possession,  assault with a knife (two separate occasions) , check fraud, trespassing, vandalism (numerous), and possession of a knife. Young has spent a large portion of his adult life in and out of both County Jail and Prison because of his many arrests and subsequent convictions. Young has proven time and again that he will not change his behavior and become a productive member of society. Young has picked up either a substantive offense or violated his parole in the following years: 1984, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2015. Young was in and out of prison from 1994 until his discharge in 2000 and again from 2011 until 2013. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
 
Anthony ZamarronZamarron, Anthony: In April 2008, Zamarran identified himself as a gang member and then proceeded to smash a glass bottle over the victims head causing him to lose consciousness. Zamarran immediately began choking his unconscious victim. When the victim’s female friend attempted to intervene and stop the attack, Zamarran began striking her in the face and head. Zamarran was sentenced to two years in prison for this brutal assault—which he would not fully serve. In the early morning hours of September 18th, 2009, Zamarron and a friend knocked on the door of an acquaintance with whom they had been doing cocaine in the preceding hours. The unsuspecting victim answered the door under the impression that Zamarron had forgotten a cell phone inside his residence. However, once the door was opened, the two men rushed the victim, bound him with duct tape, and demanded he give them $6,000 that they knew he had in his possession.  Since he was unwilling to surrender the money, Zamarron grabbed a hammer and began striking the helpless man in the back and head. Fortunately for the victim, he was able to reach into his back pocket and dial 9-1-1, allowing the emergency operator to hear the ordeal as it occurred. Officers arrived and the victim was saved from any more serious injury than had already been inflicted. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
 

Dirty Rotton Liars and the Death Penalty

graphicThe other day I stepped into the lion’s den to debate the death penalty at UC Berkeley. My opponent was Aundre Herron, an appeals lawyer with Death Penalty Focus. Prior to the debate we had a fruitful discussion about the need for expanded prevention funding for at risk youth. She was a nice lady and I told her that she was making it difficult for me to debate with the passion that I like to bring to the subject. She agreed. We were both wrong.
 
Ms. Herron launched right into the same tired arguments that are being parroted by “abolitionists” who are supporting Proposition 62. If passed it will replace the death penalty with a sentence of “true life”. Abolitionists proudly point to a list of 156-innocent death row inmates have been exonerated since 1973. That is totally misleading! They bemoan the fact that numerous innocent people have been executed, when they haven’t. They say that states that do not have the death penalty have the lowest murder rates. Just don’t tell that to Chicago, Ill, Detroit, MI or Baltimore, MD: three of America’s murder capitals in states that don’t have the death penalty. They say that California has invested $5-billion in the execution of 13-men, which is simplistic and misleading. They do all of this wrapped in a cloak of moral superiority.
 
I was ready. I told the students that if they logged onto the KlaasKids Foundation website they would find 26-empirical studies that clearly demonstrate that when executions in the USA increase, murders decrease, and when executions decrease, murders increase. She countered that each was imperfect, because all of them were biased; therefore there was no evidence of deterrence. However, if lack of perfection is a synonym for flawed, all empirical research will always be flawed, because perfection can never be achieved and bias cannot be erased. One indisputable fact remains: there is a simple but dramatic relationship between the number of executions carried out and a corresponding reduction in the number of murders the following year.
 
There is no evidence that the state of California has ever executed an innocent person. Governor Jerry Brown, who served a term as California Attorney General and is personally opposed to the death penalty, has said: “I think people have gotten exquisite due process in the state of California. It goes on for 20 or 25 years and to think that they’ve missed anything like they have in some other states; I have not seen any evidence of it. None. I know people say, ‘Oh, there have been all these innocent people,’ Well, I have not seen one name on death row that’s been told to me.”
 
Ms. Herron said that California has spent $5-billion to execute 13-death row inmates. This is categorically untrue. You can learn the truth by reading Politifact’s analysis.
 
She said that sloppy police work, aggressive prosecution, and blood thirsty judges were responsible for wrongfully convicting California death row inmates. If she really thinks that vilifying the good guys somehow strengthens her argument, then I believe her confidence is misplaced.
 
Finally, she concluded by saying, “The death penalty is a failed public policy that masquerades as justice and instead commits more violence in response to violence. It is like trying to extinguish fire with more fire. Every time the state kills someone it diminishes us.”
 
That somebody with a minority opinion can be so certain of her moral superiority requires further examination. Abolitionists can look into the eyes of a death row inmate, hear his pitiful story, work tirelessly to set aside the execution and, with that goal accomplished, feel good about themselves for having ‘saved a life.’ After all, isn’t saving a life the moral high ground? However, if the death penalty were found to have a deterrent effect and each convicted criminal spared would cost 8-innocent lives, anyone who had been involved in the process of saving the life of a convicted murderer would therefore have been complicit in the mass murder of innocent victims. The thought of being an unwitting accomplice to mass murder is too horrific for a good person to contemplate, therefore, for the sake of a death penalty opponent’s own psychological well-being, the evidence must be denied.
 

Missing in America: Case Closed!

families

With all of the bad press that has befallen them recently, it’s befitting that good news has emerged from law enforcement quarters. Within the course of one week investigators resolved three historical and high profile missing child cases. Collectively, Jacob Wetterling, Laura Smither, and Brittanee Drexel were missing for more than 53-years. Unfortunately, none of the cases ended the way their families had hoped, but at least now they are secure in the knowledge that no-one is harming their children.

Jacob Wetterling

Jacob Wetterling

 

When Polly was still missing after 2-months I felt like I was losing my mind. Fear and anger dominated my waking hours, and nightmarish visions overwhelmed my fitful sleep. Hope became tenuous, like a taut rubber band waiting to snap. So, I can only imagine the emotional crescendo’s overwhelming Brittanee, Laura, and Jacob’s families. Of course, they are relieved to finally know the truth, and to have the answers that have eluded them these many years. However, they are also profoundly saddened by the knowledge that their children are dead. Coming to terms with their new reality will be difficult, but ultimately it will be worthwhile.

 

Laura Smither

Laura Smither

I believe that it’s always better to know the truth, rather than to be left grappling in the darkness of doubt. Learning that your child is dead is a harsh reality, but I believe that it is better than the false hope and unanswered questions that accompanies years or decades of not knowing. On Tuesday, September 6, at a press conference following the killer’s confession Jacob’s mother Patty said, “For us, Jacob was alive until we found him. We need to heal”.

Brittanee Drexel

Brittanee Drexel

Brittanee, Laura, and Jacob were all victims of unimaginable horror. The FBI developed information that 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel was kidnapped, gang-raped, tortured, murdered and that her remains were fed to the alligators that populate the South Carolina coast. On Thursday, September 1, a Galveston, TX grand jury handed down murder indictments against alleged serial killer William Reece after he led them to the remains of 12-year-old Laura Smither of Friendswood, Texas who he kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1997. Of course, Jacob’s killer, who remained in the community, has always been a person of interest in his case. It was only after an intrepid investigation finally put the pieces together that the authorities were able to elicit a confession in a plea deal that allows him to escape legal responsibility for the evil crimes he committed against 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling.
 
On a given day in the United States as many as 33,000 children are missing according to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. Think of emotions that must be surging through the families of the missing. Of course, they now know that just because a case becomes historical doesn’t mean that it has gone cold. Evolved investigative techniques and technology are shining a new light on missing child cases that are decades old and all of those families exist in the same gray area that imprisoned the families of Brittanee, Laura, and Jacob for all of these years. They all want answers, whether the kids are dead or alive. They need to know that their children are finally free from harm and exploitation.
 

Vote NO On Prop 57: Early Prison Release – W

If you think that the following are violent crimes then you need to vote NO on Proposition 57:

  • Assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Taking a hostage
  • Any felony in which a defendant personally uses a dangerous or deadly weapon, or personally uses a firearm, or personally inflicts great bodily injury
  • Hit and run resulting in death or permanent, serious injury
     
    Glenn Allen WarrenWarren, Glenn Allen: A review of Warren’s criminal history reveals a pattern of criminal conduct and a propensity for crime dating back to 1983. Less than one year after receiving diversion for a drug offense, he was convicted of his first strike offense, residential burglary. Originally sentenced to probation, he ultimately received 16 months state prison in 1987, after he committed two additional separate residential burglaries, one in which officers confronted him at the victim’s residence.  Fortunately it was law enforcement and not the victim who found him in the house. Since 1983, Warren’s antisocial behavior has not only increased in severity but also in callousness. Most strikingly, Warren has not been discharged from parole since his first commitment in 1987. Warren’s pattern for committing serious offenses is precisely the reason he continues to pose an unreasonable danger to society. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
     
    Christopher WattsWatts, Christopher: On October 15, 2007, officers responded to a 911 call where they could hear a male voice in the background threatening to kill a woman in the apartment. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim. The defendant initially refused to exit the house but ultimately complied. The victim’s three children were then removed from the house. The victim informed law enforcement that over the course of the last day, Watts became upset with her and initially threatened her with a knife. As they argued, the defendant bit her arm. The victim went to sleep but the defendant woke her up in the middle of the night with a gun in his hand and told her, “You think you’re gonna leave.  It’s not that easy. I’ll kill you and the kids, and myself before I let you leave.” The victim tried to run down the stairs but the defendant put the gun to her neck and told her to stop crying or he would kill her. She hit him and the magazine fell out of the gun and she was able to get away. The defendant then proceeded to grab a knife and threatened to kill her yet again. Officers searched the house and located a 9mm handgun, 20 grams of rock cocaine, a digital scale, some cash and two cell phones. Watts also had a video of a domestic  violence murder – a husband getting mad with his wife and walking up to her and shooting her in the back of the head several times. The victim told officers the defendant watched it frequently and made the victim watch it to intimidate her. Unfortunately, he is no stranger to the use of firearms or serious criminal endeavors. He was convicted of Armed Robbery on January 27, 1998 in Illinois and received an eight year and six month sentence. That case involved the defendant and another subject putting on masks and robbing a gas station convenience store at gun point. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
     
    Auntonio L. WhitneyWhitney, Auntonio L.: On March 11, 2013, Whitney was convicted of committing a residential burglary. He broke into his victim’s home through a bedroom window and stole their property. He was identified through fingerprints. On April 11, 2013, officers were doing fare check on Lite Rail in Sacramento. The inmate did not have a ticket and appeared nervous so the officer checked him for weapons. Concealed in his waistband, the officer found a semi-automatic Starr 9 mm handgun with 6 bullets in the magazine, one in the chamber, the hammer cocked and the safety on. He was convicted of being a felony in possession of a handgun. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
     
    Gregory WilliamsWilliams, Gregory: In 2008 Williams walked into a Bank of America branch, reached for his waistband and told the teller, “This is a fucking robbery, give me all your money or I am going to start shooting people”. Fortunately for the victim in this case, Williams did not actually have a gun and she was protected by bullet proof glass. This case represented Williams’s eighth robbery conviction. The prior robbery convictions did involve a real firearm and William’s was sentenced to twenty years in state prison for a series of robberies. Williams’ prior robberies were conducted at businesses where multiple victims were present. Williams’ typically pointed the firearm at each of them demanding money. He required them to lay on the ground while yelling profanities and waiving a gun in their faces. It should also be noted that while incarcerated, William’s continued to show violent behavior. He received an additional two years onto his already lengthy sentence for assaulting another inmate. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release
     
    Clinton Ray WindomWindom, Clinton Ray: In 1976, Windom was convicted of felony possession of controlled substance. In 1977, two more felony convictions followed for sale/transport of controlled substances, as well as a misdemeanor conviction for appropriation of lost property. In 1983, he was convicted of misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon on his person. During 1983-84, Windom was arrested for: sale/transport of controlled substance, possession of marijuana for sale, false imprisonment, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, robbery and conspiracy. While Windom was not convicted of these charges, in 1986, he was convicted of a violation of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and sentenced to two years in state prison, in conjunction with a [“strike”] conviction of felony assault with a deadly weapon. After being paroled in 1988, Windom was sent back for a parole violation. Paroled in 1989, Windom, was arrested on several occasions in 1990, then violated and sent back to prison on a parole violation. After other arrests and parole violations in 1991 through 1994, Windom went back to prison in 1994 on his latest convictions for his two passions in life: drug sales/possession, and illegal possession of firearms. District Attorney’s Letter Opposing Early Release