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Rob Bonta’s career has hinged on the idea that the law can be used to engender social justice. His elevation to California’s “top cop” position, where he will become responsible for the vast bureaucracy of the state’s criminal legal system, will be a crucible for that belief.
The move is part of a broader criminal justice reform bill that also ends prison gerrymandering, and mandates body cameras for all police departments.
You can’t incarcerate a public health problem. It doesn’t make us safer. It doesn’t repair harm.
Both incarcerated brothers are at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19—and one has tested positive.
A year after Alfonzo Riley returned from prison, he’s helping to vet innocence claims.
On a host of issues—including police shootings, bail reform, marijuana legalization, and the death penalty—critics say Lacey, once seen as a reformer, has sought to preserve the status quo.
The gang database in the state gives police increased authority to approach and harass people for virtually no reason at all.
The state’s narrow interpretation gives too much weight to voices that support a punitive criminal legal system, advocates say.
People seeking commutations from life sentences encounter a steep hurdle in the state’s board of pardons. The board will convene on Sept. 13 to review more than 20 cases.
Last year, lawmakers repealed the felony murder rule, which allowed prosecutors to charge defendants with murders they didn‘t commit. Prosecutors are trying to overturn the new law, but AG Xavier Becerra believes that the reform should stand.
Patrick Murphy didn’t even learn about the murder until later that day. A controversial law allows him to be executed anyway.
Katie Rose Quandt
Senate Bill 1437 virtually eliminated the ‘felony-murder rule,’ but district attorneys aren’t ready to let it go.
Josie and Clint unpack the felony murder doctrine with Marlon Peterson, an advocate, writer, and host of the podcast DEcarcerated.
Josie Duffy Rice,
California amended its felony murder law, which holds accomplices responsible for murder. But reform won’t reach a man sentenced to death in a deadly robbery—even though he was never accused of firing a shot.
Darius Jacob Taylor wasn’t in the state when a robbery he was allegedly involved with ended in murder. But because of the felony murder rule, he’s charged with criminal homicide and faces life imprisonment.
Two teenagers are facing life without parole sentences for capital murder, though it’s not clear they pulled the trigger.
With Appeal contributor Katie Rose Quandt.
Adam H. Johnson