A recent article in “The Appeal” describes California Gang Laws as “normalized racism.” Sadly, this is not hyperbole. The methodology that allows law enforcement to label someone a gang member – often documenting someone as a gang member based on neighborhoods, friendships and families – is notoriously flawed. As described in the article, police use
On January 1, 2019 Senate Bill 1437 – the new “felony murder law” in California – went into effect. It implements yet another dramatic change to the criminal justice law system in California, by limiting the circumstances that a person can be convicted of first degree murder under the “felony murder doctrine.” What is the
In January of 2018, the law on bail in California changed dramatically, after the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office appealed setting bail in the case of In re Humphrey and won. In that case, the Court of Appeals ruled that, except for very narrow exceptions, everyone has an absolute right to bail that they can afford.
Proposition 57, passed by California voters in November of 2016, will have important implications for both the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems. Here is a brief summary of the law. For Juveniles Prop 57 requires a judge, not a prosecutor, to decide whether juveniles should be tried in adult court. Previously, prosecutors could “direct
This month California voters passed Proposition 47, enacting new law that reduces common drug and theft crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors. Crimes covered by the new law include simple drug possession and certain theft offenses when less than $950 is involved, including shoplifting, petty and grand theft, forgery, check fraud, and possession of stolen
Last week, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously, in the case of People v. Vargas, that two felony strike convictions stemming from a single act against a single victim may not be considered two separate strikes under the California Three Strikes Law. This is an important judicial clarification of the California Three Strikes Law. The