Weekly ReCAP: November 2, 2012

Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life. – John Lennon

HAWAI‘I

Developing our public land$, Star Advertiser*, Oct. 28, 2012
REMINDER: the PLDC will hold a hearing on its revised rules on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13th at 10:30 a.m. at the Boardroom of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (corner of Beretainia and Punchbowl). This is the ONLY meeting. Another slapdown of the community.

Slightly fewer voters voice approval of Abercrombie, Star Advertiser*, Oct. 30, 2012

Where Have You Gone, Neil Abercrombie?, Civil Beat, Oct. 11, 2012
Very interesting opinion piece in Civil Beat by PF Bentley. PF Bentley grew up on Oahu in Waikiki and is a former contract photographer for TIME Magazine. He also has produced programming for ABC-TV Nightline. He graduated UH Manoa in 1975 with a B.Ed. Mr. Bentley is currently a documentary filmmaker living on Molokai. Mr. Bentley has also produced the awesome videos for Kanohowailuku Helm.

*You can access this article since the paywall has been lifted until November 3rd.

NATIONAL

Prison budget increase worth the money, Tulsa World, Nov. 2, 2012
“The Legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. Now it needs to fund it.
The Legislature owes it to taxpayers to make these extra funds available to DOC. Called the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, House Bill 3052, which went into effect Thursday, calls for intermediate revocation facilities for those who commit technical violations of probation. Offenders would be placed in prison, but not among the general prison population, and receive intensive treatment for six months rather than being sent back to prison to complete their sentences. The initiative also calls for those completing a felony prison sentence to undergo at least nine months of supervision. This particular provision makes sense and could reduce recidivism, providing for accountability by the inmate and intervention on the part of probation officers if they see a former offender slipping.”

Indiana Court Considers 25-year Adult Prison Sentence for 12-year-old Boy, Equal Justice Initiative, Nov. 1, 2012
“Attorneys for an Indiana boy sentenced to 25 years in prison for an offense at age 12 argued in the Indiana Court of Appeals this week that his case should have stayed in juvenile court.”

Calif. voters to consider changes to three strikes law, California Watch, Nov. 1, 2012
“California Watch explores next week’s vote on state Proposition 36, which seeks to reform the state’s three strikes law. The law allows life sentences for repeat offenders, regardless of the severity of their crimes. Advocates of the initiative say reform will save taxpayers millions, while opponents argue that the law keeps communities safe. Adam Gelb of the Pew Center on the States says that about half the states have done some fairly significant changes to their sentencing laws and policies that affect who goes in and how long they stay. If California does this, states “may be willing to revisit what they’ve done and maybe go a little further, and the other half of the states that haven’t broached this issue in a serious way yet probably are going to say, ‘Maybe now it’s time.’ ”

New mental health center, key to Portland police reforms, no done deal, Oregon Live, Nov. 1, 2012
“When Portland’s mayor last week announced the city’s plan to address federal concerns about police treatment of people in mental health crisis, he highlighted a key feature: a drop-off or walk-in center where police could take patients in need. He said a center would open in mid-2013. But the issue is far from settled…Written into Portland’s negotiated agreement with federal justice officials is the expectation by the U.S. Department of Justice that the state’s new local coordinated care organizations will create one or more of the centers for people in need of immediate mental health care by mid-2013.”

SCOTUS, Franky and Aldo: High court reviews drug-dog protocols, Grits for Breakfast,  Nov. 1, 2012

Report: Sexual assaults in Maine prisons more than double national average, Augusta, Oct. 31, 2012

Argument transcript involving dog sniff as probable cause, CrimProf Blog, Oct. 31, 2012
US Supreme Court transcript in Florida v. Harris
Issue: Whether an alert by a well-trained narcotics detection dog certified to detect illegal contraband is insufficient to establish probable cause for the search of a vehicle.

Transcript of argument in case involving dog sniff at front door of home, CrimProf Blog, Oct. 31, 2012
US Supreme Court transcript in Florida v. Jardines
Issue: Whether a dog sniff at the front door of a suspected grow house by a trained narcotics detection dog is a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause?

Feds to Bal Harbour: Hand over seized drug loot, Miami Herald, Oct. 31, 2012
“The U.S. Justice Department shut down Bal Harbour, Fl.’’s celebrated federal forfeiture program and ordered the police to return more than $4 million, slapping the agency with crushing sanctions for tapping into drug money to pay for first-class flights, luxury car rentals, and payments to informants across the U.S., the Miami Herald reports. After years of seizing millions from criminals, Bal Harbour’s vice squad is banned from the federal program that allowed the village police for years to seize cars, boats, and cash and to keep a cut of the proceeds. In a scathing letter to Police Chief Thomas Hunker, federal agents demand the prompt surrender of the millions reeled in last year by a team that operates from a police trailer blocks from opulent Bal Harbour Shops. For years, the small coastal town known for speed traps became one of the most successful in Florida, with plainclothes cops jetting across the nation toting bags stuffed with cash from investigations that had no connection to Bal Harbour, and making few arrests. The action by DOJ’s criminal division comes after a lengthy investigation that began last year with an audit and escalated into a deep probe that turned up problems including questionable expenses, hundreds of thousands paid to snitches, and missing records.”

Phelps prison closes doors, American Press, Oct. 31, 2012
Louisiana closes 900-inmate state prison to save millions of dollars

This Week at the U.S. Supreme Court: Oral Arguments in Criminal Procedure Cases, CAP Blog, Oct. 30, 2012

In Juvenile Justice, Community Probation Doesn’t Always Mean Kids Are Close to Home, Texas Observer, Oct. 30, 2012
“After years of reform focused on placing kids in probation programs near home, advocates worry about transfers to county facilities hundreds of miles away. Five years of juvenile justice reform in Texas have been built on one point that everyone can agree on: kids do better when they’re close to home. Texas has moved three-quarters of its state lockup population into community probation over the last few years, so kids can get treatment near their families and support networks. But Eileen Garcia, director of the advocacy group Texans Care for Children, says that local control has also created a statewide market for county treatment space, and some kids are still sent hundreds of miles from home. Even if they’re assigned to “community” probation, it turns out there’s no guarantee they’ll serve it in their community. Just last week, in fact, treatment space for three kids was simply auctioned off at the Juvenile Justice Association of Texas’ fall conference in Corpus Christi—a fundraiser the juvenile justice trade group has been holding for years. Last week’s highest bidders scored three-to-six-month placements at the Parent Adolescent Center in Floydada, the Van Zandt County Juvenile Probation Department and the Garza County Regional Juvenile Facility.”

Court grants four cases, seeks government views, SCOTUSBlog, Oct. 29, 2012
“The Supreme Court, fully at work while most of the rest of official Washington takes a weather day off, agreed on Monday to hear four new cases, including a plea to give convicted individuals a new chance to claim that their defense lawyers in state court failed to perform adequately…The other granted cases involve a test of whether a convicted individual’s claim of innocence of the crime will be treated as an excuse for failing to pursue a federal habeas challenge on time…”

More paroled felons stay clean, but revolving door continues, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 29, 2012

How Prisoners Make Us Look Good, The New York Times, Oct. 27, 2012
“Does the high incarceration rate of many black men mean that the gains made by black in the society at large are statistically overstated?”

R.I.P., James Woodard: Why the Dallas DA recommended his pardon, Grits for Breakfast, Oct. 27, 2012
“Exoneree James Woodard, who spent 27 years in prison after being falsely convicted of murdering his girlfriend, will be laid to rest today in Dallas. James was wrongly convicted during the Carter Administration and was one of the Dallas exonerees who was denied DNA testing by former Dallas District Attorney Bill Hill only to be proven innocent when the testing was famously allowed under his successor, Craig Watkins  Cases like James’ were among those that spurred the Legislature in 2011 to revamp the post-conviction DNA testing statute to limit prosecutors’ grounds for objection. His story was featured on 60 Minutes soon after his release; see also alengthy feature from D Magazine. He joined the board of my employers at the Innocence Project of Texas and for a while was among the most outspoken of Texas’ DNA exonerees.”

Prisoners graduating inspire hope, Tulsa World, Oct. 26, 2012

Pennsylvania Gov signs “Miller fix” sentencing legislation into law, Sentencing Law and Policy Blog, Oct. 26, 2012
“As reported in this local article, headlined “Bill provides alternatives to life sentences for juveniles convicted of murder,” I believe Pennsylvania has now won the award for being the first state to reform its law to comply with the Supreme Court’s Eighth Amendment ruling in Miller v. Alabama. Here are the details:”

Report: Use of juvenile lockup down in N.J., Philly.com, Oct. 25, 2012

PUBLICATIONS

Looking Beneath the Surface: The Nature of Incarcerated Women’s Experiences of Interpersonal Violence, Treatment Needs, and Mental Health, Feminist Criminology, October 2012, 7:381-400, first published on April 12, 2012
“Female offenders report higher rates of interpersonal violence (IPV) and mental health problems than incarcerated men. “A high rate of jailed women suffer from multiple health disorders, including serious mental illness, postraumatic stress and substance abuse disorders, according to a study published in this month’s issue of the journal Feminist Criminology. Researchers for the study — which was funded by the U.S. Department of Justice — conducted diagnostic interviews with 491 incarcerated women in rural and urban jails in Colorado, Idaho, Washington, D.C., Maryland and South Carolina between June 2011 and June 2012. 43 percent of those interviewed showed signs of serious mental illness; 82 percent struggled with substance abuse; 53 percent suffered from lifetime post-traumatic stress disorder. The study notes that most jails have limited mental health treatment facilities.” (thecrimereport.org)

The Sixth Amendment Rights to Fairness: The Touchstones of Effectiveness and Pragmatism, Robert P. Mosteller, 45 Texas Tech Law Review, Volume 1, 2012
The Sixth Amendment is aptly described by Akhil Amar as the “heartland of constitutional criminal procedure.” It is a major part of the Framers’ designed to ensure a fair trial and provides the opportunity for the accused to challenge the prosecution’s case and to demonstrate innocence. However, as woeful inadequate funding for indigent defense undercuts the reality of the constitutional right to counsel and as trials become more and more rare, a broader focus is needed.

In a time in which it is painfully obvious that we have limited resources available to meet public needs and a reticence to extend legal doctrines, those interested in progressive reform should look beyond developing new legal doctrine. The fundamental Sixth Amendment interest in fairness can be furthered by administrative mechanisms and aided by actors in the criminal justice system beyond defense attorneys. The victories may not be stirring or draw public note, but for the individuals not prosecuted or incarcerated erroneously, they can be extraordinarily significant and fulfill the basic promise of the Sixth Amendment.

Protecting Prisoners During Custodial Interrogations: The Road Forward after Howes v. Fields, Boston College Journal of Law and Social Justice, Vol. 33, Winter 2012
The Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona sought to mitigate the inherently coercive atmosphere of custodial interrogations to protect victims from involuntary self-incrimination. In analyzing custody for Miranda purposes, courts look at whether a reasonable person would feel his freedom of movement was restricted. When conducting the Miranda custody analysis for interrogated prisoners, courts should thoroughly consider the negative psychological effects of prisons in order to understand the prisoner’s mindset. The Court had the opportunity to conduct this thorough analysis of the dehumanization of prisoners in Howes v. Fields, but it instead minimized the coercive effects of prisons. Moreover, the Court’s finding that the prisoner in Howes v. Fields was not in Miranda custody is inconsistent with its past holdings. This Note argues that in the future, courts should consider with greater nuance the negative effects of prisons in order to protect prisoners from making involuntary confessions.

US DOJ: Arrests in the United States, 1999-2010
“Arrests for drug possession in the U.S. rose 80 percent between 1990 and 2010, from 741,600 to 1,336,530, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today in an analysis of arrests for various crimes. BJS said the arrest rate increased 75 percent between 1990 and its peak in 2006, and has declined since then (through 2010). In what BJS said was a stark contrast, there were 13 percent fewer arrests for drug sale or manufacture in 210 than in 1990–302,300 in 2010 compared with 347,900 in 1990. The report analyzes arrest data compiled by the FBI. Overall, law-enforcement agencies made 13,122,000 arrests in 2010,

Among other comparative numbers in the report for a period in which crime reports overall went down, BJS said the number of murder arrests in the U.S. fell by half between 1990 and 2010. The forcible rape arrest rate fell 59 percent during the period. While the aggravated assault arrest rate fell 31 percent, but the simple assault arrest rate remained essentially unchanged over the period. The male arrest rate for motor vehicle theft in 2010
was a fourth of its 1990 level, and the female arrest rate was half its 1990 value. Juvenile and adult arrest rates for weapon law violations in 2010 were half of what they had been at their peaks in mid-1990s.” (thecrimereport.org)
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