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California Democrats: Let Felons Vote in Jail

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Will AB2466 pass in the state Senate? Hint: in 2014, three state senators — more than 10 percent of the Democratic caucus — were charged with felonies. The state Democratic Party owns Sacramento, and it’s still not enough. Democratic lawmakers must look at jail and think they hit the jackpot: a captive audience of kindred spirits. 

Debra J. Saunders reports: California lawmakers seem intent on making Sacramento the place where reasonable reforms, much like runaway trains, jump the tracks. In that no-speed-limit spirit Tuesday, the California Assembly voted 41-37 to allow convicted felons to vote in jail. (Yes, you read that correctly — in jail.) If Assembly Bill 2466 becomes law, the ACLU estimates that 50,000 adults will be able to vote behind bars. The state doesn’t trust these people on the streets, but they are welcome in the voting booth.

“If Assembly Bill 2466 becomes law, the ACLU estimates that 50,000 adults will be able to vote behind bars. The state doesn’t trust these people on the streets, but they are welcome in the voting booth.”

When individuals commit crimes that endanger public safety, they forfeit their civil rights upon conviction. The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that the concept of “civil death” goes back to the Greeks and Romans. In some states — Florida, Iowa — convicted felons are permanently disenfranchised. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently made news by suspending permanent disenfranchisement by temporary order.

[Read the full story here, at SFGate]

No need for that in California. In 1976, voters amended the Constitution to end the permanent disenfranchisement of felons. The California Constitution now reads: The Legislature “shall provide for the disqualification of electors while mentally incompetent or imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony.”

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With such clear language, you would think that a measure to allow felons to vote behind bars first would have to go before voters as a constitutional amendment. But voters get no say thanks to an unholy alliance of California politicians, California courts and the ACLU. In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Realignment Act, which mandated that low-level felons serve their sentences not in state prisons, but in county jails or under county supervision. It was Brown’s clever way of alleviating state prison overcrowding by moving felons to largely overcrowded jails.

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In the county system, “it’s not called parole any more,” explained Assemblymember Melissa Melendez, R-Murrieta (Riverside County) who, like every other Republican member, voted against AB2466. Read the rest of this entry »

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[PHOTO] Statement of the Day

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Peckerwood Cavalcade: Texas Biker Mugshots

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Mugshots: Texas biker shootout 172 photos

A fight broke out among rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, on Sunday, May 17, leaving at least nine people dead. At least 170 people were arrested, and they all face charges of engaging in organized crime. McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said that bond was being set at $1 million for each of them….

[Bonus – One Group That Definitely Doesn’t Benefit from White Privilege: Biker Gangs]

Here’s a few peckerwoods I saved for my personal collection. Visit the gallery and pick your favorites, too!

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[Photo Gallery here]

[CNN.com]


Journalists Imprisoned in 2014

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 Committee to Protect Journalists


Probation in Child Abduction Case: Mother who was the Focus of an International Manhunt Won’t Serve Any Jail Time

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In 2012, Pfeifer, 32, was arrested in France last December after violating custody orders that she return with her sons. 

“The safety of the two sons that are at issue in this case was my primary concern.”

— Prosecutor Deanne Castorena

LOS ANGELES (KABC)  reports: A mother accused of keeping her two young sons from their fathers has escaped jail time. Maria Pfeifer was the subject of an international manhunt for violating custody orders and failing to return from vacation in Europe.

“For us, for the defense team, the big result was she’s not serving a day in jail on this case.”

— Pfeifer’s attorneys

On Monday, Pfeifer, a former Los Angeles resident, was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution.

[See ABC7 VIDEO ‘s report here]

Prosecutors says Pfeifer plead guilty to one felony count of custody deprivation. The sentence imposed Monday allows for Pfeifer, who is nine months pregnant, to travel out of the country. Read the rest of this entry »