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LA Votes for More Crime

With the election of liberal former congressperson Karen Bass, and the replacement of LA County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva with former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, Los Angeles voters have made a clear choice to reject any aggressive effort to reduce the crime and violence which plagues the city.   Sheriff Vilaneuva’s tough-on-crime approach will be replaced by Sheriff Luna’s promise …

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Judicial Override, the Sixth Amendment, and Retroactivity

Sentencing a murderer to death generally requires three decisions in the United States today: (1) a factual finding that the defendant is guilty of the highest degree of murder; (2) a further factual finding that an additional aggravating factor is true;* and (3) a discretionary decision that death is the appropriate punishment for this murder and this murderer, considering both …

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Juries Less Than 12

In its 2020 decision in Ramos v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court held that nonunanimous juries are unconstitutional in the guilt phase of criminal trials, and no doubt to the finding of sentencing factors to which the right of jury trial extends under the Apprendi rule. The high court did so despite the heavy reliance of two states on its contrary …

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Is Crime in San Francisco Worse Than NYC?

Responding to MSNBC interviewer’s statement that New York City residents “don’t feel safe in this town,” and are “worried we could become San Francisco,” the state’s newly-elected Governor Kathy Hochul said NYC “will never be San Francisco.”  Mallory Monench of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Hochul went on to say that the Big Apple was successfully fighting crime, with …

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Supreme Court Takes Up Medicaid Fraud Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up for full briefing and argument a case regarding Medicaid fraud and the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, Dubin v. United States, No. 22-10.  What is the question presented? Here is the petitioner’s version: The federal aggravated identity theft statute provides: “Whoever, during and in relation to any felony violation enumerated [elsewhere in the …

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2022 Ig Nobel Prizes

A bit late on this report. The 2022 Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded in September. The winners list is here. The prize in literature went to Eric Martínez, Francis Mollica, and Edward Gibson for their research on why legal documents are hard to understand: “Poor Writing, Not Specialized Concepts, Drives Processing Difficulty in Legal Language.” I pretty much knew that, …

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Court Deny’s Resentencing of Two So-Cal Murderers

Progressive Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s effort to reduce the sentences of every murderer in the county received a setback last week courtesy of the state’s Second District Court of Appeal.  In the case of People v. Machado a unanimous panel held that a trial judge has the discretion to refuse a sentence reduction even if both the district …

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Violent crime is a key issue for U.S. midterm election

Crime has become a big issue in the U.S. midterm elections. According to a recent Gallup poll, crime ranked as the second most important issue among voters, with 71% of registered voters saying it was either “extremely” or “very” important to their vote. This came second after the economy, which 85% of voters said would be extremely or very important …

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Misconceptions about racial disparities in police investigations: Results from Tucson

Debates about racial inequalities in the criminal justice system have ramped up in the last several years. This has been largely driven by discussions about racially-biased police violence, but many also speculate about disparities in how the police treat crime victims. For example, one common belief is that the thoroughness of police investigations varies based on victim and officer race. …

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Paul Pelosi Attacker is an Illegal Alien

The man who attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ‘s husband in their San Francisco home last week is an illegal alien who has been living in the U.S. since 2008, according to CNBC.  David DePape, a Canadian, crossed the southern border as a temporary visitor, which allowed him to stay in the U.S. for six months.  For the past several …