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  1. #331
    Moderator Dave from Florida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Brown was refusing to allow Manson's followers from being paroled I highly doubt he would commute all death sentences.
    Being paroled and executing someone is 2 different things.
    Although being a Manson follower puts them in a different class than the rest.

  2. #332
    Senior Member CnCP Addict one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    I mean i doubt he will commute every last one of them as well. But in all honestly what does it matter? California doesn't execute anyone anyways. They have a pretend death penalty. So what difference does it make how their sentences are worded?

  3. #333
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    2 more Death Row inmates die; San Quentin officials probe possible contraband drugs

    By Megan Cassidy
    The San Francisco Chronicle

    San Quentin prison officials called an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss a possible connection between contraband lethal drugs and the unexplained deaths of two Death Row inmates on Monday and Tuesday, according to an internal prison document obtained by The Chronicle.

    Joseph A. Perez Jr., 47, was found unresponsive in his cell at 9:11 p.m. Tuesday, prison officials said in a statement. Staff began life-saving measures immediately, but Perez was pronounced dead 10 minutes later.

    The fatality came just 24 hours after another condemned inmate, 53-year-old Herminio Serna, was pronounced dead at the facility.

    Two other inmates awaiting execution died within a day of each other a month ago: Andrew Urdiales on Nov. 3, and Virendra Govin on Nov. 4. The deaths of Urdiales and Govin were being investigated as suspected suicides, but official causes of death of all four are pending, prison officials said.

    The Marin County coroner will determine the causes of death at a later date.

    But an email sent to San Quentin employees at 10:19 a.m. Wednesday suggested a medical crisis at the facility, requiring all nursing staff to attend an “urgent meeting” at 10:45 for training.

    Employees would discuss “contraband causing serious fatalities/death,” the email read, while offering few other details. The meeting was mandatory for all “med-pass” and clinic nurses, but excluded those providing direct care, such as staff on suicide watch. The meeting was scheduled for 10 to 15 minutes “to answer any questions and concerns.”

    A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said she couldn’t confirm or deny the emergency meeting, but said, “Department officials are investigating how contraband may have been brought into Death Row at the prison.”

    “Health care staff at San Quentin are increasing targeted outreach and education to inmates on the dangers of abusing illicit drugs,” said Deputy Press Secretary Terry Thornton.

    Weapons, drugs and cell phones can be smuggled into a prison in any number of ways, Thornton said.

    “There have been instances of it getting in through drones, but visitors and staff are unfortunately the main entry point,” she said. The problem isn’t unique to San Quentin, she added — facilities are battling smuggled contraband throughout the state.

    Thornton said there have been other, non-fatal overdoses reported at San Quentin, but couldn’t provide specific details by Wednesday evening.

    Inmates at San Quentin have recently spoken of a drug epidemic behind prison walls and beyond Death Row, said Jody Lewen, founder and executive director of the Prison University Project, a nonprofit that teaches higher education courses at the facility.

    Lewen said her inmate students don’t know where it’s coming from — are prisoners smuggling in contraband in a new way? Are the drugs more powerful? Is it a different staff, or people with new connections?

    “It’s really hard to know,” she said.

    Her students aren’t sure exactly what type of narcotic is responsible for the spike, but Lewen said most signs point to opioids.

    “You hear people use the word ‘zombie’ a lot,” Lewen said, referring to how the inmates describe those high on the substances.

    Condemned inmates are afforded less freedom than the general population. They’re allowed less “out-of-cell time” than counterparts who aren’t on Death Row, and are escorted, in handcuffs, by an officer until reaching a secured environment like a cell, yard, holding cell or shower, said Lt. Sam Robinson, a spokesperson for the prisons.

    Perez had been on California’s Death Row since Jan. 25, 2002. He was convicted of the March 24, 1998, slaying of 46-year-old Janet Daher, who was strangled and stabbed in her Lafayette home during a robbery.

    Serna was sentenced to death in November 1997 by a Santa Clara County jury. He was found guilty of a triple gang murder of Esteban Guzman, Marcos Baca and Sheila Apodaca — with special circumstances in the killing of Apodaca.

    Serna and Perez marked California Death Row’s seventh and eighth fatalities this year, though none of the inmates died at the hands of the state. Royal K. Hayes and Robert J. Acremant died of natural causes, Jonathan Fajardo was stabbed to death by another inmate.

    The causes of Urdiales’ and Govin’s deaths are still pending and Joe Henry Abbott died of acute drug toxicity, according to prison records.

    Another condemned inmate, Emilio Avalos, died by acute drug toxicity on Nov. 1, 2017. Avalos and Abbott marked the first deaths attributed to drugs since 2005.

    A 2016 Los Angeles Times investigation, however, indicates that these official designations don’t show the full picture.

    A review of Marin County coroner records found that six Death Row inmates died between 2010 and 2015 with detectable levels of drugs in their systems.

    One condemned murderer, Michael Jones, was found to have had “toxic levels of methamphetamines in his blood,” though prison records deem Jones’ death a suicide. Jones died after attempting to strangle himself with an electrical cord, the Times reported.

    California hasn’t executed an inmate since 2006, though a former state Death Row inmate, Alfredo Rolando Prieto, was put to death in Virginia in 2015.

    Prison data show that 200 inmates throughout the state’s correctional system died of drug overdoses between 2006 and 2016.

    The records suggest a growing problem with opioids within the prisons, with 2016 tallying the most drug-related deaths in the 10-year span with 29 fatalities.

    Of these deaths, 27 were traced back to opioids or methamphetamine, and in some cases, both. Four of those were traced to fentanyl.

    Prison officials found that 26 of the 29 inmates who died had not been prescribed an opiate.

    “Therefore, in these 26 cases, the drug was obtained by diversion or stealth, not because of inappropriate prescribing practices by CCHCS physicians,” California Correctional Health Care Services officials wrote in the 2016 inmate death review.

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/ar...n-13446017.php

  4. #334
    Member Member NanduDas's Avatar
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    My turn: Jerry Brown must not grant mass clemency to death row inmates

    By Kent Scheidegger
    Special to CALmatters

    Two years ago, California had a great debate on capital punishment. Two initiatives squarely presented the question of whether to scrap the death penalty or repair it. The arguments were fully and vigorously presented, and the people made their choice. They chose to mend it, not end it.

    Now the ever-vocal anti-death-penalty movement is calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to spit in the face of that decision, and clear out death row with a mass clemency.

    Death penalty opponents want him to follow the example of Illinois’ corrupt former Gov. George Ryan with an act of political cowardice, misusing the pardon power on the way out the door when there is no political price to pay for it.

    Brown is a long-standing opponent of capital punishment. But he should refuse this request as a matter of principle. Respect for democracy is more important than one’s stance on a particular controversy.

    Proposition 66 was not the first time Californians chose in favor of capital punishment. It was the 11th.

    In 1972, the California Supreme Court misconstrued the California Constitution to outlaw the death penalty, despite incontrovertible history to the contrary. The people swiftly overruled that decision by constitutional amendment.

    In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court created new rules requiring a new law, and only a weak law could be passed over Jerry Brown’s veto, so the people voted for a stronger one in 1978.

    The people voted to further expand the death penalty law twice in 1990, twice in 1996, and twice again in 2000.

    In 2012, the people rejected an initiative to repeal the death penalty.

    In 2016, they rejected repeal again by a larger margin than in 2012, even though they endorsed liberal propositions and candidates elsewhere on the ballot. Further, they demanded that we enforce the law. The voice of the people does not get any more clear than this.

    The bottom line is simple justice. Death row contains people like Lawrence “Pliers” Bittaker who raped, tortured and murdered five teenage girls in the Los Angeles area in 1979.

    Tiequon Cox is another denizen, thoroughly undeserving of clemency and due to meet his punishment in the coming year. Cox broke into a home to make a gang hit but instead found a grandmother, her daughter, and her grandchildren. Aware that he was in the wrong house, he slaughtered them anyway.

    These are the kinds of people that Hollywood activists wring their hands and soak their hankies for.

    Families of murder victims wait for many years as the cases slog their way through the justice system. Many verdicts are overturned, often wrongly, but some make their way through.

    There are now two dozen cases where all the normal appeals have been completed. The state has adopted the execution protocol that the federal court previously held it could proceed with. The former state-law barrier to executions was wiped away by the people in Proposition 66. Once the now-baseless federal injunction is lifted by the courts, justice can resume as the people decided it should.

    Yet the activists’ push now is to use the power of clemency to snatch justice away, not because of any defects in any particular case but just because they disagree with the people’s decision on the law. That is not what clemency is for. Using it to empty death row would be a gross misuse of the power.

    Overall, the system leans heavily in the defendant’s favor on the premise that it is better for 10 guilty people to go free than for one innocent person to suffer unjustly. The system leans even more that way in capital cases.

    Even so, clemency provides an invaluable safeguard to cover the possibility that the exhaustive judicial process might fail. If, in a particular capital case, there is an actual doubt that the defendant committed the murder, then by all means the governor should grant a reprieve to resolve that doubt and commute the sentence if it cannot be resolved.

    The governor is vested with a broad power to cut through all technicalities and get right to the justice of the matter. With that broad power comes the responsibility to use it for its intended purpose and not to block laws where the governor merely disagrees with the people’s decision. The responsible choice, the respectful choice, the democratic choice is to just say no to blanket commutation.

    https://calmatters.org/articles/comm...h-row-inmates/
    "The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer." -Theodore Roosevelt

  5. #335
    Moderator Dave from Florida's Avatar
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    I believe Brown's father commuted 23 death sentences on his way out of the Governor's office in the 60's. Let's hope it's not "Like Father Like Son."

  6. #336
    Administrator Aaron's Avatar
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    I love that Scheidegger calls out the Hollywood elitists. I felt the same way when that washed up has been Johnny Depp protested the Arkansas executions last year.

    No one is more hypocritical, or out of touch with America, than the rich liberal. I. E. Hollywood.
    "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook." - Harry Truman

  7. #337
    Senior Member CnCP Addict one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    People in California will vote to retain capital punishment, but at the same time vote for people who appoint judges who prevent its use. Then they will still vote to keep it, knowing that it is essentially a pretend punishment. California needs to secede from the United States ASAP, either that or break off and float far away into the Ocean. Might as well take Portland Oregon with them.

  8. #338
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Fact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave from Florida View Post
    I believe Brown's father commuted 23 death sentences on his way out of the Governor's office in the 60's. Let's hope it's not "Like Father Like Son."
    He commuted 23 during his entire eight years in office. There were 35 executions. I think the California supreme court had something to do with that, but he wasn't George Ryan.
    Last edited by Fact; 12-22-2018 at 01:34 AM.

  9. #339
    Senior Member Frequent Poster johncocacola's Avatar
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    With the California Supreme Court having a majority of Democrat appointed judges for the first time in more than 30 years could the death penalty be ruled unconstitutional like in Washington State?

    Or does the constitutional amendment to People v. Anderson the voters passes in 1972 prevent that?

  10. #340
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Fact's Avatar
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    They could probably decide it on federal grounds, but the language in art. 1 section 27 seems pretty unambiguous.

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