Yesterday evening, Governor Schwarzenegger stepped in and delayed the execution of convicted murderer and rapist, Albert Greenwood Brown. The Governor said the courts needed more time to get through the legal tangle surrounding the execution before it proceeds. So Brown is now scheduled to be put to death at 9pm on Thursday in San Quentin’s new lethal injection chamber. But will it happen? Here are three things that could stop the execution:
Richmond police chief rear-ended By driver distracted by her cell phone. (Inside Bay Area)
9th Circuit asks judge to reconsider execution stay The appeals court says the state is rushing into an execution because of an aging drug supply. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Cops Ban Kids From ‘Family-Friendly Festival’ Police blame beer. (blogs.sfweekly.com)
Jury chooses first-degree murder in Antioch mother’s slaying Alfred Lawrence Jones faces life in prison without parole. (Contra Costa Times)
California’s tougher DUI law to take effect in 2012 Repeat offenders could forfeit their licenses for 10 years. (Contra Costa Times)
Girl, 6, wounded in East Oakland shooting Leslie Ramirez was sleeping in her bed when a bullet tore through the wall–she’s expected to recover. (Inside Bay Area)
Think of it as a legal explosion: Judge Jeremy Fogel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California just dropped a bomb on the tousle over whether the state of California will resume executing people next week. The condemned man, the Judge said, will have to make a choice between two methods of execution: one of which is the subject of three lawsuits and the other of which has never been done before in California.
Last week, the floodgates opened in the trial over California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative outlawing gay marriage that was ruled unconstitutional by federal Judge Vaughn Walker. The 9th Circuit, where the case currently resides, opened up for what are called “amicus briefs.” Basically, that means that anyone in the entire world can submit a letter stating their opinion on the case and the judges at the 9th Circuit will read it. According to the Recorder, San Francisco’s legal paper which has been tracking the case, a guy named Robert Wooten submitted the very first brief in the case. And he took the opportunity to put a matter into court record that has been the subject of much publicity and conservative rhetoric, but never mentioned inside the courtroom:
Why do cops announce DUI checkpoints in advance? Because the courts told them to. And other driving under the influence questions answered. (blogs.sacbee.com)
Marijuana: Why California should just say no to Prop. 19 Former heads of the Office of National Drug Control Policy say that legalization wouldn’t free up law enforcement, it would muddle their jobs. (Los Angeles Times)
Most Prisoners Come From Few Neighborhoods Collective cynicism and fatalism fuels misconduct, sociologist says. (sciencenews.org)
End practice of shackling pregnant inmates A bill is on the Governor’s desk that would ban shackling incarcerated women during labor–but he hasn’t signed yet. (San Francisco Chronicle)
S.F. prosecutors attack their own wavering witness Testimony in the trial of a man accused of killing a police officer gets personal. (San Francisco Chronicle)
How to Stop the Government From Tracking Your Location (Illegally!) The 9th Circuit ruled it was legal for police to attach a tracking device to a man’s car while it was sitting in his driveway without a warrant. The reason? There’s no expectation of privacy on a driveway. Fortunately, there’s already a whole big world of GPS scramblers out there. (Gizmodo)
photo by Joe Gratz
As we’ve discussed previously in this space, people watching the Proposition 8 case have turned their attention to a legal technicality that could bust the whole thing up. And now there’s even more reason to think about the question of whether or not proponents of the same-sex marriage ban have a right to defend Proposition 8 in court. Yesterday, a three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made it clear that question is high on their agenda. First, they granted a stay on Chief Judge Walker’s ruling, which means that gay marriages will not resume in California, at least not quite yet. But when Prop 8′s defenders file their brief September 17, in which they will presumably ask the 9th Circuit to hear an appeal of Chief Judge Walker’s ruling declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional, they’ll be fighting for air. The panel directed them, “to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing.” (Article III of the U.S. Constitution deals with courts, their role, and their jurisdiction.)
Ever since Proposition 8 first went to court, we’ve been hearing the same refrain from proponents of gay marriage and those against alike: ‘This thing’s going all the way to the Supreme Court!’
Now legal experts seem to think that the question of Proposition 8′s constitutionality won’t even make it to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Increasingly, buzz is centering on a fact that went virtually ignored in coverage of the trial: Attorney General Jerry Brown and Governor Schwarzenegger refused to defend the proposition in court, leaving advocates from the “Yes on 8 Campaign” to step in. Increasingly, experts like Vikram Amar at Findlaw, seem to be jumping on the line of legal reasoning that suggests if the state of California won’t defend its own law, no one else can either.
Among the appellate cases heard by the Ninth District Court in San Francisco today was that of alleged “eco-terrorist” Eric McDavid, a tale that has all the makings of a modern-day version of Joseph Conrad’s novel, The Secret Agent.
McDavid was convicted in 2008 of conspiring to sabotage government and privately-owned properties, including cellphone towers, electric power stations, the United States Forest Service Institute of Forest Genetics, and the Nimbus Dam and Fish Hatchery near Folsom. In his charging documents, McDavid is linked to the Earth Liberation Front, a loosely-knit direct action organization that advocates direct action – including property destruction – against institutions that damage the environment. In its prosecutions of ELF activists such as McDavid and Jeff “Free” Luers, federal authorities often emphasize the organization’s connection to a broader “anarchist” movement. Continue reading