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NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.

Jul 24 Solano court employees rally against budget cuts, furloughs
The Reporter
Solano County Superior Court employees in Fairfield and Vallejo staged a noontime rally on Wednesday to speak out against state budget cuts that have reduced clerks hours, caused layoffs and resulted in furlough days.
Related: Superior Court of Solano County, InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis
Jul 25 State high court overturns decades of rulings on multiple thefts
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A motorcycle dealer who arranged for 20 separate fraudulent sales of vehicles could be convicted of theft for all 20 offenses, even if it was part of one overarching scheme, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday, overturning decades of appellate rulings finding otherwise.
Related: California Supreme Court
Jul 25 S.C. Upholds Death Sentence in Killing of Sheriff's Deputy
Met News
The state Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the death sentence imposed for the murder of a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, rejecting the defendant’s claim that the special circumstance of killing a peace officer in retaliation for the performance of official duties requires proof of specific acts against the defendant which caused him to form the intent to kill the officer.
Jul 24 Machinations behind Cuellar appointment cause intrigue
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Gov. Jerry Brown's appointment of Stanford Law School Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar to the California Supreme Court was widely praised Wednesday, but some of the machinations behind the appointment intrigued observers watching the process closely.
Related: Sacramento Bee, California Capitol Network, Oakland Tribune
Jul 24 Judicial Profile: Daniel B. Feldstern
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The felony cases Judge Daniel B. Feldstern hears in Los Angeles County's San Fernando courthouse aren't any different from those he prosecuted as a district attorney in downtown L.A. for two decades, he said.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Jul 23 Window installation next step for Yolo County Courthouse construction
Daily Democrat
The five-story, 163,000-square-foot building on the 1000 block of Main Street broke ground in April 2013 and completed the steel setting phase of construction at the beginning of January.
Related: New Woodland Courthouse
Jul 23 Inmate reductions not found to lead to more crime
San Francisco Chronicle
California, New York and New Jersey have led the nation in reducing their prison population in recent years, while their crime rates also declined, according to a study released Wednesday.
Related: Criminal Justice Realignment
Jul 23 California Supreme Court nomination a 'statement' to U.S.
San Francisco Chronicle
As a boy, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar walked 7 miles each way from his home in Mexico to a school in Texas.
Related: Daily Journal, The Recorder, Sacramento Bee, Met News, Los Angeles Times, KGO, Palo Alto Weekly
Jul 23 Judicial Profile: Brian E. Hill
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) The 11-year judge views interacting with interns as his way of providing an educational experience that he relished as a young college student. Word of interning with Hill, also a constitutional law professor at Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law for more than a quarter century, has spread wide.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Barbara County
Jul 22 Can You Hear the Death Rattle of Capital Punishment in California?
Huffington Post
On July 16, 2014, a federal trial court judge in Santa Ana ruled that the California death penalty system was unconstitutional -- not because actually executing a convicted murderer is cruel and unusual, but because the "inordinate and unpredictable period of delay" before the inmate is executed is a violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Related: The Orange County Register
Jul 22 Stanford law school professor named to California Supreme Court
San Jose Mercury News
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday nominated Stanford University law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar to a vacancy on the California Supreme Court, adding a Latino to the state's high court and again choosing a prominent legal scholar without judicial experience to shape the court's future.
Related: Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, San Francisco Chronicle, Daily Journal, The Recorder, Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press
Jul 22 Get Out of Jail, Inc.
The New Yorker
Does the alternatives-to-incarceration industry profit from injustice?
Jul 22 Judicial Profile: James J. McBride
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A once abrasive former cop whom a prosecutor labeled a "judicial thug," San Francisco County Superior Court Judge James J. McBride said he's taken his critics' brickbats to heart and cleaned up his act.
Related: Superior Court of San Francisco County
Jul 21 Savings produced by court budget cuts are exceeded by harmful economic effects, white paper says
ABA Journal
Savings from state-court budget cuts are outweighed by lost tax revenues and other harmful economic effects, according to a white paper (PDF) analyzing several studies by DRI, the Voice of the Defense Bar.
Jul 21 Courts panel can help restore scales of justice
Press Enterprise
The Inland Empire often seems to be overlooked when the governor makes appointments to statewide boards and commissions. Thankfully, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has been more inclusive, for example, when she recently picked people to serve on her new Commission on the Future of California’s Court System.
Related: News Release
Jul 21 Justice Kennedy says Constitution ‘flawed document’
San Francisco Chronicle
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wasn’t out to make news when he addressed the annual conference of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and devoted most of his 50-minute speech to the Magna Carta, which turns 800 years old in 2015. But Kennedy did let on that he doesn’t belong to the school of Constitution-worshipers who base their legal doctrines on what they glean to be the original, literal meaning of every word and phrase in the nation’s founding document.
Jul 21 S.C. Names James Fox, Terrance Flanagan to State Bar Board
Met News
The state Supreme Court Friday named former San Mateo County District Attorney James Fox and Terrance Flanagan, a top aide to two former governors, to the State Bar Board of Trustees.
Related: News Release
Jul 21 Judicial Profile: Dorothy B. Reyes
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Dorothy B. Reyes calls her busy preliminary hearing calendar a 'pressure box,' but she enjoys it.
Related: Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Jul 18 State OKs railyard as site for courthouse
Sacramento Bee
Efforts to construct a new Sacramento Superior Court building in downtown Sacramento cleared an important hurdle this week.
Related: New Sacramento Criminal Courthouse, Sacramento Business Journal
Jul 18 State Unwinds Law to Penalize Jurors
The Recorder
(Subscription required) Exhale, web-surfing jurors. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that will nix a law threatening jurors with misdemeanor charges if they research a case, or opine about it, online.
Jul 18 New state appellate court justices confirmed
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) A longtime federal judge and a high profile proponent of same-sex marriage won unanimous approval from the Commission on Judicial Appointments to serve on the state courts of appeal Thursday, in what are the first new justices to be confirmed in a year and a half.
Related: Met News, Bay Area Reporter
Jul 18 Divorces taking longer to finalize in the state, attorneys and judges say
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As backlogs continue to afflict California superior courts, divorcing couples must now wait half a year or more in some counties before finalizing their split.
Related: InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis
Jul 18 Judicial branch intensifying efforts on court access, technology
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Having failed to secure some much-needed funding increases, California's judiciary is making the best of a bad situation by pushing forward with plans to leverage technology and review how courts can do a better job providing services to the public.
Jul 18 San Bernardino County judge to head Judicial Council committee
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Marsha Slough will take over as head of the California Judicial Council's Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee in September.
Related: News Release
Jul 18 Banning Justice Center won’t open until 2015
Banning Record Gazette
“The courthouse is 85 percent complete; due to construction delays, we expect it to be open to the public at the beginning of 2015,” Manis said.
Related: New Banning Justice Center
Jul 17 Justice Delayed in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County plans to shut down its Juvenile Court near Goleta, close court services in Solvang, and unexpectedly slash nearly $200,000 from its budget this year.
Related: InFocus: Judicial Branch Budget Crisis
Jul 17 Opinion: Cuts to state's cash-strapped courts do us all an injustice
Monterey Herald
California courts continue to face significant financial challenges as a result of the fiscal crisis. Last year, California courts were forced to spend approximately $250 million in reserves to augment operational expenses.
Jul 17 Governor appoints 10 new judges across state
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced the appointment of 10 new judges across the state Wednesday. The appointees, who are destined for San Diego, Santa Clara, Orange and Contra Costa County superior courts, include seven men and three women consisting of nine Democrats and one Republican.
Related: The Recorder, San Jose Mercury News
Jul 17 California Death Penalty System Ruled Unconstitutional
Bloomberg News
The death penalty system in California, which has more inmates awaiting execution than any other U.S. state, was found by a federal judge to be so plagued by unreasonable and unpredictable delay that it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
Related: Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Met News, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Associated Press, Sacramento BeeCBS Los Angeles, Los Angeles Daily News, US News, KQEDNBC Southern California, Huffington Post, CNN
Jul 17 Judicial Profile: Raymond J. Davilla Jr.
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Judge Raymond J. Davilla Jr. enjoys his frequent check-ins with individual drug court defendants.
Related: Superior Court of Santa Clara County
Jul 16 Counties await new realignment funding formula
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Since California counties took over the custody of lower-level offenders in 2011, few have been entirely pleased with the state funds they'd been given to provide services to their burgeoning offender population.
Related: Criminal Justice Realignment
Jul 16 Judicial Profile: Richard D. Huffman
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) As chair of the Judicial Council's financial accountability and efficiency committee, Justice Richard D. Huffman said he is doing his best to maneuver through a very unsettled landscape.
Related: Associate Justice Richard D. Huffman
Jul 15 Boosters Line Up for Brown's Appeal Court Picks
The Recorder
(Subscription required) Veteran San Francisco city attorney Therese Stewart has received glowing endorsements in her bid to join the First District Court of Appeal, including a top-notch "exceptionally well qualified" rating from judicial evaluators.
Jul 15 Public art projects in Long Beach, Willowbrook win national award
LA Times
“Murmuration,” by Los Angeles artist Jennifer Steinkamp, is a huge, visually spectacular electronic light display that hangs high in the entrance hall of the new Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach.
Related: Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, Long Beach
Jul 15 State's high court backs OT for some salespeople
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court propped up some of California's lower-paid commission salespeople Monday.
Related: California Supreme Court, Met News, The National Law Review
Jul 15 Judicial Profile: C. Don Clay
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay listened attentively while Randy Alana's attorney critiqued the prosecutor's timeline for the slaying of Oakland resident Sandra Coke.
Related: Superior Court of Alameda County
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