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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 25 Jerry Brown nominates senior aide to appeals court
Sacramento Bee
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday nominated a second senior member of his administration on a California court, naming Jonathan Renner, his legal affairs secretary, to the Sacramento-based Third District Court of Appeal.
Related: The Recorder, Daily Journal, Associated Press, Met News, Imperial Valley News
Jul 28 Judicial Profile: Roger A. Luebs
Daily Journal
(Subscription required) In a recent juvenile court hearing, Judge Roger Luebs said he was heartbroken while dealing with the case of a young offender who had committed a serious sexual assault on another student.
Related: Superior Court of Riverside County
Jul 26 Murder trial moved to former bankruptcy court in Modesto
Modesto Bee
Stanislaus Superior Court, for the first time, is moving a murder trial because its courtrooms are not big enough to handle the number of defendants and attorneys involved.
Jul 25 Burney branch court closure may not be only budget victim
Record Searchlight
(Subscription required) The pending closure of the Shasta County Superior Court’s Burney branch may have been inevitable as courts statewide struggle to make ends meet.
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 Courthouse mosaics damaged in quake to be restored
The two tile mosaics above the Humboldt County Courthouse's Fourth and Fifth street entrances will be removed, restored and reinstalled as part of the county's ongoing repairs of damage to the building done by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that rattled Eureka in 2010.
Related: Superior Court of Humboldt County
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 24 Appellate court upholds environmental work for high-speed rail via Pacheco Pass
Fresno Bee
State appeals justices on Thursday upheld a lower court's approval of an environmental impact report that selected the Pacheco Pass between Gilroy and Los Banos.
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: The Recorder, Los Angeles Times, 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: Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, 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
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