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    According to a January 23 LA Times article, The US Supreme Court struck down part of California's sentencing law on January 22 in a ruling that could give thousands of recently convicted state prisoners a chance for a shorter sentence. In a 6-3 decision, the high court said California's system is flawed because it gives judges too much power to add extra years to a prison sentence. Each year, more than 250,000 people are sent to prison for felonies in California, according to state figures. About 15% of those cases result in an "upper term" sentence, as defined by state law. Those higher sentences were the subject of the ruling.



    Rep. Dennis Kucinich has been named chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee, giving him jurisdiction over the Drug Czar's office. Oversight of ONDCP was previously conducted by the non-defunct Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources Subcommittee, chaired by rabid drug warrior Mark Souder. Kucinich told GovExec.com: "I have studied the issue for decades and recognize that our ‘War on Drugs' has failed. In fact, because our War on Drugs drives up the price, it encourages violence. Prohibition simply doesn't work. It only creates thousands and thousands of Al Capones. …The shredding of our rights to privacy and property promoted by the Drug War is inconsistent with a free society. Criminalization of private or self-destructive behavior is not acceptable in a free nation. "It is time for an honest dialogue on this issue. Time to stop the documented lies, half-truths, and propaganda that got us into this mess in the first place. It is time to face the facts."



    By T. Craig Hill, MFT, a senior program manager with the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Mental Health Branch Dual Recovery Services


    Greg Palast wrote on March 7: There was one big hoohah in Washington yesterday as House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers pulled down the pants on George Bush's firing of US Attorneys to expose a scheme to punish prosecutors who wouldn't bend to political pressure. But the Committee missed a big one: Timothy Griffin, Karl Rove's assistant, the President's pick as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Griffin, according to BBC Television, was the hidden hand behind a scheme to wipe out the voting rights of 70,000 citizens prior to the 2004 election. Key voters on Griffin's hit list: Black soldiers and homeless men and women....Targeting voters where race is a factor is a felony crime under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Read more.



    One-third of Americans think the government either carried out the 9/11 attacks or intentionally allowed them to happen in order to provide a pretext for war in the Middle East. What is the effect of 9/11 on our social and personal attitudes? That's the question that was addressed on the Civil Liberties hour on March 7. Read more

    As Zachary Cook, the 18-year-old man who was shot 11 times and killed by Eureka police on January 4, was found to have 0.066 milligrams of methamphetamine in his system per liter of blood, a debate has raged in the Times Standard over solutions to the meth "crisis." According to county coroner Frank Jager, effective doses of meth are 0.01-0.05 mg/l with 0.2 mg/l being a toxic dose. Jager said 28 shots were fired after a gun apparently accidently went off in the room, where a gun was found that matched a description of one used in recent armed robberies.


    Phillip R. Crandall, director of the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, wrote a piece titled "Cutting help for addicts, homeless will make it worse" published on 1/17. Interim Eureka police chief Murl Harpham responded with a 1/19 article, "We must be doing something wrong" in which he blames the leniency of Prop. 36 programs and SSI for the problem. The following day, Dr. Ken Miller wrote, "Advice for the new police chief: Stop meth," which also advocated "zero tolerance" for meth as well as professionalizing the EPD.


    Cook's is the third meth-related shooting fatality in recent months in Eureka. Jonni Honda, a fugitive fleeing from molestation charges in Trinity county, was shot nine times on December 9 in a 32-hour standoff at a Eureka hotel and had 0.94 mg/l in his blood. Sixteen-year-old Chris Burgess had 0.08 mg/l in his system when he was shot and killed after confronting an officer with a knife in a Eureka gulch in October.


    In December, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department received $418,228 from the Governor's Office of Emergency Services to combat methamphetamine distribution and sales. Last October, a four-month investigation lead to the arrest of one of two people described as "major methamphetamine suppliers to Humboldt County" and the Times-Standard reported meth use here was leveling off. A recent report shows there were 49 overdose deaths in Humboldt last year, 18 of them involving methamphetamine.


    Taser International has released a "personal protection" Taser. For a cost of $300-350 and $25 each for extra cartridges, people can purchase Tasers online in four colors, including pink. Comedy Central shows journalists trying out the Taser with the conclusion: it hurts to have 50,000 volts shoot through your body. In 2006, California Congressman Mark Leno advanced AB 1237 to disallow personal Tasers in the state, the same year Taser International spent $218,322 lobbying against it and other bills.


    Attorney General Alberto Gonzales backed away from the warrantless spying program the day before his testimony before Congress on the issue, then seemed to say the Bush administration felt it had blanket approval from the FISA court for the program. Democracy Now reported that the Bush administration's handling of the case of Maher Arar came under new scrutiny when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, now controlled by the Democrats. Arar is the Canadian citizen who was seized by U.S. officials during a stopover flight in New York in 2002. He was secretly sent to Syria as part of the Bush administration's extraordinary rendition program.

    According to the Times Standard, the Humboldt Buddhist Peace Fellowship is sending a letter to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Eureka City Council asking for a police review board. The letter became public after the fourth police-involved shooting in the past eight months occurred on January 4, but was written before the most recent shooting.


    The letter states that data from Bureau of Justice Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, indicate that Humboldt County should have roughly one police-involved shooting every three to four years. "We've had three [now four] in eight months," said the letter. "We would like to see a civilian police review board be created by the county and/or the city, and provided with subpoena powers." If officials at the county or city fail to take action, the group says, it will take the case to the Grand Jury.

    Drug Enforcement Administration agents routinely disregarded agency rules on the handling of seized cash, jeopardizing hundreds of millions of dollars taken in drug raids, a Justice Department review found. In an audit published on January 5, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine examined thousands of seizures between October 2003 and November 2005. Fine's report states that drug agents rarely counted the cash they took, often didn't provide receipts for seized money, rarely recorded the seizures in agency ledgers and often didn't ask their colleagues to witness their counting and handling of the money. DEA agents recorded more than 16,000 seizures for nearly $616 million in the period surveyed, the report states. The DEA opened internal investigations of 33 agents between 2003 and 2005, Fine's report states. Anyone with information on the DEA or the Justice Department's Inspector General can call 202-459-4956.

    A UCLA student stunned with a Taser by a campus police officer on November 14 plans to file a brutality lawsuit. The videotaped incident occurred after Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a 23-year-old senior, refused requests to show his ID card to campus officers. The videos show Tabatabainejad screaming in pain as he was stunned several times with a Taser, while being told repeatedly to stand up. According to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal in 2001, a Taser charge of three to five seconds can result in immobilization for five to 15 minutes.


    The incident follows the recent announcement that four of the campus police department's nearly 60 full-time sworn officers had won so-called Taser Awards granted by the manufacturer of the device to "law enforcement officers who save a life in the line of duty through extraordinary use of the Taser."

    In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision that, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), "will actually encourage the president to declare federal martial law." The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, now Public Law 109-364, which was signed by the commander in chief on Oct. 17 in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the president to declare a "public emergency" in order to "suppress, in any state, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy" and to station troops anywhere in America by taking control of state-based National Guard units, without the consent of the governor or local authorities. The bill is a de-facto repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 Act, which reads, "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both." Read more


  • 9/14/06 - Cheri Moore Hearings Online.

    CLMP sent a letter addressing community concerns about the hearing to Humboldt County Coroner Frank Jager, copying the Health Director, District Attorney, and Board of Supervisors.







    A September 1 New York Times article by Jonathan D. Glater says the Federal Education Department shared personal information on hundreds of student loan applicants with the Federal Bureau of Investigation across a five-year period that began after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Under the program, called Project Strikeback, the Education Department received names from the F.B.I. and checked them against its student aid database, forwarding information. Each year, the Education Department collects information from 14 million applications for federal student aid.


    According to the sparse information released so far, undercover police spotted 22-year-old Ryan Wilson near a small patch of marijuana plants on August 4. He ran. A Lafayette, CO police officer caught up and discharged an X26 Taser. Ryan immediately began convulsing and died within an hour. Ryan was the fifth person to die in Colorado following a Taser blast since 2002. A sixth Colorado death occurred when an inmate died following a Tasering on August 18.

  • 8/4/06 - The State of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of Political Activity in Northern and Central California, a major report just released by the ACLU of Northern California, documents the shocking ways that local California law enforcement gathers information on individuals and organizations engaged in lawful and peaceful political activity in Northern and Central California.

  • 7/27/06 - Cato Institute's Map of Botched Paramilitary Raids in US

    An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko.


    Initiatives to create police review commissions in Arcata and Eureka have been filed with the county and are currently gathering signatures. Read more.

  • 5/19/06 - USA Today: NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls


    Tell your Representative in Congress you want some answers -- under oath -- about the telecom companies' cooperation with the NSA's illegal domestic wiretapping program.


  • 5/04/06 - Using a provision under the Patriot Act, The Justice Department issued 9,254 FBI subpoenas last year, monitoring banks, phone companies and Internet providers of 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal foreign residents. The Justice Department also disclosed that its use of electronic surveillance and search warrants in national security investigations rose 15% to 2,074 in 2005, compared with 1,758 in 2004. Tell Congress to Reform the Patriot Act.

  • 3/30/06 - A new study by California game wardens reveals huge disparities between wardens' pay compared to other agencies. Where there were once 400 game wardens in California, we are down to 192, despite rising population and increased complaints, like pollution spills, poaching, illegal sales of game, etc. Wardens, who need much more training than CHP officers, make $37,000/year out of academy and $48,000/year after 4 years. By contrast, a CHP's beginning pay is nearly $54,000/year. The public is asked to contact their state officials asking for the disparity to be corrected.


    The US Supreme Court ruled on March 21 that police without a warrant cannot search a home when one resident says to come in but another tells them to go away. Chief Justice John Roberts dissenented, predicting "severe" consequences for women who invite police in only to be overruled by their husbands. The case is Georgia v. Randolph, 04-1067.

  • 3/31/06 - The number of Taser-related deaths has risen to over 150, and Amnesty International called on law enforcement agencies in the US to suspend the use of electro-shock taser weapons pending an independent, rigorous and impartial inquiry into their use.

  • 3/16/06 - Tell the Senate: Censure Bush on Illegal Wiretapping

    The President has admitted to conducting a domestic spying program outside the scope of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), despite the fact that FISA is the exclusive means of such surveillance inside the United States. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution also clearly prohibits searches without a warrant based upon probable cause. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin has introduced a resolution to censure the president for this outrageous violation of our civil liberties. Tell your Senators to support Senator Feingold's resolution to censure President Bush.

  • 3/13/06 - Humboldt County Sheriff's Department releases its Taser policy.

  • Taser International responds to ACLU report on Tasers.


  • 3/3/06 - USA PATRIOT Act passes Senate. By a vote of 89-10, senators voted to make permanent 14 of the 16 provisions originally set to expire at the end of 2005. The two other provisions, which govern secret government records searches, were modified and extended four years. ACLU Objects as does Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT-D). The others who voted against it were: Jim Jeffords (VT-I), Russ Feingold (WI-D), Daniel Akaka (HI-D), Jeff Bingaman (NM-D), Robert Byrd (WV-D), Tom Harkin (IA-D), Carl Levin (MI-D), Patty Murray (WA-D) and Ron Wyden (OR-D).

    How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your Every Move with Radio Frequency Identification


  • 2/21/06 - U.S. accused of spying on those who disagree with Bush policies


  • 12/28/05 - New Video Evidence Shows NYPD Covert Surveillance of Cyclists and Protests
  • 12/22/05 - ACLU asks state if it is providing data to FBI and New Documents Show FBI Spying on Domestic Activist Groups

  • 12/1/05 - San Jose police given new rules on Taser stun guns and Taser Lawsuit Goes to Trial in Arizona

  • 11/16/05 - Anyone who has been subjected to strip searches in Humboldt County Jail is advised to contact CLMP at 923-4646 regarding a class-action lawsuit.

    Let's Have Answers on Rally Police Presence [at Nov. 2 Eureka Anti-War Rally]


  • 10/13/05 - Newly formed coalition to focus on police conduct. For more information, contact the Coalition for Police Review at PO Box 292, Eureka, CA 95502 or call 215-5385.

  • ACLU of Northern California issues report on Taser use
  • 9/9/05 - Senator: Nat'l Guard in more surveillance and FBI Labels Michigan Peace and Affirmative Action Groups as involved in "terrorist activities."

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorializes Against Tasers and a second protest is held without incident.

  • 8/23/05 - Police Chief Sues Taser Manufacturer and Pittsburgh Police Use Tasers on Demonstrators

  • 8/7/05 - Three California Men Die This Week After Taser Blasts

  • 7/21/05 - Taser Death in Sonoma

  • FBI Monotors ACLU, Greenpeace

  • 7/14/05 - California Anti-Terrorism Information Center Monitors Peace Activists and A Federal spy probe begins into California National Guard unit

  • 2/25/05 - In an Amnesty Report titled - "Excessive and Lethal Force?: Deaths and Ill-treatment Involving Police Use of Tasers" - the human rights organization concluded that - "far from being used to avoid lethal force, many US police agencies are deploying Tasers as a routine force option to subdue non-compliant or disturbed individuals who do not pose a serious danger to themselves or others. The International Association of Chiefs of Police will call for moratorium on the use of taser guns.

  • 6/12/04- CLMP EXCLUSIVE Book Review: Beat the Heat: How to Handle Encounters with Law Enforcement (AK Press, 2004)

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