- JUSTICES FIND CALIFORNIA'S SENTENCING LAW FLAWED
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.
DENNIS KUCINICH TO CHAIR HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE OVERSEEING ONDCP
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."
36-BASED DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAM WORKS -- BUT NEEDS WORK
T. Craig Hill, MFT, a senior program manager with the Humboldt
County Department of Health and Human Services, Mental Health
Branch Dual Recovery Services
NEW US ATTORNEY A CRIMINAL?
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
ATTACKS CAUSE PARANOIA?
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
- LOCAL METH DEBATE RAGES
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.
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.
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.
RELEASES "PERSONAL PROTECTION" MODEL
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.
QUESTIONED ON SPYING, DETENTION
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.
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.
- RELIGIOUS GROUP CALLS FOR POLICE REVIEW
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.
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
OF DEA SEIZURES REVEALS LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY
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.
- UCLA STUDENT SUES OVER TASER INCIDENT
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.
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
- Cheri Moore
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.
PRISON GUARDS UNION ENDORSES ANGELIDES FOR GOVERNOR
DOJ STUDY FINDS MORE THAN HALF OF ALL PRISON AND JAIL INMATES
HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
SUPREME COURT RULING SAYS POLICE CAN ENTER HOMES TO FIND DUI
DEPARTMENT SHARED STUDENT DATA WITH F.B.I.
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.
MARIJUANA FARMER KILLED IN TASER BLAST
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.
- Cato Institute's Map
of Botched Paramilitary Raids in US
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.
to create police review commissions in Arcata and Eureka have
been filed with the county and are currently gathering signatures.
- USA Today: NSA
has massive database of Americans' phone calls
your Representative in Congress you want some answers --
under oath -- about the telecom companies' cooperation with
the NSA's illegal domestic wiretapping program.
- 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.
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
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.
- The number of Taser-related deaths has risen to over 150,
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.
Tell the Senate: Censure Bush on Illegal Wiretapping
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
- Humboldt County Sheriff's Department releases its Taser
International responds to ACLU
report on Tasers.
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).
Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your Every Move
with Radio Frequency Identification
accused of spying on those who disagree with Bush policies
Video Evidence Shows NYPD Covert Surveillance of Cyclists and
asks state if it is providing data to FBI and New
Documents Show FBI Spying on Domestic Activist Groups
Jose police given new rules on Taser stun guns and Taser
Lawsuit Goes to Trial in Arizona
- 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.
Have Answers on Rally Police Presence [at Nov. 2 Eureka Anti-War
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.
of Northern California issues report on Taser use
Nat'l Guard in more surveillance and FBI
Labels Michigan Peace and Affirmative Action Groups as involved
in "terrorist activities."
Post-Gazette Editorializes Against Tasers and a second protest
is held without incident.
Chief Sues Taser Manufacturer and Pittsburgh
Police Use Tasers on Demonstrators
California Men Die This Week After Taser Blasts
Death in Sonoma
Monotors ACLU, Greenpeace
- California Anti-Terrorism
Information Center Monitors Peace Activists and A
Federal spy probe begins into California National Guard unit
- 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.
CLMP EXCLUSIVE Book Review: Beat
the Heat: How to Handle Encounters with Law Enforcement (AK