Parole Board Rejects First Test of Medical Release Law
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A new state law provides for inmates to be released when they are sick, aged, paralyzed or otherwise no longer a threat to the public, but at the first opportunity the state Parole Board refused to release a man who's a quadriplegic. Does the Board want to scuttle the medical release program? Will elected prosecutors demand continued imprisonment because of the brutal crimes that led to convictions? Also, a new, state-of-the-art public school no students can go to. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Saudi Arabia and the "Club of Kings."
Banner image: Mule Creek State Prison, one of California's overcrowded penal facilities. © California State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
SoCal Edison Executive to Head Commerce Department ()
President Obama today appointed a Californian to be Secretary of Commerce, with special emphasis on reducing US dependence on foreign oil. John Bryson co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council. Bill Bradley is a former Democratic consultant whose memory goes back to Jerry Brown's first Governorship. He's now publisher of NewWestNotes.com and a columnist at the Huffington Post.
- Bill Bradley: Huffington Post
California Prisons: Mercy or Madness? ()
"If we can't start with a quadriplegic, where can we start?" That's the question from San Francisco's Democratic Assemblyman Mark Leno, who wrote the new law providing that inmates who are incapacitated should be released on humanitarian grounds and to save money. But last week, at its first opportunity, the State Parole Board said "no" to a man whose spine was severed in a prison fight, so he can't move either his arms or his legs. His family has agreed to provide care and to pay for it.
Note: The Parole Board refused our request to participate in today's program.
- Mark Kleiman: University of California, Los Angeles, @MarkARKleiman
- Nancy Kincaid: California Prison Health Care Services
Hundred-Million-Dollar School Sits Empty in Riverside ()
Hillcrest High in Riverside's Alvord Unified School District is the perfect model for California's failures in public education. District voters overwhelmingly approved $105 million to build a campus with wireless Internet, a robotics lab, digital smart boards in every classroom and a well-designed performance hall. Hillcrest is finally available but students can't go there, as Phil Willon reported in today's Los Angeles Times.
Middle East Democracy versus the 'Club of Kings' ()
Over the weekend, Egypt opened the Rafah crossing on Gaza's southern border, a sign that the current military regime may be more responsive to its people than the Mubarak government was. The US is playing it down, but it's another sign of changing priorities in the Middle East. Last week's G-8 Summit promised $20- to $40 billion to help Egypt and Tunisia turn the so-called "Arab Spring" into peaceful democracy. At the same time, US ally Saudi Arabia is conducting a worldwide campaign to keep kingdoms and other autocracies just as they are.
Segment image: A Yemeni soldier who joined sides with anti-regime protesters hold a rifle bearing the slogan "leave" during a demonstration calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on May 27, 2011. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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