FROM Glenn Backes
Proposition 9: Criminal Justice System and Victims' Rights The so-called Victims' Bill of Rights was voted into the state constitution in 1982, but supporters of Proposition 9 on next week's ballot say what they call a "broken" system favors criminals. Opponents, including San Quentin's former warden, say it's unnecessary and expensive. Victims are notified of criminal proceedings, and they can attend and participate in hearings on sentencing and parole. Prop 9 would expand those rights. We hear both sides.
Propositions 5 and 6: Law and Order Proposition 5 on the November ballot, which deals with the criminal justice system, would allocate $460 million a year to improve and expand treatment programs for drug crimes and other offenses. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst says it would also save a one-time expenditure of $2.5 billion. Proponents call it the "Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act." Opponents call it the "Drug Dealers' Bill of Rights." Proposition 6 would allocate $965 million a year for law enforcement statewide, create many new crimes and increase penalties, many focused on gangs. Though it would not raise taxes, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst says the additional cost could include $500 million for increased prison construction.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?