FROM Todd Spitzer
Judicial Independence Gets an Angry Challenge in Orange County Last December, 20-year old Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto was convicted of sodomizing a three-year-old family member in Orange County. The mandatory minimum under state law would be 25 years to life. In a lengthy opinion, Judge Marc Kelly called the crime "serious and despicable" -- but he ruled that 25 years, in this case, would be "cruel and unusual punishment" under the 8th Amendment. Last month, he issued a sentence of ten years instead. That created a national uproar, including Facebook attacks, and death threats against Judge Kelly. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is appealing the sentence , but the County Supervisors have joined demands for a recall election .
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.