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?
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.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.