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.
Russian probe gets jolt from Yates and Clapper Senate hearing Intelligence officials have long since concluded that Russia interfered in last year's US election. After yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, what more do we know about the threat to future elections and how it's being handled by the Trump Administration?
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.
Healthcare debate now shifts to the Senate Both parties are celebrating yesterday's House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. House Republicans are cheering because they were able to pass it. Democrats are happy because they think it's so bad. We look at the details… and the politics.
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?