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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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.