Last week, ACJP organizers drove up to San Francisco for the 10th Annual Public Defender Justice Summit. The summit coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the Gideon ruling, and as such lent itself to very timely and inspiring discussions. The panels of discussants were pioneering attorneys, film producers, authors, and other stakeholders of the criminal justice system who are invested in bringing more fairness to the courts. The event was organized by Jeff Adachi, the elected San Francisco Public Defender. Continue reading
Given this weekend’s news that San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi has officially entered the San Francisco’s Mayor’s race, we thought we would run a profile of his work as California’s only elected Public Defender. In describing the role of the public defender’s office, Adachi says,” We are defending a principle that you can’t taste or see or even experience, but something that you notice when it’s taken away.”
California is currently going through a Supreme Court mandated process to reduce its prison population, but experts ask whether they are looking at the most burdensome sentencing schemes, and the most bloated inmate populations, like two strikers…
July 31, 2011| By Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writer
California’s “three strikes” law is best known for locking up career criminals for life, but the vast majority of offenders serving prison time under the sentencing mandate were actually charged under the less-noticed second-strike provision.
These 32,390 inmates are serving sentences that were doubled as a strike-two penalty, and they account for nearly 20 percent of the state’s prison population. Yet most efforts to reform the law have focused exclusively on the third-strike provision, which carries with it a mandatory 25 years-to-life sentence.
As prison costs in California continue to grow, and the state faces a Supreme Court order to reduce its inmate population by more than 30,000 over the next two years, the tens of thousands of second-strikers appear to pose a bigger challenge to state officials attempting to rein in prison costs than the 8,700 people serving time for a third strike. Continue reading