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(Opinion): California Moves to Let Felons Serve on Juries.
June 14, 2019
12:07 am
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Richard Daystrom PhD
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Opinion

California Moves to Let Felons Serve on Juries.

 

By JOHN PHILLIPS | Orange County Register

PUBLISHED: June 13, 2019 at 11:41 am | UPDATED: June 13, 2019 at 11:42 am

The state of California has made no secret that it wants to let as many people out of prison as possible. From the early release of inmates through AB 109, to filling parole boards with felon friendly commissioners, to decriminalizing a litany of felonies and drug offenses with Props 47 and 57, Sacramento lawmakers are bending over backwards to dramatically reduce the state’s inmate population.

Despite all of these efforts, the number of inmates hasn’t dropped dramatically enough to satisfy the state’s ruling Democrats, so they’re kicking tires on a new approach — rigging the jury system so no one gets convicted in the first place.

This most recent push is Senate Bill 310, authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and would allow Californians who have prior felony convictions to serve on juries.

In a press release promoting the proposal, Skinner wrote, “SB310 will help ensure that California juries represent a fair cross-section of our communities…People with felony records have the right to vote in California. There is no legitimate reason why they should be barred from serving on a jury.”

Currently, felons are prevented from serving on juries because of their obvious and inherent bias against prosecutors and law enforcement.

If you honestly believe that jurors in California who’ve served time won’t be more lenient towards accused criminals, I’ve got a bullet train to sell you.

People who have a family member in law enforcement are excused from jury duty all the time because of the possibility of bias, even unconscious bias.

How can someone who’s served time be considered free of bias?

That’s like having crazy cat ladies vote on how many cats a person should own.

It should be noted that SB310 makes no distinction between violent and non-violent offenders, and even allows convicted felons who are still on probation or parole to serve.

Imagine serving your time, getting out of the clink, then getting sentenced to six months of jury duty on an insurance fraud case.  Haven’t you paid your debt to society already?

Since this is California, and the idea is cartoonishly preposterous, of course it sailed through the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 5-1 vote.

In testimony to the Committee, Brendon Woods, Alameda County’s Public Defender, noted that defendants of color are often faced with juries in California in which “no one who sits in judgment looks like [them].”

In California it’s already illegal to exclude potential jurors because of their race, national origin or gender, among other categories.  A “jury of your peers” doesn’t mean having a foreman with the same ankle monitoring device as the defendant.

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Since the Senate Public Safety Committee vote, SB310 has since been approved by the full state Senate. It was approved on a 27-10 vote.

Look, I’m willing to compromise on this.  If an ex-con wants to judge a wet T-shirt contest I say go for it.  But felonies are serious business, and the public deserves honest trials with juries who will evaluate the evidence with as few biases as possible, and vote accordingly.

More importantly, that’s what victims deserve as well.

Plus, I’m just not willing to risk having a juror whose vote on guilt or innocence might be swayed by a carton of Marlboro Reds.

Could you imagine turning the news on one night and hearing the phrase:  “Mr. Cosby, have you and your fellow jurors reached a verdict?”

Make no mistake, SB310 is not about expanding civil rights for persecuted minorities or reintegrating felons into society — it’s about stacking the deck against prosecutors by making it impossible to win criminal convictions.

John Phillips can be heard weekdays at 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “The Morning Drive with John Phillips and Jillian Barberie” on KABC/AM 790.

Get out of your bubble!

W. O. Belfield, Jr.

June 20, 2019
9:02 am
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greeney2
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Do you nhave an opinion or just copy and pasting? good topic if you want to actually talk about it. 

June 23, 2019
2:37 am
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Richard Daystrom PhD
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I'am a voracious reader. I like to post articles that would never see the time of day in the MSM. In my opinion this is definitely a backward step in the philosophy of jurisprudence. 

W. O. Belfield, Jr.

June 23, 2019
2:06 pm
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greeney2
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While I agree, it begs the question if a sentence is completed do we assume rehabilitation? Most go back to bad lives but many do straighten out. California would let illegals vote if they could, let felons out of prison early, and now want them deciding criminal cases.i doubt they can be impartial. California liberalism is pretty stupid sometimes. 

June 23, 2019
5:56 pm
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Richard Daystrom PhD
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I have no idea if people realize this or not, the typical politician no longer has roots in middle class Americana. Most of the politicians come from wealth. It is highly unlikely you will ever see a Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein or Kamala Harris shopping at a Walmart. They don't even live in residential neighborhoods. These people have a totally different sense of reality from you and I. This is why they create these weird ideas of having felons on Juries. They're out of touch!

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was never brought out during California's Governor election that Gavin Newsome had a cocaine problem.  When he was Mayor of San Francisco. During his cocaine addiction he was having sexual relations with his political managers wife., while his political manager was still working for Gavin Newsome. To me this tells me something about the character of this man.

The point I am trying to make is that a lot of the politicians who are authoring strange or bizarre legislation are people with real serious issues. These are not well-adjusted individuals, perhaps in some ways they are a reflection of our society.

W. O. Belfield, Jr.

June 24, 2019
9:57 am
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greeney2
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Their focus is not on Californians, their focus is on letting illegals get away with murder, making us a sanctuary state, with sanctuary cities, while homeless are all over the city, and drugs are rampant. The rich can pay for everything according to democrats, and the President is treated like the enemy of the people by our dimwitt Governors, Brown and Newsome.  When Trump lost this state, they ignore that more than the popular vote he did not get nationally, was easily made up with Republican votes in our state, the the electoral vote is winner take all. Our votes did not count, and the republican voters in California Are much bigger than many states. 

April 22, 2020
2:04 pm
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Ian Mend
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greeney2 said
Their focus is not on Californians, their focus is on letting illegals get away with murder, making us a sanctuary state, with sanctuary cities, while homeless are all over the city, and drugs are rampant. The rich can pay for everything according to democrats, and the President is treated like the enemy of the people by our dimwitt Governors, Brown and Newsome.  When Trump lost this state, they ignore that more than the popular vote he did not get nationally, was easily made up with Republican votes in our state, the the electoral vote is winner take all. Our votes did not count, and the republican voters in California Are much bigger than many states. 

  

"Illegals" is a fabricated term used to continue a fascist ideology. He is the enemy of the people because he advocates separating children from their parents and long-term incarceration over civil offenses.

Nobody is "letting" illegals get away with murder. You're delusional. Americans commit murder too but you hyper-fixate on the perceived deaths caused by "illegals".

He's an enemy of the people because he's being used by elite politicians parading under red and blue colors to further fascist goals. You want it to be legal to take kids away from people JUST for trespassing? They can accuse you of potential terrorism, throw you in a black site, and do all of it in the name of national security, legally. This was done by republicans and supported by democrats. Meanwhile you participate in this back and forth spiel about a fabricated class of person (aka "illegals") given to you by the same people who are using you and the so-called illegals to their gain.

But you're worried about murderous foreigners on the news? Buddy, your own government kills more Americans than your so-called illegals ever have. And you support that by participating in this arbitrary boxing of people.

Meanwhile you and the illegals both suffer due to each other while the reds & blues take your rights.

April 24, 2020
10:52 am
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greeney2
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Almost a year passed since the last replies.  

The term Illegals isn't a new term, its been around decades, and just as many liberal democrats have said "illegals".  But its not offensive to label Conservatives as "fascists", or "delusional", for calling a crime a crime.  

Instead of understanding, when you violate a border, a criminal act,  and get arrested, we do not have family jails, minors are taken into child protective custody, and they get separated.  just like any American who may commit a crime in any state, but I don't hear you saying a word about the evil government taking kids away from parents, for many crimes on a daily basis. What kid of person knows what happens and still violates a border, dragging his kids over the border with them? We are so bad why don't all the other countries they pass thru give them asylum? They just wave they past and say go to the USA, we don't want you.  

You may blame the lawyers who know the system, that "get your toe inside the door", and instead of pushing you back into the other side of the border, you now are in our system of due process.  You get released inside the country, given a hearing date, and you disappear for years playing the system of continuance, delays, and stalling your hearing, clogging the courts indefinitely. Or they just disappear into the country with false identity literally forever.That is why its called undocumented, thus illegal.  Instead of seeing the real story they make up a spin that our gestapo in charge just want to separate families. Instead of giving them titles of felons, we call them dreamers. When so many millions did the same thing and in droves overwhelmed our system a President said, that's enough.  You also forget Obama, GWB, Clinton, they all deported thousands.

As far as Trump being the enemy, Newsom has praised him for the actions for the virus and for actions during out fires.  Maybe instead of joining in to the 3+ years of Trump derangement, those who voted for him, instead of Hillary, are not fascists, delusional, or racist, and we are not fixated on every undocumented person being a murderer, like the picture they would love to paint about Trump.  You are right Polosi is out of touch, while she fills her $24,000 frig with Dove bars, and hates Trump, ask her why all our Mayors and Governor are getting along fine with him, and Nancy can't?  

April 24, 2020
2:59 pm
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Ian Mend
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You don't know if I'm a liberal and you have no right to lie about how a person stands legally just because you're propagated.

Delusional is not a legal status and it is delusional to call someone illegal just because people have been doing it for a while. Hate speech has been done for a while.

You have no idea as to what "illegal" means from a legal point of view. It is a civil offense. By your logic, you're an illegal for having traffic tickets. Get off my land, illegal, you parked at a red curb.

It is racist and if you think you can't be called out for it, because a liberal called your blatantly racist idea delusional, you are acting delusional.

Caging people's children for breaking civil offenses is unconstitutional. Criminal offense, yes, but crossing a border illegally is not a CRIMINAL offense. It is a civil offense and labeling groups of foreigners as illegals based on something the law equates to a parking ticket is racist and delusional. You know nothing of the law you speak of and act like you do because liberals are mean to your ideas.

The "spin" is real and these children are put into overcrowded facilities that have been legally identified as under equipped for the laws imposed on them. This was ordered by the president. The evidence is there and ignoring it is delusional. You cannot put children in cages and stuff them to the brim because "illegals".

The kind of person that "knows what happens" is obviously a more desperate person than you, who obviously has more to lose by staying where they are. They don't have the privilege of criticizing their situation from behind a television screen. You're so deluded to assume that people that are fleeing north for unprecedented reasons are just here because they want to be felons.

You can't strawman other countries and act like what the republican party and president Trump advocates is at all moral or constitutional. Neither parties are moral so stop sucking on either of their kool-aid, capeche? You can't act like you're moral because your enemy is immoral.

Why do you think I care about what Obama and the democrats did? You can point at them all you like but we're talking about a specific person's actions: Trumps. Crying about another president's, officials', policies of deportation is not an argument against your president acting with racist language and intent. Both parties deserve to burn for their propaganda and their imperialist wars.

But, to make this exceedingly clear:

You label them as felons BUT THEY ARE NOT FELONS; FELONS HAVE TO COMMIT CRIMINAL ACTS OF A FELONIOUS NATURE/CATEGORY TO BE FELONS. TRESPASSING ACROSS THE BORDER IS NOT A CRIMINAL ACT- IT IS A CIVIL OFFENSE AND TREATED DIFFERENTLY BY THE LAW. YOU DON'T GET TO JUST CALL A CIVIL OFFENDER A FELON BECAUSE THE LAW DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO WITH A FALSE DEFINITION OF A MINORITY GROUP FOR DECADES AND HAVE BEEN PERPETUATING A TERM THAT IS USED AS A REASON TO GIVE OUR GOVERNMENT FASCIST POWERS.

Why would a republican ever allow the government to bust into someone's home for a civil offense, I have no idea. Just you wait until both parties redefine citizenship to fit your racist perspective, then take it away from people who would be dissenters. You label people as illegal, get the government to round them up, take their children away, then cage them. You are a fascist, democrat or not.

You bring up random points as if it means anything. Trump is racist. Calling people illegal for a civil offense is racist; even if people have been doing it for years. If you want the right to call people "illegals" then I reserve my right to call you racist and delusional for believing it.

As if democratic deportation is an excuse for lying and making propaganda. That thinking along with the democrats is part of the problem.

April 24, 2020
9:25 pm
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greeney2
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Your ideas about the law are wrong. traffic tickets would be a minor civil infraction, not illegal entry. You also need to learn State vs Federal charges and crimes. Federal more serious and having longer sentences. Illegal entry of the border is s Federal misdemeanor crime far more serious than s state misdemeanor, and certainly not s minor civil infraction. It is a serious charge in a federal court. If you think it’s comparable to a ted light ticket who is delusional. It’s called illegal immigration. All your ranting doesn’t change the law, or calling me names, attaching labels out of Trump Derangement playbooks. You have your opinion I have mine. Might get used to Trump being elected again, because Biden won’t be. 

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