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November 2013 Archives

Gun owner charged in California child's death

The 10-year-old child was the one who held the firearm during the deadly event, but the 56-year-old owner of the weapon is the person who is in legal hot water. The California man is facing more than one weapons charge in connection with the accidental shooting. The boy was reportedly playing with the gun when the weapons discharge occurred, shooting him in the chest. Also present was the man's 9-year-old daughter.

University students charged with hate crimes

It's the year 2013, but hate crime allegations still fly as racism pervades even pristine college campuses. California prosecutors are pursuing assault and battery charges against three San Jose State University students after they allegedly terrorized their African-American roommate through physical violence and repeated taunting, according to authorities. The trio, ages 18 and 19, will be required to mount a criminal defense against misdemeanor hate crime charges in addition to allegations of physical violence.

Is it fair to keep defendants' DNA on file in California?

Did you know that in many jurisdictions, it is legal to take a suspect's DNA just because they have been arrested? That's right, even if you are never convicted of a crime - or even charged with one - your information can be entered into state and federal databases for future reference. In California, criminal defense attorneys know that their clients' information can be kept on file forever. Opponents of this practice say that Californians - many of whom have never actually committed a crime - will be subject to ongoing "genetic surveillance." This argument has led to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will be considering California's controversial law in the coming weeks.

Theft charges filed in alleged California torture case

Four defendants are facing criminal charges after a bizarre incident in California involving the torture of a marijuana dispensary operator. The defendants are facing more than one theft charge in connection with the incident, which also allegedly involved injuring the victim with a blowtorch and even cutting off his penis. The group reportedly kidnapped the man and his roommate's girlfriend in early October 2012. They face charges including burglary, aggravated mayhem, torture and kidnapping for ransom, along with others. All of the defendants could spend life in prison without parole if they are convicted.

California teen charged as adult for juvenile hate crime

Kids who are accused of committing crimes in California run the risk of being tried as adults if the offense is severe enough. One 16-year-old teen is headed past juvenile court and straight to adult proceedings after he allegedly committed a hate crime in Oakland in early November. The young man is accused of lighting a transgendered teen's skirt on fire as she napped on a public bus. He is facing felony assault charges that have been bolstered by the hate crime allegations, along with an additional charge of aggravated mayhem.

Criminal defense changes help California cons

A large number of California residents have been pushing against the massive increases in prison spending that occurred during the past decade. A revamped criminal defense program took hold in the state just two years ago, with major policy changes that shifted responsibility for offenders to county leaders. Instead of spending excessive amounts on mass incarceration, local options were provided to offenders who can now pursue rehabilitation instead of simply wasting away in a cell. A new report shows that most statewide leaders are still on board with the changes, which are designed to provide additional social support for offenders instead of abandoning them to a life in jail.

Computer model helps California cops prevent crime

A new computer model in California may be able to help police officers target their patrols toward criminal "hot spots" in Riverside. The model, which was developed by the University of California, Riverside, can help police identify areas in which crimes such as robbery are most likely to occur. The use of the model has helped decrease thefts in the area by about 8 percent during the first three quarters of this year, according to local authorities.

California trio charged with serious drug crimes

Three defendants are in custody in California, facing charges of drug smuggling after federal officials discovered a massive tunnel beneath the U.S.-Mexico border. The defendants were accused of the drug crime after federal authorities reportedly confiscated an enormous eight tons of marijuana. Further, about 325 pounds of cocaine were said to be discovered in the underground tunnel, which was about 600 yards long.

Man cleared of assault weapons charges

A man who was facing more than one serious weapons charge in California has been exonerated, with prosecutors dropping the allegations. The Fresno man had been facing an extraordinary 35 felony weapons charges in connection with an investigation that began in 2011. Although the man may have committed some of those crimes, procedural errors within the Fresno Police Department led to the charges against him being dismissed. Procedural errors in the case were so egregious that the court decided it could not provide the man the fair trial he deserved.

Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results