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April 14
2014 - "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams (CalArts BFA 1973) named winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music [story]
John Luther Adams


| Friday, Mar 26, 2021
The Earl Warren Building and Courthouse (former California State Building) — at Civic Center Plaza in the San Francisco Civic Center, California, is home to the Supreme Court of California and the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District. | Photo: coolcaesar/WMC. - deputy
The Earl Warren Building and Courthouse (former California State Building) — at Civic Center Plaza in the San Francisco Civic Center, California, is home to the Supreme Court of California and the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District. | Photo: coolcaesar/WMC.

 

A new ruling from the California Supreme Court has said that judges within the state must consider a person’s ability to post bail and the authorities may not detain a person merely because he or she can’t afford bail.

The high court’s ruling permits a California judge to set bail when the person is either considered a danger to the community, and/or no alternatives, such as electronic monitoring, house arrest or drug treatment programs, can be found.

Limitations to cash bail within Los Angeles County have been in place for months due to both special directives from District Attorney George Gascón and COVID-19 leniency protocols for most nonviolent offenders.

The pandemic policies and Gascón directives have met significant resistance and courtroom challenges since being implemented in L.A. County, but the decision from California’s highest court Thursday solidifies the change to the cash bail system on a statewide level.

“Today’s California Supreme Court ruling ends an unjust practice that favors the wealthy and punishes those with limited means,” Gascón said. “We cannot have equal protection under the law when fundamental aspects of our criminal justice system hinge so decisively on financial status.”

Opponents said Thursday that while some changes were needed in the cash bail system, many of the recent policies created by Gascón and others within the state have harmed both the general public and the victims of crimes seeking justice or protection from the alleged offender.

“From a community safety perspective, I find (the changes) problematic because there’s no repercussions for their actions,” said Jeff Chavez, a bail agent at All American Bail Bonds, in Santa Clarita. “If they get arrested, they’ll go back to jail, only to be re-released.”

Chavez said he did believe that it was unfair to place astronomically high bail amounts on certain people even though they committed a petty crime or the judge was having a bad day. But he said he was unsure of how the state would fund the electronic monitoring programs, or control a possible hike in crime if suspects are immediately released and given the opportunity to re-offend.

However, local proponents of recent changes to the legal system highlighted that the state Supreme Court’s decision does not entirely eliminate the cash bail system.

“Of course, people that have serious hard-core violent crimes and felonies, there’s still going to be bail; bail is not going away,” said David Diamond, a defense attorney and partner at Diamond Associates. “What this does is it just makes the system a little bit more fair for the average Joe.”

Diamond said that, in recent years, the argument that bail is used to keep dangerous people away from society is historically inaccurate, but it was created in order to ensure people showed up for court dates.

“For the everyday person, this means that bail can no longer be used as an abusive tactic by the prosecutor to force somebody to take a plea in the case,” said Diamond. “People, usually that are incarcerated for low-level crimes and want to get back to their jobs and their families, oftentimes accept a plea for something that they may not be responsible for just so they can get back home.

“So, this levels the playing field for your everyday citizen.”

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021
Barger to Allocate $140K in County Block Grant Funds to Boys & Girls Club of SCV
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has approved $140,000 in funding to the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club through the county's Community Services Block Grant.
Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021
California Lifts COVID Capacity Limits on Places of Worship
California public health officials this week lifted capacity limits on in-person services at places of worship from the state's reopening scheme, following a handful of Supreme Court decisions in favor of congregants challenging the state’s COVID-19 capacity limits.
Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021
Santa Clarita City Council OK’s Funding for Bridge to Home Shelter Relocation
The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday night approved one-time funding of $100,000 for the relocation of Bridge to Home shelter services for people experiencing homelessness, and an additional loan not to exceed $110,000.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has approved $140,000 in funding to the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club through the county's Community Services Block Grant.
Barger to Allocate $140K in County Block Grant Funds to Boys & Girls Club of SCV
California public health officials this week lifted capacity limits on in-person services at places of worship from the state's reopening scheme, following a handful of Supreme Court decisions in favor of congregants challenging the state’s COVID-19 capacity limits.
California Lifts COVID Capacity Limits on Places of Worship
The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday night approved one-time funding of $100,000 for the relocation of Bridge to Home shelter services for people experiencing homelessness, and an additional loan not to exceed $110,000.
Santa Clarita City Council OK’s Funding for Bridge to Home Shelter Relocation
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Los Angeles County Public Health officials will modify the Health Officer Order on Thursday, April 15, to align with changes to the state Blueprint for a Safer Economy regarding indoor live events and performances, private events such as conferences, receptions and meetings, and private informal gatherings.
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Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Monday confirmed 3 new deaths and 411 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as cases in the Santa Clarita Valley now total 27,482 since the pandemic began.
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Show producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Steven Soderbergh on Monday announced the all-star cast of presenters at the 93rd Oscars, which will air live on ABC on Sunday, April 25, at 5 p.m. PDT.
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As of Monday, Los Angeles County residents may apply for financial help to cover funeral expenses through FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program.
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In a 5-4 ruling late Friday night, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California can’t restrict home-based religious gatherings such as prayer meetings and Bible groups.
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