Sunday, August 31, 2014

AB1014 -- A Bill Temporarily Restricting Access To Weapons To The Mentally Unstable -- Passed on Sat, Aug. 30

Bill AB1014 passed on Saturday.  This bill was in response to the Isla Vista shooting, and creates a TRO system (akin for that in place for stalking and domestic violence), that allows someone (family, law enforcement, or other) to seek a TRO from a judge, based on a clear and convincing evidence standard, that can temporarily deprive someone of guns.  Right now, in California, if a family member believes that someone – who has access to a gun – poses a threat to themselves or others, there is no mechanism for the guns to be temporarily removed.  AB1014 passed on Saturday.  Unless vetoed, it will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Here is a link to the current form of the bill (text below):

Assembly Person Das Williams was interviewed about this bill, as he was attempting to have it passed, on Wallach on Law, and is the second guest on this episode:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wallach on Law. Gun Legislation & Officer Training, With California Assembly Member Das Williams, And Gun Rights Activist Sheriff Richard Mack (“Sheriff Mack”)

Gun regulation is potentially the most partisan and divisive issue in the U.S.  Some believe that any form of gun regulation in unlawful.  Others don’t believe the Second Amendment provides a right to possess a gun free from regulation.  And others are more concerned with the present – determining that, in the wake of multiple tragedies – the need to better regulate gun access is essential.  This week, Sheriff Mack joins us to explain why he believes gun regulations are illegal, and that our focus should be ending the drug war and improving officer training.  And in the wake of the Isla Vista tragedy, Cal. Assembly Person Das Williams has co-authored a bill that provides a mechanism to keep those who may be unstable temporarily away from weaponry.  He joins us (from the Assembly floor) to discuss his bill as it moves through the California Legislature. 

Wallach on Law airs on AM stations nationwide on Saturdays at 1:00pm Eastern Time, and can also be heard on iTunes, iHeart Radio and can also be heard here:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wallach on Law – The Road Back -- Featuring Karen Wolff, Social Worker with the Innocence Project and Harold Hall, who was released after 14 years when the 9th Circuit reversed his conviction

We discuss the problems facing those released from jail after prolonged periods – whether incarcerated justly or unjustly.  We speak with Karen Wolff, a social worker with the Innocence Project, about the work of Innocence Projects worldwide, and the tools that are needed to help those who have been in custody assimilate into society.  And we speak with Harold Hall, who was wrongly incarcerated for fourteen years until his conviction was ultimately overturned by a federal circuit court.  He will discuss the process of a coerced confession, the use of “jailhouse snitch” techniques to effectuate a conviction, and the hardships one faces as they attempt to rejoin society.  Wallach on Law is available on ITunes, IHeart Radio, and on here --  The show also airs Saturday, 1:00 pm central time on KKRP Lazer 1610 and other am stations.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

District Court Allows Claims, Including Race-Based Claims, To Proceed In Class Action Filed on Behalf of Black and Elderly Inmates Infected by Valley Fever Due to Incarceration at Pleasant Valley and Avenal Prisons

August 20, 2014, United States District Judge Lawrence O’Neill denied a motion brought by Defendants Gov. Brown, Matthew Cate, and other Cal. Dep’t. of Corrections officials to dismiss 8th amendment claims, and race-based claims asserting violation of equal protection asserted by inmates of African descent.  The Amended Complaint alleges that the defendants knew, or should have known, that inmates of African descent were nine times more likely to develop the terminal form of “Valley Fever” (known as “disseminated coccidiodomycosis”) and either intentionally or negligently failed to take action to protect them.  The case will now proceed to the discovery phase. 

Plaintiffs are represented by the firms of Khorrami Boucher, LLP, Feldman & Wallach, and Arias, Ozello, and Gignac, LLP. Judge Lawrence O’Neill’s order, and the recommendations and findings of Magistrate Judge Stanley Boone can be read here:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Autopsy shows that Michael Brown – victim in St. Louis, Missouri officer-shooting, was shot 6 times (and twice in the head)

FERGUSON, Mo. — Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.  The full New York Times article can be read here:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two Unnecessary, And Inexcusable, Officer-Shooting-Fatalities, Still Lead To Coverups And State Protection Of The Officers Who Killed, And The Ruthless Demonization Of Victims

In St. Louis, the killing of eighteen year old Michael Brown, has resulted in rioting, and still no completed investigation of potential criminal conduct of the officer that took Mr. Brown’s life.

Michael Brown

And Dontre Hamilton, who was lawfully sleeping in a public park in Milwaukee, and after being woken by 2 officers who ultimately determined he had every right to be there, was woken with a baton by a third officer and subjected – without reason – to a pat-down search.  When a struggle ensued, the as-yet-unidentified officer unloaded his semi-automatic pistol into Mr. Hamilton, fatally shooting him 15 times (with 14 bullets).  His family is still waiting answers (it is the only unresolved officer-related shooting in Wisconsin this year).  Mr. Hamilton’s family has called for two things – answers, and non-violence in the public’s response.  To see a recent interview, click here:

Dontre Hamilton

Note – I am counsel to the family of Dontre Hamilton.