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August 12 Digest

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 12, 2016
Updated: Monday, August 15, 2016

Courts overturn sentences for two California death row inmates and uphold another

Top courts weighed in Thursday on three long-running capital murder cases in California, throwing out two death sentences while affirming a third. All three inmates had been convicted of murders that took place 15 to 35 years ago. By Erica Evans — Los Angeles Times

California OKs percentage fees in class actions; when will judges question the percentage?

The California Supreme Court, in a closely watched decision, endorsed giving class-action lawyers a percentage of whatever they win in a case instead of forcing them to justify their fee based on hours expended. The decision in Lafitte v. Robert Half International ends long-running uncertainty in California over whether courts need to employ the so-called “lodestar crosscheck” method of calculating hours expended on litigation to make sure a fee is reasonable. By Daniel Fisher — Forbes


Public opinion pendulum swings as rape bills counter Gov. Brown’s criminal reform

In the wake of a Stanford student convicted of raping an unconscious woman only getting a six month sentence, two bills have been proposed in the California legislature. One bill, Assembly Bill 2888 would require mandatory minimum sentencing for anyone convicted of raping an unconscious and intoxicated person and removing probation as a sentencing option. — 89.3 KPCC

City of Los Angeles ordered to change parking ticket dispute process

The California Court of Appeal has ordered the City of Los Angeles to change the way it handles parking ticket disputes. A three-judge panel said the city can no longer outsource the handling of the initial reviews of parking tickets requested by motorists, but must do those reviews themselves. By Joel Grover and Matthew Glasser — NBC Los Angeles

Modesto, Sonora courthouse projects may inch forward

Projects to build new courthouses in Modesto and Sonora may be able to complete their current phases but not proceed to the next ones, as state courts officials work on solving a funding crisis for new courthouse construction. The Judicial Council of California’s Court Facilities Advisory Committee voted Thursday to have the 23 courthouse projects, including those in Modesto and Sonora, complete their current phases – but not proceed to the next stages. By Kevin Valine — The Modesto Bee

Helping rape victims after the Brock Turner case

What should we do with the anger inspired by Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer who was sentenced to just six months in jail for sexual assault? A movement to recall the judge who ordered that sentence, Aaron Persky, continues to gain support, with a celebrity-studded fund-raiser this month. By Alexandra Brodsky and Claire Simoni — The New York Times

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