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Judge Halts California Earlier Releases for Repeat Offenders

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — A judge on Wednesday temporarily halted California’s plans to speed the potential prison release dates for repeat offenders with serious and violent criminal histories under the state’s “three strikes” law.

California corrections officials had filed emergency regulations to boost good conduct credits for second-strike inmates serving time for nonviolent offenses who are housed at minimum-security prisons and camps.

Their daily credits were to have increased from half off their sentences to two-thirds off their sentences starting with the new year Saturday.

Twenty-eight of California’s 58 district attorneys moved to block the rule.

A Sacramento County judge imposed a temporary restraining order barring the change until a hearing next month.

The prosecutors argued that it would apply to those convicted of, among other things, domestic violence, human trafficking, animal cruelty and possession of weapons by inmates who have previous convictions for serious and violent felonies. California has a narrow definition of what constitutes a violent crime.

Prison officials said they are reviewing the judge’s order and will proceed with other portions of the regulations that were not blocked.

“Many of these so-called nonviolent second-strikers have long and violent criminal histories — including repeat felony domestic violence convictions, sexual assaults and gun violence,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

She led the effort and is running for state attorney general on a law-and-order platform. The prosecutors did not oppose related changes in how good conduct credits are awarded to inmate firefighters.

“No one is contesting good conduct credits for fire camp work, but sneaking in another class of individuals with serious and violent criminal histories goes too far,” Schubert said.

Corrections officials responded in a statement that their primary mission is public safety.

“As part of that mission we will continue to ensure incarcerated people who are making efforts towards their own rehabilitation by maintaining good behavior and participating in programming and rehabilitative opportunities are afforded the chance to earn credits for their efforts,” they said.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

Legislation

A First As the World Warms: New Forecasts Could Help Predict Marine Heat Waves

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Scientists have developed a new system to predict when and where marine heatwave is likely to develop.

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Collisions Cause Major Traffic Backups in Bothell and Arlington

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Traffic in the Puget Sound region came to a stop Wednesday morning due to two separate incidents, one in Bothell and the other near Arlington. On southbound Interstate 405 in Bothell, a collision near Highway 527 closed the two right lanes, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced on Twitter. The resulting traffic backup is […]

Source Here: seattletimes.com

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DISH Network to Pay $5.5M Settlement Over Alleged Hazardous Waste Disposal Violations

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Satellite TV provider DISH Network will pay $5.5 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of illegally disposing of hazardous waste in Alameda County and elsewhere in the state.

DISH Network is alleged to have violated California environmental laws by sending hazardous waste to local landfills that are not equipped or authorized to receive the waste.

According to state Attorney General Rob Bonta, audits of DISH facilities in California found that DISH repeatedly disposed of hazardous waste since 2005 in violation of the Hazardous Waste Control Law and Unfair Competition Law.

“If you break the rules, we will hold you accountable,” said Bonta in a press release. “For years, DISH carelessly disposed of and sent hazardous waste to local landfills, ignoring the consequences for our communities and our environment. From there, hazardous chemical elements from electronic devices, batteries, aerosols, and more could seep into soil and contaminate our environment. Today’s settlement is critical. Large corporations like DISH have a responsibility to respect our environmental laws and do their part to protect our state’s precious resources.”

“My Office is committed to holding corporate polluters accountable for violations of state environmental laws,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in a statement. “Hazardous electronic waste is ubiquitous, and everyone must do their part to keep these items out of the landfill, especially large corporations who handle high volumes of electronic waste.”

As a provider of TV and video services to residential and business customers, DISH employees manage large volumes of electronic equipment, such as remote controls, transformers, and power adapters, various batteries, aerosol cans, and other items classified as hazardous waste.

The Colorado-based company will pay for penalties, costs, and supplemental environmental project to benefit the community while making significant changes to its operations and practices to come into compliance with state law.

Specifically, DISH must:

• Pay $5.5 million, including $3.32 million in civil penalties, $835,500 in litigation costs, and $845,000 for supplemental environmental projects. DISH must also spend $500,000 to implement enhanced environmental compliance measures to ensure proper management of hazardous waste at its California facilities.

• Hire an independent third-party auditor to perform environmental compliance audits at DISH’s 25 facilities across the state;

• Conduct regular inspections of facility trash dumpsters and roll-off containers to ensure the containers do not contain hazardous waste; and

• Provide training to employees to ensure compliance with California’s hazardous waste laws.

According to the attorney general’s and Alameda DA’s offices, the DISH settlement is the fifth case of a telecom industry giant addressing unlawful disposal and management of hazardous waste. The two offices have also successfully prosecuted AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, and Cox Communications for similar environmental violations related to illegal disposals of large volumes of electronic waste from their cable and satellite video services.

Source Here: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

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