Holly J. McDede | KALW

Holly J. McDede

Justice Reporter
Holly J. McDede / KALW

Three years ago, Oakland adopted a policy to help people busted for marijuana crimes get into the legal market. Alphonso T. Blunt is the first equity applicant benefiting from this program with a dispensary open for business.

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

California has some of the strictest gun regulations in the country — and a booming gun industry. More than 1 million firearms were purchased in the state in in 2016, or roughly one gun for every 30 residents.

HOLLY J. MCDEDE


When you think of school, you might not think of prison. But in 2014, approximately 47,600 young people in California actually attended school inside juvenile hall. Those schools are called “court schools.”

It's been a year since President Donald Trump signed a package of bills called SESTA-FOSTA to crack down on sex ads online. Supporters said this package would combat sex trafficking. Critics said it would only make the sex trade more dangerous. 

Marc Klaas

Before Governor Gavin Newsom halted the death penalty in California, he met with parents, like Amanda Wilcox and Marc Klaas. Both of their daughters had been murdered, and they both had two very different reactions to the temporary moratorium on capital punishment. 

San Francisco Sherriff's Department / cropped and resized

From our Audiograph series:

San Francisco’s oldest working jail is located on the top floor of the city’s Hall of Justice. That jail is seismically unsafe, and it’s got a bad reputation — rats wandering behind the walls, peeling old paint, and even frequent raw sewage floods

JoAnn DeLuna / KALW

Longtime San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi was memorialized at City Hall and during a vigil last week. He died on February 22 of what appears to be a heart attack. He fought to bring accountability to law enforcement and representation to the accused. 

Steve Baker / Used under CC BY-ND 2.0 / cropped

A new law went into effect this year, requiring police to release certain disciplinary records. But some police unions are fighting to keep records hidden.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

When the Camp Fire ravaged Paradise in November, the whole town was incinerated. Many who escaped the flames had to abandon precious valuables, and in some cases, also the cremated remains of people they love. Months after the fire, survivors are still hoping to find those cremains.

Cary Bass-Deschenes / Flikr Creative Commons, used under CC BY-SA 2.0

So many people are dying from opioid overdoses in the United States that these deaths have fueled an overall decline in life expectancy in 2017. Doctors in the Bay Area are responding by bringing medication for opioid addiction to people in unconventional places, like homeless encampments, emergency rooms, hospitals, and jails.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

In California, deaths related to Fentanyl overdoses have spiked, and it’s still hard to find treatment for opioid addiction. A medication called buprenorphine, more commonly known by the brand name Suboxone, can help.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW

The San Francisco Immigration Defense Unit is a team of eight lawyers with the public defender’s office who represent people threatened with deportation. 

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

Ever since recreational cannabis went legal in California, cannabis tourism companies started popping up around the state. They offer travelers a chance to smoke and sip wine, paint and puff, and learn cannabis factoids while lighting it up.

Flickr user Sharon Hahn Darlin (Used under CC:BY)

Derick Almena and Max Harris, former managers of the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, are going to court on Friday. Prosecutors accuse the men of manslaughter in the blaze which killed 36 people two years ago.

JoAnn DeLuna / KALW News

Hotel workers face high rates of sexual assault and harassment on the job, with over half of hotel staff in Oakland saying a guest has flashed them or opened the door naked.

Public Domain. Cropped and resized

Voters around California are weighing dozens of ballot measures that would impose taxes on marijuana businesses in different cities and counties. Oakland’s Measure V is unique, however, because it could lead to lower tax rates for marijuana businesses.

Emma McAvoy and Holly J. McDede / KALW News

Shortly after Alcatraz prison shut down in 1963, the people who lived and worked on the island began hosting annual get-togethers. When the National Park Service invited the “alumni” to host the reunions on the island, convicts were invited, too. This year, as surviving alumni dwindle, the tradition is coming to an end.

Creative Commons. Alpha Stock Images. Cropped and resized

There's been a lot of debate recently about how tech companies should handle our data, and whose job it is to regulate it. San Francisco's Proposition B, also called the Privacy First Policy, is one approach to the problem. It aims to protect people from having their personal information abused by companies.

 

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

In Oakland, black cyclists are more than six times as likely than white cyclists to be pulled over by cops. Last month, Najari Smith, a Richmond-based community organizer, was arrested by Oakland police while biking and playing loud music. Now, cycling groups around the Bay Area are pushing for change.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News

Nearly two hundred undocumented immigrants facing deportation for violating federal immigration laws were detained at West County Detention Center in Richmond, awaiting hearings to decide their fates. As of late last week, ICE had transferred all of those detainees to other sites, many of them out of state.

Flikr User Thomas Hawk / used under CC BY-NC 2.0

BART riders are on edge after a spate of killings on the system, including the brutal stabbing of 18-year-old Nia Wilson. In the wake of the violence, the transit agency announced plans for a $28 million dollar security package. That proposal includes a ban on panhandling, a fierce crackdown on fare evasion, and a ramped up surveillance system.

Flikr user Rusty Blazenhoff used underUNDER CC BY-NC 2.0 / CROPPED AND RESIZED

When recreational cannabis was legalized in California just over six months ago, the people championing legal weed had high hopes. Growers could emerge out of the shadows into the light. People arrested during the War on Drugs could become CEOs of cannabis empires. Millions of dollars worth of tax revenue would ooze out of marijuana plants right into the government’s pockets. But cannabis trade groups also warned regulations would push some people out.

 

Back in 2016, Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Aaron Persky sentenced Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to six months behind bars for raping an unconscious woman. The case sparked international outrage.  

Holly McDede

When Stanford student Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in prison for sexual assault back in 2016, lots of people thought he deserved a longer sentence. They saw a white, college athlete let off the hook.

 

 

Proposition H is a San Francisco ballot measure that would speed up the process of arming the city’s police officers with stun guns.

San Francisco’s police officers are already on track to carry taser stun guns. Last November, the city’s police commission voted to arm police with tasers.

 

All over the world, Victory Outreach churches reach out to the downtrodden, including drug users, alcoholics and gang members.

 

The California Constitution currently says that any ballot measure passed by voters will go into effect the day after election day, unless the proposition states otherwise.

Proposition 71 supporters say that’s not enough time.

For one thing, mail ballots can arrive up to three days after the election and still get counted.

So, if passed, Proposition 71 would impose a five-day waiting period after all votes have been fully and completely counted and the Secretary of State has certified the election.

Handout / Wikimedia Commons

California has seen some notorious serial killers over the years, including the Zodiac Killer, the Grim Sleeper, and the Hillside Strangler. But the Golden State Killer might be the most terrifying. 

kgroovy / Flikr Creative Commons

 

Kevin Cortopassi / Flikr Creative Commons

Since Sacramento police shot and killed Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard last month, protests have taken to the streets almost everyday.

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