Stories Chosen For You
A California judge on Thursday rejected a 15-year plea deal in a case involving three homicides, The Berkeley Scanner reports.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Mark McCannon said he wants a jury to decide the fate of 31-year-old Delonzo Logwood in connection with the fatal 2008 shootings.
Logwood was facing a potential sentence of 75 years to life on murder charges, according to the report.
Newly elected Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price offered Logwood the 15-year deal last month.
IN OTHER NEWS: Melania Trump remains angry at her husband over alleged affair with Stormy Daniels
According to a San Francisco Chronicle report: “The negotiated terms were so unusual that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Mark McCannon said he needed more time to consider whether he would sign off on the drastically reduced sentence, an attorney representing the defendant said.”
The case made headlines across the globe after what was perceived by many as too lenient. A Daily Mail headline referred to Price as “Oakland’s woke new DA.”
"I can't accept a plea to voluntary manslaughter for 15 years for an offense that involves the loss of three lives," McCannon said Thursday, The Scanner reports.
"I am not here to do what is popular, but what I believe is right and supported by the law."
Logwood was 18 at the time of the 2008 shootings, but wasn’t charged until 2015, when he was already in custody in connection with other allegations, the report said.
McCannon said that had he accepted the deal, Logwood would have likely spent just two more years in prison.
The Russian music and performance collective Pussy Riot will receive this year's Woody Guthrie prize honoring art for social change, award organizers announced Thursday.
Past recipients of the prize named for the US folk revolutionary Guthrie include Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and John Mellencamp.
"It feels fitting to be awarded in the spirit of Woody, I think he would love Pussy Riot's anti-fascist message," said collective creator Nadya Tolokonnikova, in a statement sent to AFP by the artist's publicist.
"Usually, when Pussy Riot gets added to lists, it's not always a good thing, but we are honored to be on this one," she continued. "We don't really do folk, but we don't really do punk either, we simply scream and protest as loud as we can, and hope we can show others they can do the same."
Tolokonnikova along with Maria "Masha" Alyokhina will accept the prize on behalf of the group on May 6, organizers said, during a three-day weekend celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Following the ceremony Pussy Riot is slated to perform.
"As artists who, like Woody Guthrie, have the courage of their convictions, there are no contemporary artists more worthy of this recognition than Pussy Riot," said Cady Shaw, director of the Woody Guthrie Center, in a statement.
"They have paid a very personal price for speaking their minds on the most serious issues of our time, yet they continue to fight for justice and freedom."
Pussy Riot has gained international fame for its politically charged performances that see members don balaclavas and skewer everything from the Russian church to persecution of the country's gay community.
Tolokonnikova, 33, is one of three members of Pussy Riot who were sentenced to two years in prison after they sang a "Punk Prayer" denouncing the Russian Orthodox Church's close ties with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's central Church of Christ the Saviour in February 2012.
In late 2021 Russia labeled members including Tolokonnikova "foreign agents" as part of a broader crackdown on dissent.
The feminist collective last year went on a European tour in support of Ukraine, warning against "totalitarianism" under Putin.
"Oh and a quick reminder to Vladimir Putin and anyone who supports his Z regime ... All you fascists are bound to lose," Tolokonnikova wrote in her Guthrie Prize statement.
Among American folk music's most towering figures, Guthrie penned iconic anti-fascist songs including the socialist-leaning "This Land Is Your Land."
He had major influence on the work of stars including Springsteen, Baez and Seeger as well as Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia and, of course, Bob Dylan.
RBG’s death set off a pattern of 'distrust and discord' that still plagues the Supreme Court today
Although Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of the United States' last eight presidential elections, they have had terrible luck with the U.S. Supreme Court — which is now controlled by a 6-3 majority of GOP-appointed justices. One-third of the High Court consists of justices who were appointed by former President Donald Trump: Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.
The Robert Court's Democratic critics have complained that Trump obviously had no interest in choosing nuanced Republican justices like Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy (two retired Ronald Reagan appointees). He was only interested in far-right ideologues and social conservatives.
Just as Democrats and abortion rights activists feared, that 6-3 majority overturned Roe v. Wade with its 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Public confidence in the Court, in poll after poll, has continued to sink since that widely protested ruling.
Joan Biskupic, CNN's Supreme Court analyst, examines the condition of the High Court in her forthcoming book "Nine Black Robes: Inside the Supreme Court's Drive to the Right and Its Historic Consequences" (which has an April 4 release date on Amazon). CNN has published, in article form, an excerpt from Biskupic's book. And the excerpt details the role that the appointments of Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Barrett played in Roe's demise.
The video player is currently playing an ad. You can skip the ad in 5 sec with a mouse or keyboard
After liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at 87, died on September 18, 2020, Trump wasted no time nominating Barrett as her replacement. The former president was voted out of office less than two months later.
Biskupic explains, "Within days of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's memorial service in late September 2020, boxes of her files and other office possessions were moved down to a dark, windowless theater on the Supreme Court's ground floor…. The abrupt mandate from Chief Justice John Roberts' administrative team to clear out Ginsburg's office and make way for the next justice broke from the common practice of allowing staff sufficient time to move and providing a new justice with temporary quarters if needed while permanent chambers were readied…. The confirmation of then-President Donald Trump's chosen successor, Indiana-based U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, was as much a fait accompli at the Court as in the political sphere. That behind-the-scenes drama and internal tensions over cases that followed, accelerated by all three Trump appointees, led to a new level of distrust and discord among the justices that lingers today."
According to Biskupic, the High Court's "internal negotiations" in Dobbs "were tightly tied to Ginsburg's death and the succession of Barrett."
"By late 2021," Biskupic recalls, "it was becoming clear that (Justice Clarence) Thomas, (Justice Samuel) Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett wanted to end Roe, irrespective of what they had told senators about adherence to precedent during their confirmation hearings. Barrett had been especially skillful in deflecting questions about her personal opposition to abortion during her hearing, even as then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, declared, 'This is the first time in American history that we’ve nominated a woman who's unashamedly pro-life and embraces her faith without apology.'"