prison? If the finite amount of prison space is to be utilized well, why not consider pardoning, or increasing the rate of parole, for non-violent drug offenders which no doubt are incarcerated by the State of California? It seems that about the only non-pandering, rational Governor in the United States on penal issues is Gary Johnson (although he unfortunately supports the death penalty) of New Mexico, who will sadly be retiring from public service soon.

Posted by: Will Allen at July 31, 2002 09:29 AM

Have to agree with Will Allen and Lupinek. There are better examples for sentence reduction then Ramos.

Posted by: Mase at August 1, 2002 09:05 AM

As a non-Californian: how are state judges appointed and how have Davis' nominees been compared to his predecessor?

Posted by: Jeff at August 3, 2002 03:33 PM

Jeff,

California's judges are appointed by the governor and then approved by a panel that includes the Attorney General, and two others (one I think from the state senate and another from the judicial branch (maybe the Chief Justice of state supreme court?)). The judges/justices then must stand for retention votes and/or re-election. (I think it's reelection every six years for trial court level judges, eight years for court of appeal justices and 12 years for supreme court justices, but I'm working from a very faulty memory as you can tell.) Or you can go here and scroll down to "Judges," and select the appropriate category.

All of Governor Davis' judicial appointments are pro-death penalty -- period (he learned from former Gov. Jerry Brown's mistakes) -- and are generally considered to be moderates. He's taken some heat for appointing more former prosecutors and civil lawyers than criminal defense lawyers, but has drawn praise for the diversity of his appointments, including openly homosexual persons.

Hope that's helpful.

Posted by: Ann at August 3, 2002 06:05 PM
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