San Benito County Local News: Crime & Justice

All Local Crime & Justice News articles contributed by our local media allies and other local newsrooms.

Image caption: The California Supreme Court has defined the state’s legal and political agenda for more than 170 years.
How the California Supreme Court Blazes Legal Trails

The California Supreme Court has kept the state at the forefront of legal issues surrounding abortion, the death penalty and same-sex marriage, starting in its earliest days in the Gold Rush era.

Image caption: The cycle of crime and homelessness is escalating, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Homelessness and Crime in California: Even More Complex Than You Think

The links between homelessness and crime are complex, and the idea that unhoused individuals present a danger to their community seems to be exaggerated.

Image caption: The California mental health crisis is tied to both homelessness and rising crime.
California’s Mental Health Crisis: How We Got Here

How the California mental health crisis emerged out of the state’s history of deinstitutionalization and laws designed to protect the mentally ill, as well as the communities around them.

Image caption: Access to abortion in California is limited in many areas, though state laws protect a woman’s right to choose.
Abortion Rights in California, Explained

California has historically been ahead of the rest of the country in expanding the legal right to abortion services. Here’s what state laws say today, and how we got here.

Image caption: California cities switch to more inclusive, district-based elections system.
Voting Rights...the Final Frontier

Pushed by activists, cities move from at-large elections to district races.

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The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has charged three East Bay police officers with involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 death of 26-year-old Mario Gonzalez.

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Image for display with article titled County Approves New Public Defender Contract

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors approved a two-year contract last week with the law offices of Harry Damkar as the new primary public defender in the county.

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Alejandro N. Mayorkas, a Cuban immigrant who grew up in California, is the first U.S. Cabinet official impeached in nearly 150 years.

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In a unanimous vote the Board approved a two-year contract to hire attorney Harry Damkar for public defense services beginning May 1 as they study the feasibility of establishing a public defender’s office.

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Thirty years after prisoners with disabilities sued the state of California and 25 years after a federal court first ordered accommodations, a judge found that state prison and parole officials still are not doing enough to help deaf and blind prisoners.

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The San Benito Health and Human Services Agency annual inspection turned up deficiencies in health training and services provided by the San Benito County jail system with most in the juvenile facility.

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A judge ruled GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene can move forward with their lawsuit against two California cities where rallies were canceled.

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California prison officials announced they will move the last 457 condemned prisoners out of San Quentin's death row by summer. They will be transferred to other state prisons and housed in the general population.

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Beginning May 1, Harry Damkar will provide indigent defense services for the county, replacing the Fitzgerald, Alvarez & Ciummo law firm.

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After receiving bipartisan support, California Senate Bill 400, legislation intended to increase law enforcement transparency, was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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Proposition E broadens police surveillance powers and Proposition F mandates drug screening and treatment for people receiving county welfare benefits who are suspected of drug use.

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A report of a 12 month study which ended in February indicates almost half of those cited for drug usage were not residents of the city, leading to questions about city approaches to drug addiction.

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County’s public defense system lack of structured leadership, transparency, accountability and funds, and frequent attorney turnover, high caseloads and low litigation noted.

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Of all the races on your ballot, the least information is often available on local judges. Here are some ways to find out more about these candidates.

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In his decision, a judge agreed that the alleged white nationalists were being selectively prosecuted instead of 'far-left extremist groups, such as Antifa.'

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License plates are getting stolen from vehicles, Livermore officials say.

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Image for display with article titled Rivas Leads Effort to Combat Growing Retail Theft Problem

Nearly four months after forming a bipartisan select committee, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas announced legislation to combat shoplifting and organized retail theft.

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Commercial beekeeper Andrew Strehlow estimates he’s had 1,000 hives stolen over the years. The latest theft, of 96 hives from a Fresno County orchard, was his last straw.
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