- Sentencing Commissions and the Reform of the California Penal System
Prison overcrowding and overuse have become significant public policy, constitutional, human rights and fiscal problems in the state of California. The lack of a consistent sentencing scheme and comprehensive data collection, the lack of alternatives to prison sentences, and failures in the parole system have meant that prison — the most costly correctional option — is overused for low-level or non-violent offenders with low risk of recidivism. This report discusses these issues in detail and surveys solutions that other states have pursued. Specifically, the report outlines PLRI’s recommendations for the duties and priorities that the Legislature should assign to a potential sentencing commission. Executive Summary and Full Report.
- Proposed Changes for Criminal Justice in wake of OJ Simpson Trial -
As a result of the October 3, 1995, not guilty verdicts in People v. Simpson, numerous proposals to reform the criminal justice system have been put forward. The suggestions have primarily targeted on the structure and role of the jury, quickening the pace of trials, changing evidence rule to focus on "the law" rather than tangential or emotional issues, and retaining the dignity of the courts through restrictions on the lawyers and cameras in courtrooms. The judiciary and the Legislature have both begun to explore reforms in the wake of the trial. Abstract/ Full Text
- Effect of the O.J. Trial on the Access to Justice- People v. Simpson was an expensive court case that taxed Los Angeles County's coffers. The concern over Simpson's costs touches upon the complex issue of how the state funds the trial courts. Abstract/ Full Text
- The Temporary Insanity Defense In California Abstract / Full Text
- Ambiguities in the Penalty Phase of Capital: Statutory Patterns and Suggestions for California Abstract / Full Text
- Law Enforcement in Indian Country: The Struggle for a Solution Full Text
Reducing the Costs of Civil Litigation:
A series of six papers on issues relating to reducing litigation costs.
Improving the Jury System:
Peremptory Challenges Abstract / Text
Jury Instructions: Helping Jurors Understand Evidence and the Law Abstract / Text
Reducing Jury Size Abstract / Text
Nonunanimous Verdicts Abstract / Text
Jury Verdicts in Wrongful Termination Cases Abstract / Text