Santa Clara—After 12 years of back and forth legal maneuvering, the Northern California Innocence Project based in Santa Clara University cleared Ed Easley, a 62-year-old electrician, of molesting a seven-year-old in Shasta County 24 years ago, Bay Area News Group reports. Easley served eight years in prison and spent five years on parole. After his release the victim became remorseful and told the Innocence Project that the story that sent Easley to prison was a lie.
Sacramento—A new bill is working its way through the State Legislature that would allow most sex offenders to come off the sex offender registry 10 to 20 years after they are released from prison, if they have not committed another serious or violent felony or sex crime, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Many law enforcement and advocacy groups are backing Senate Bill 421, but victims and their families are divided.
Sacramento—A new bill is working its way through the State Legislature that would require a court to consider the defendant’s mental health history when determining sentencing, California Legislative Information reports. Senate Bill 142 would take effect only if a judge determines that the defendant, at the time of the crime, was suffering from a serious mental illness or has had a history of mental illness.
Lincoln, Nebraska.—A class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Nebraska citing prison overcrowding and continuous unrest at the state’s prisons prompted officials to open a 100-bed, 7,000 square foot temporary housing dormitory at the Community Corrections Center in Lincoln, Correctional News reports. The suit alleges that prison conditions are causing an adverse health and safety environment, endangering the well-being of both prisoners and staff. The cost for the modular housing unit is expected to be $1.8 million; the final cost won’t be known until the project is completed.
Topeka, Kansas.—The state’s highest court handed down three rulings making it more difficult to prosecute undocumented immigrants who use stolen Social Security numbers to find employment, Lawrence Journal-World reports. In all three cases, the high court ruled that charges of identity theft and making a false writing against those individuals were pre-empted by federal immigration law.
New York City—The Metropolitan Detention Center has relatively few female inmates. Yet, female inmates account for a disproportionate number of sexual assaults, with most of the offenders, male officers, The New York Times report.