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September 2012 Archives

Oakland protester sentenced for vandalism of police building

An Occupy Oakland protester was found guilty of felony vandalism and sentenced to six months in jail following his arrest at a Nov. 3 Occupy protest. During the trial, a police officer alleged the defendant destroyed six windows and the door of a police building near Oakland's city hall with a metal folding chair. The officer stated the man wore black clothes, goggles and a dust mask at the protest. However, the Sacramento County man wholly denied having committed any such acts of vandalism at the Occupy demonstration.The judge's stated intent during sentencing was to use the man as an example to others who may consider committing similar acts, and the deputy district attorney claimed the sentence sent a strong message to the city and surrounding communities. In addition to the six-month sentence, the protester was ordered by the judge to pay the city of Oakland $6,654 for the six broken windows.

California's 3 strikes law up for vote in November

Some states have enacted strict laws related to drug possession of any type. Under three-strikes laws and similar statutes, possession of even a small amount of marijuana can result in a lengthy prison term. Recently, a man suffered this fate when he was sentenced to life in prison for possession and attempted distribution of marijuana. He received this severe penalty because he was a repeat offender with previous marijuana convictions. However, a life sentence for marijuana may leave some wondering if the punishment fits the crime.In the state of California, repeat offenders earn a prison sentence of a minimum of 25 years for a third felony for crimes ranging from sexual and violent offenses to drug possession. California inmates who were in prison for the three-strikes law were most commonly serving time for drug charges, robbery, assault and burglary according to a 2005 report. In light of this, California has placed the "Three Strikes Reform Act" on the upcoming ballot, which would lessen penalties for nonviolent offenders for a third crime.

Huge drug bust nets 24 suspects, suspected leader of drug ring

We all know how seriously police in California and throughout the country take drug crimes. Often police and federal agencies spend years investigating a group of people before they make any arrests. Once arrests are made, defendants could be facing years in prison on top of other penalties.

National synthetic drug raid ends with 91 arrests

It is an important tenant of American law that in order to be convicted of a crime, it needs to be clear what is and what is not illegal. If legislation makes it too difficult to determine what is a violation of the law, it makes it nearly impossible to follow that law. Anyone in Berkley should be able to know that what he or she is doing is either legal or not. Unfortunately for anyone involved in the synthetic drug industry, the law is not so clear. And, now that the federal government has made its first national synthetic drug raid, many people may have been arrested thinking what they were doing was legal.

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