LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A trio of former California governors urged voters on Tuesday to preserve the death penalty in the state by defeating a ballot initiative seeking to abolish capital punishment on cost grounds, and a recent poll showed the measure gaining support but falling short of passing.
The initiative, if passed by voters next week, would automatically commute the sentences of 725 death row inmates in California, which has nearly a quarter of the nation’s condemned prisoners but has executed none in the last six years.
(Reuters) – Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the eastern United States with freakish power as it meets a cold front during a rare convergence of weather factors that is expected to steer the storm inland and widen the reach of its lashing winds.
Here is a look at some of the reasons why the event dubbed “Frankenstorm” by some weather watchers is so unusual and why it could be one of the most destructive U.S. storms in decades.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A top Justice Department official has told “60 Minutes” the federal government is ready to combat any “dangers” of state-sanctioned recreational pot, amid criticism of the Obama administration for its relative silence on legalization drives in three states.
Voters in Colorado, Washington state and Oregon are set to vote on November 6 on whether to legalize and tax marijuana sales, raising the possibility of a showdown with the federal government, which views pot as an illegal narcotic.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles County tax assessor John Noguez was arrested on Wednesday and charged with accepting $185,000 in bribes from a tax consultant whose clients he allegedly aided by slashing their property values to save them millions of dollars in taxes, prosecutors said.
Noguez, who went on leave in June after it was revealed he was under investigation, was led out of his house in handcuffs by investigators with the local District Attorney’s Office.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The retired space shuttle Endeavour was getting set on Thursday for a road trip unlike any of its previous journeys, one that will see it crawl through the streets of Los Angeles instead of hurtling through the solitary reaches of space.
Endeavour will nose out of Los Angeles International Airport at about 2 a.m. on Friday as it begins a two-day ground journey atop a massive wheeled transporter to its final resting place at the California Science Center on the edge of downtown.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California man behind an anti-Islam film that stoked violent protests in the Muslim world was due in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday for a hearing on whether he violated his probation on a bank fraud conviction and should be sent back to prison.
The Egyptian-born man, known publicly as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has been in federal custody since late last month and was due to appear before a U.S. district court judge under his legal name, Mark Basseley Youssef, court papers showed.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck on Thursday unveiled plans to refrain from handing over illegal immigrants arrested for low-level offenses to federal authorities for potential deportation.
The move by Beck represented a victory for immigrant rights activists just days after California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed bill that would have extended statewide an approach similar to what Beck is proposing.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A former member of the notorious Manson Family cult and a two-time convicted killer came a step closer to freedom on Thursday when he was granted parole, but the decision was subject to a mandatory review and could still be reversed, California prison officials said.
Bruce Davis, 69, has been in state prison serving a life sentence since his 1972 conviction for the murders of music teacher Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea. He was previously granted parole in 2010 but remained in prison after that decision was reversed by then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles City Council voted to rescind a newly enacted ban on storefront medical marijuana shops on Tuesday, allowing the city to avoid a referendum next year that some officials said would likely succeed in reversing the prohibition.
The Los Angeles City Council, in a blow to an industry that operates in violation of federal law, voted in July to ban pot dispensaries and replace them with a system that would allow up to three patients to collectively grow marijuana.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California lawmaker offered on Monday to revise a proposed law to shield some illegal immigrants from federal status checks, a day after the state’s Democratic governor vetoed the bill as “fatally flawed.”
The bill as written would have barred local authorities from honoring federal detention requests on illegal immigrants, which may lead to deportation, unless those individuals were charged or convicted of a serious or violent felony.