Hunger Strike: My Letter to the Editor

It is no secret that JJC was born and raised in sacratomato california. JJC hearts all things sacramento, from the state fair, to the diversity (most diverse city in the country) and the trees (city with the most trees in the world). In fact, I have been sporting a Sacramento sweatshirt for the last 12 years during which time I haven’t lived in Sacramento.

So, you can imagine my heartbreak and disappointment when a JJC reader tipped me off to this POS editorial in the Sacramento Bee. I’ll spare you the waste of time in reading it. The gist is that the prison hunger strikers are terrible gang members, celebrities are stupid for supporting the strike, and this gem: “Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard told The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board that the hunger strike has nothing to do with conditions and everything to do with gang leaders wanting to get into the general population so they can more readily conduct their gang business. We see no reason to gainsay his statement.”

This statement actually made my blood boil.  Literally. Sidebar, don’t you just love when people misuse the term literally? I find that really funny and intend to start doing it all the time.  Credit: the Soup for pointing this out:

Anyway, here is JJC’s letter to the editor in response to this editorial.  Now, obviously, I support the strikers. That the bee supports the torturers prison management is not my beef.  Here is my beef:


Dear Editor,

I was shocked, appalled, and outraged to read your editorial on the prison hunger strikes.  Those adjectives are an understatement.  Glaringly missing from your piece was a list of what the hunger strikers’ demands are and an analysis of why or how they are unreasonable.  Now, we can agree or disagree over the morality and necessity of solitary confinement.  What we cannot do, though, is meaningfully discuss whether a nonviolent social movement is justified when you do not even comment upon the demands of the movers.  Instead, your editorial focuses on sensationalistic tactics meant to illicit emotional responses from readers such as describing how evil those experiencing the conditions are.  Dear Sacramento Bee, some of your readers (at least one) are smarter than that.  The hunger strike is not about whether the inmates are the worst of the worst, whether they are in the worst most dangerous gangs of all time, or whether they have perpetrated the worst crimes of humanity ever to have occurred.  I’ll assume they are and they have for purposes of this letter.  What is at issue in the hunger strike is, notwithstanding all of those evils, should we, as a civilized society, incarcerate the worst of the worst under the conditions currently in place in the SHU.  The strikers ask only that Pelican Bay stop punishing individuals because of the acts of a group that they are associated with, stop conditioning release from severely detrimental conditions upon “debriefing” which would expose the person to serious safety risks while in the general population, start providing those in the SHU with adequate and nutritious food, and offer them with a chance for reform and rehabilitation.  Indeed, only one of the five demands of the strikers involves actual release from the SHU, and even then they do not demand that everyone in the SHU be released.  They simply ask for an end to incarceration in the SHU for decades on end.

What I found most disturbing about your editorial, and especially repugnant of a so-called newspaper whose function is to ask questions , was your statement that you “see no reason to gainsay” the Corrections Secretary’s statement regarding the political motivations of the strike.  Since when is a newspaper’s job to take the word of a completely biased party and tell its readers that you agree with it without question.  Such a statement is offensive not only to your readers but does a disservice to the public as a whole. If a newspaper simply takes the word of one side of a dispute as truth, without investigating its truth, without exploring the potential biases, and without evaluating its merits through questioning, then we really do not need a newspaper at all.  We can just rely simply on the press releases of those in power.

You should be ashamed of your editorial. Not because of the position you took, but because you failed to adequately provide your readers with a valid reason for taking it that is based on fact and investigative journalism as opposed to regurgitating sensationalist statements of those being challenged.

I cannot imagine reading a story about the BART strike without finding somewhere in the story the stated demands of the strikers. I think the hunger strike should be no different.

Holder Proposes Changes In Criminal Justice System: Why I don’t buy it

So Eric Holder apparently released this statement prior to a speech he is to give at the ABA conference in SF on 8/12 at 10AM:

“I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department’s charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels, will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences[.]”

What does this mean? How do you decide whether they have ties to large-scale organizations? Can we refute that determination? If the mandatory minimums are “draconian” why are they ok for kingpins?? By its very definition, draconian means excessively harsh…so why is it ever ok to sentence someone to an excessively harsh sentence? In fact doesn’t 18 USC 3553(a) specifically say that the sentence should not be excessively harsh? (“The court shall impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection.”) WTF?

Dear Eric Holder,

I don’t believe you. I just don’t. In 2009, I was way too pumped after your office released this policy on prosecuting those in compliance with state law in providing patients with medical marijuana:

“The prosecution of significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana, and the disruption of illegal drug manufacturing and trafficking networks continues to be a core priority in the Department’s efforts against narcotics and dangerous drugs, and the Department’s investigative and prosecutorial resources should be directed towards these objectives. As a general matter, pursuit of these priorities should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” (The Ogden Memorandum.)

Within two years, your Deputy AG, i.e. number 2 in command, James Cole, released a memo to all US Attorneys stating:

“The Department’s view of the efficient use of limited federal resources as articulated in the Ogden Memorandum has not changed. There has, however, been an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes. For example, within the past 12 months, several jurisdictions have considered or enacted legislation to authorize multiple large-scale, privately-operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers. Some of these planned facilities have revenue projections of the millions of dollars based on the plant cultivation of tens of thousands of cannabis plants.

The Odgen Memorandum was never intended to shield such activities from federal enforcement action and prosecution, even where those activities purport to comply with state law.” (The Horseshit Memorandum signed by James Cole.)

That shit is infuriating because not only do you 100% change the policy, in the same paragraph, you claim your policies are consistent. Also, how does the size if the dispensary matter at all? Why was the Ogden memo never intended to shield that? I have one word for this memo. It has two syllables. it is a compound word: horseshit.

Sidebar, OTR (off the record), I recently saw Cole speak and thought he 100% misled the audience about the frequency that the US government violates Brady. He proudly claimed it was 1/3 of 1% of 1 million prosecutions. Sounded like a pretty fuckin good stat. Then, I asked how he came to that stat. Simple, they reviewed formal complaints to DC (um, ya who the hell does that? that must be a pretty fucking egregious brady violation to report it to DC) or where the judge or appellate court admonished the AUSA. Such a complaint or admonition occurred in 1% of cases. They determined that only 1/3 of those cases involved actual violations.

The thing about a Brady violation, Mr. Cole, is that by its very nature the defendant usually doesn’t complain about it to DC and the judge usually doesn’t admonish the AUSA, because D doesn’t find out about it. You are the one who knows it happened, not him.

That said, I do not think Brady violations are as widespread and systematically acceptable in the federal system as compared to the state system, at least in California.

Back on the record. I am glad you are trying to do something about the fact that someone can go to prison for more than 5 years for having a lil meth (ok 5 grams). But, I am very fucking skeptical of yo ass.

UPDATE: so I really really heart this post. Here’s my favorite quote: “It looks more like a fairly minor shift dressed up in major rhetorical flourishes.” -Professor Somin. Dear Prof. Somin, you get today’s JJC Heart of Approval. 143.


Where do you send a 7th grader who kills his abusive father? Amazing story on buzzfeed

great story on buzzfeed about the kid who killed his kkk dad who was physically abusing him after the kid saw a tv show where a kid did something similar and didn’t get in trouble. The kid will be locked up for 10 years.

The judge must decide whether to send him to cya aka djj or somewhere else where he can actually get treatment for the effects of the abuse and help with his learning disabilities. Really great article on buzzfeed. #sosad.

5 thoughts on the guy who facebook-confessed to murdering his wife

In case your head is in the sand and you hadn’t heard, some dude in florida allegedly killed (possibly in an imperfect self defense situation) his wife. He reportedly later took a photo of her slumped over dead bloody body, posted it on facebook with the caption “RIP Jennifer Alonso” and a confession and goodbye letter to his fb friends. Here are the top 5 things that came to mind, unfiltered, as I read this story.

1. Really, you tagged her in the photo? Kinda harsh. She can’t even remove the tag.

A fb spokesperson said, among other things: “We take action on all content that violates our terms, which are clearly laid out on our site.”

2. A woman is killed by her husband and her dead body is posted on your site and you want to assure the public that you are concerned about the potential terms of service violation? Nice. Also, it took yo ass 5 hours to take that shit down? That’s how seriously you take TOS violations? Very nice.

3. Is it in the terms of service for fb that you can’t post pictures of people you killed or dead body selfies? Not asking for me, asking for a friend.

4. #fuckedupshitinflorida (has been trending for awhile now).

5. You guessed it, this dude is reportedly a super eager neighborhood watch guy. #neighborhoodwatchdudesarefuckingscary (needs to start trending if it hasn’t already).

Daily Juice on the rocks with a Splash of Justice!

1. I am all about the kardashians and so over those who are so cliche and say shit like “they are famous for no reason” and “they have no talent.” Newsflash, these people have made millions off of a tv show about their lives and kim’s vagina. If you don’t get why you are obviously not paying close enough attention.

2. I heart Khloe Kardashian and my husband hates her. It is a source of tension in our marriage. I also heart Kim Kardashian and my husband thinks she is an idiot. The woman has figured out how to make millions. She knows how to do that so I do not think she is an idiot.

3. My husband bought me this week’s star magainze with the headline “Khloe attacks Lamar’s New Girlfriend” without me even asking. #reasonwhyilovehim#100. In it, there was a story that is right up my alley. GET THIS:

As we all know, Lam-Lam reportedly cheated on Khloe with some chic named Jennifer. Well, in this Star Exclusive, another mistress came forward who is NOT ONLY A MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR but, wait for it, a criminal defense attorney! This bitch is one of us!!!

Polina Polonsky (photo below) was admitted to the bar in 2010 and works at a crimlaw firm, apparently with no official website, called Pensanti & Associates in Sherman Oaks. JJC reached out to Ms. Polonsky for comment but, as of press time, she has not responded.


According to Polonsky as reported by Star, she had a brief affair with LamLam from June to July but called it quits after Khloe stalked her and tried to physically attack her.

Top 3 reasons I believe Polonsky:
1. The article is SUPER detailed with specific times, places, and dates. Interestingly, or disgustingly, she and LamLam spent the night at the Vagabond Inn in Downtown LA to try to hide from Khloe. Um, you couldn’t pay me to stay at a Vagabond Inn in Downtown LA. Am I missing something? Isn’t the whole point of hooking up with a married NBA player to stay at the nicest most expensivest hotel there is in robes the entire time ordering massages and room service? Those would be my terms. Vagabond Inn my ass.

2. She took, and passed, a polygraph according to Star.

3. She is an officer of the court.

Man, let’s not forget about when LamLam went nuts on a paparazzi:

ugh my wordpress app isn’t posting the video. check back later.

Or click here.

JJC VERDICT: Polonsky is likely telling the truth, though I 100% judge her as being a bad person for having an affair with a married man even if he is separated. Wait for him to get a divorce. Also, this is the best photo she has for a national magazine? Girlfriend get a better headshot cause you’re lookin hurt. Also, I found out at a recent ethics seminar that as a member of the bar we are prohibited from, with the threat of disbarment, engaging in any act of moral turpitude even if it is not criminal and even it is 100% unrelated to being a lawyer. Really weird rule. Anyway here it is:

§ 6106
Corruption Irrespective of Criminal Conviction
Moral Turpitude, Dishonesty or
The commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption, whether the act is committed in the course of his relations as an attorney or otherwise, and whether the act is a felony or misdemeanor or not, constitutes a cause for disbarment or suspension.

So I think the state bar prohibits us from sleeping with married men. Dear Polonsky, Nene said it best:


8/12/13 12:57 pm UPDATE: Your girl tipped off Above the Law and they reported on this as any respectable law publication would.  Some commenter had an issue with my lack of a legal analysis on the potential 6106 violation. First, the point of my post was not that she will be disbarred. It is that this rule is so archaic and ridiculous that the potential is there. Of course, it is unlikely.  Here is what I hit back at em (during my lunch break, yes, that is how dedicated I am to maintaining the credibility of JJC).

From GTS109:

“It’s also unclear how much longer she’ll be in good standing with the California Bar, but we’ll get to that fun fact later on in our discussion.”

If you had a legal department, they’d probably have told you that you shouldn’t speculate that a lawyer’s private sexual conduct with non-clients could lead to disbarment, based solely on a website called Juice, Justice, and Corgis that provides absolutely no legal analysis beyond quoting vague statutory language. Language, which (btw) has been around for decades and is the subject of numerous California Supreme Court decisions, none of which you discuss or even bothered to research. More than anything, you also shouldn’t refer to your speculation as “fact

In reply to GTS109:

1. a website called juice justice and corgis sounds VERY credible. that is an awesome name.

2. here is some law to shut you up (you diy the analysis):

“As we have stated on many occasions, moral turpitude has been defined as “‘an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man.’ ” (In re Fahey (1973) 8 Cal.3d 842, 849, 106 Cal.Rptr. 313, 316, 505 P.2d 1369, 1372,
quoting from an earlier case.) “The concept of moral turpitude depends upon the state of public morals, and may vary according to the community or the times, (citation) as well as on the degree of public harm produced by the act in question. (Citation.) The paramount purpose of the ‘moral turpitude’ standard is not to punish practitioners but to protect the public, the courts and the profession against unsuitable practitioners. (Citations)” (Ibid.)” In re Calaway (1977) 20 Cal.3d 165, 570 P.2d 1223 (upholding discipline of lawyer dude who was involved in a gambling ring that cheated customers).

Also, I’m not the first one to point this out, check out the ABA’s report of California’s Lawyer Reguation System quoting the ABA’s comment to Rule 8.4 of the model rules:

“the use of the term “moral turpitude” should be eliminated from the statutes and rules relating to lawyer conduct and discipline. As stated in the Comment to Rule 8.4 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness to practice law, such as offenses involving fraud and the offense of willful failure to file an income tax return. However, some kinds of offense carry no such implication. Traditionally, the distinction was drawn in terms of offenses
involving “moral turpitude.” That concept can be construed to include offenses concerning some matters of personal morality, such as adultery and comparable offenses, that have no specific connection to fitness for the practice of law. Although a lawyer is personally answerable to the entire criminal law, a lawyer should be professionally answerable only for offenses that indicate lack of those characteristics relevant to law practice.”

Don’t hate on me just because I’m the messenger!



Yes, law enforcement in the US publicly and unappologetically take bribes.

Great article in the New Yorker about how bananas it is that we live in a country where you can be driving down the road, pulled over, have your cash, car and/or other property taken by the police who then “detain” you and say “if you sign here promising not to challenge that we just stole all yo shit, we won’t prosecute you for a bogus crime.” Welcome to the USA.

Also, congratulations to the world’s richest and best-ability-to-save-her-money-for-a-rainy-day stripper who won her challenge to a bullshit (?) forfeiture and got back her $1 million in cash tied in bundles with hair ties. Only $74,000 for taxpayers for the interest and whatever her attorneys claim for their fees. The evidence that the money was from a crime? Well, besides the fact that it is odd that a stripper has $1 million and her friend is carrying it around in a bundles in his car, the evidence was that drug sniffing dogs thought the money smelled like drugz. Uh, i think everyone knows that all money has cocaine on it. Right?

Here are a few facts from the opinion: 1) pulled over for speeding; 2) search of car was “consensual”; 3) the money was previously stored in a safety deposit box and was only in the car that was stopped because stripper was buying a (strip?) club (beautiful) and needed her friend to bring the money from California to New Jersey. Allllright.; 4) the money was not deposited in a bank because “Mrs. Mishra does not like banks.” 5) the court reamed the government for depositing the money so that it was unavailable to be inspected by Mishra to establish the drug sniffing dog was wrong or to show that the serial numbers were from the time period she alleged she acquired the money (interesting); 5) the judge noted that it is possible that the coppers who handled the money handled drugs earlier in the day, causing the drug smell to transfer to the money (I’m starting to love this judge); 6) time to quote the judge: “Lots of money is not a sufficient basis in and of itself generally for forfeiture.” Yes, it is official, I love this judge.

Apparently, he also struck down Nebraska’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Dear Judge Bataillon, JJC HEARTS YOU!


For those too lazy to do the math, she reports that she saved the $1 mil over 15 years which equates to $66k per year (after taxes which I presume she paid and her husband testified that she did), assuming she made the same each year. Thats about $64 an hour if you assume she only works 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Of course, she’d have to had made more than that to spend on living expenses. It is not that unbelievable. Kinda. I wish they would have posted a photo then I could tell you whether I believe it. p.s. shout out to JJC reader for the tip on the stripper story pun intended

Sandra Coke disappearance: Body discovered near Vacaville park – Inside Bay Area

Sandra Coke disappearance: Body discovered near Vacaville park – Inside Bay Area.

Super sad. A public defender investigator (who does capital case investigations) from the federal public defender in Sacramento has been missing for the past few days .

I had read previously — and it is mentioned in the article — that a man who reportedly had a relationship with Coke 20 years ago was picked up as a person of interest in this case. They placed a parole hold on him, while they investigate his potential involvement.

I’m not going to rush to judge because I have not read a single fact linking him to her disappearance other than that he was reportedly with her when she was seen last and that the he has had significant contacts within the criminal justice system (murder committed while he was awaiting trial on another murder and a rape and kidnapping).

Very very sad. Hope it is not her body and she is alive.

“Insecure, Frustrated Bully With Something To Prove Considering Career In Law Enforcement”

Headline from the Onion, tip from JJC’s favorite reader. Dear The Onion, JJC hearts you! Here are some highlights:

“Lockhart, a recent high-school graduate who sources confirmed is plagued by resentment, self-doubt, unexpected fits of rage, and has always had a penchant for tormenting those who are smaller and weaker than him, explained that he feels he is well suited to serve as a police officer.”

“Friends and family confirmed that Lockhart, an unpredictable, petty individual who frequently loses his temper when he feels he is being threatened or disrespected, has in recent months been inquiring into joining the ranks of the Raleigh Police Department. In this role, the man with a massive chip on his shoulder and no visible sense of empathy would be tasked with peacefully resolving disputes and evenhandedly administering justice to members of the community over whom he would have official power.”

“Sources also felt it bears mentioning that Lockhart is an impassioned and unapologetic racist.”

Which brings me to one of my favorite Sarah Silverman jokes:


My other favorite is that being raped by a doctor is bittersweet for a Jewish girl.