November 23, 2019

On Jan. 1, the rules will change. A new law by Berkeley Democratic Sen. Nancy Skinner will allow Californians with most former felony convictions who are no longer on parole or probation to serve on juries.

Advocates say the law brings California one step closer to solving racial disparities that exist in the jury selection process: One in five African-American men in California is barred from jury service because of a prior felony, according to 2017 research. And that complicates efforts to ensure every defendant a jury of his or her peers.


November 22, 2019

In a pair of rulings a San Diego-based appeals court determined that SB 1437, the new law that revised the state’s felony-murder rule and opened the door for possibly hundreds of inmates to get reduced sentences, is constitutional.

November 21, 2019

A California appellate court Tuesday denied San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan’s challenge to a new state law that struck down the so-called "felony murder rule," which allowed prosecutors to charge people with murder even if they weren’t directly responsible for the crime.

The law, SB 1437, mandates that people can't be convicted of murder unless they were the actual killer, helped the killer, or "acted with reckless indifference to human life."


November 21, 2019

For decades, California criminal justice laws included the tenet of equal guilt, meaning that accomplices in felonies that resulted in someone else’s death would receive the same punishment as the person who did the killing.

But under Senate Bill 1437, authored by Democratic state Senator Nancy Skinner, murder convictions apply only to those who actually committed the crime, except in cases in which a police officer was killed or the crime was excessively brutal.


November 21, 2019

Following the opinions published by the court, California State Senator Nancy Skinner, the author of SB 1437, issued a statement.

“Justice won today,” Skinner said. “The appellate court got it right: SB 1437, which reformed California’s old, unfair felony-murder rule, is clearly constitutional. With this decisive decision, I urge district attorneys throughout California to drop their challenges and join with AG Xavier Becerra in enforcing the state’s new felony-murder statute.”


November 19, 2019

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, released the following statement on two rulings today by California’s Fourth Appellate District Court, upholding the constitutionality of her 2018 legislation, Senate Bill 1437:

November 17, 2019

A new state transparency law, Senate Bill 1421, that’s opened internal investigation documents for the first time in decades is providing a key insight into the long-hidden world of California policing: Not all agencies review how their officers acted — and whether they violated department policies — when they kill or badly injure someone.


For the full report, click here.

November 17, 2019

The serpent is a California law, which 14 other states are already thinking about emulating. It forbids schools to prohibit their athletes from earning money from endorsements and some other services. In response, the NCAA has rushed to stall — allowing athletes to profit from their names and images, details to follow. This is a small but widening fissure in the NCAA’s crumbling wall of resistance to allowing athletes to be among those who profit from their talents.


November 12, 2019

The White House is meeting with congressional offices as it considers a response to a new California law that permits college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.

"There's interest in the Hill on it, and we have some interest in it," White House Domestic Policy Council Director Joe Grogan told McClatchy in an interview. "California has created a lot of interest in the subject, the California law specifically has created some angst in the athletic community."

November 7, 2019

California State Senator Nancy Skinner discussed her bill, SB 37, which proposes to raise the corporate tax rate on the top .2% of corporations that do business in the state. The rate would be increased for corporations with a CEO making a salary greater than 50 to 1 to their average worker.


For the full report, click here.