Jayadev, Raj


For Trayvon Martin, Justice Hinges on “Prosecutorial Discretion”

By Raj Jayadev
New America Media

The call to action in rallies across the country following Trayvon Martin’s death is a wake-up call for our country to confront racial profiling in our communities. Racial profiling may have killed Trayvon Martin, but it is the so-called prosecutorial discretion that allowed, and may still allow, his killer to escape justice.

It must be pointed out that his killer, George Zimmerman, has until now not been charged with murder because of Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law that allows people who feel threatened to use deadly force in self-defense and says they have no duty to retreat. The law has been at the center of the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin.

California’s Goal to Reduce Prison Overcrowding Hinges on Counties

By Raj Jayadev
New America Media

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s overcrowded prisons posed a human rights violation, and required the state to reduce its prison population. To address the problem, Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law AB 109 that shifts certain groups of non-violent, non-serious offenders from state prisons to county jails – a policy called “realignment.” It also shifts responsibility for parolees to counties.

The state is expected to transfer about 40,000 inmates to the 58 counties over the next three years. Counties need to submit their plans to deal with the influx of prisoners and parolees from state lock-up by October 1. What path we take at this pivotal moment will be based on how counties envision, strategize, and act over the next two months.