Rina Palta

Criminal Justice Reporter/Editor

Rina Palta reports on criminal justice for KALW News.  Through stories of those affected by the system, she hopes to bring insight to an often misunderstood, polarizing, and politicized issue.  Rina came to KALW from a print background, having worked in magazines for a number of years before being pulled into broadcast while earning a masters degree at UC Berkeley's School of Journalism.  Along with KALW, her work has been published in Mother Jones magazine, the San Francisco Weekly, and Hyphen magazine.  Rina edits and writes for KALW's criminal justice blog, The Informant, where you can find news and analysis on all aspects of California's criminal justice world.

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2:04pm

Mon March 19, 2012
Cops & Courts

What’s working in juvenile justice

Downtown Watsonville in Santa Cruz County, a facility known for innovations in juvenile justice
Rina Palta

A note to readers and listeners: only the first names of children are used in this story.

Christian is 15 years old. And like many teenagers, he’s made some mistakes. “Kinda stupid stuff,” he says. “Like vandalism. Not necessarily graffiti or anything. But yeah. Vandalism.”

And he got caught.

“It’s funny, one little incident can change everybody’s opinion of you,” Christian says. “Like, everybody. At school, like the teachers, from the students, to your family and stuff. But I try not to look at it as a negative or anything.”

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2:24pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Politics

California death penalty ban headed towards the November ballot

This morning at San Francisco’s City Hall, members of the SAFE California Coalition submitted signatures to the Department of Elections to put an initiative on the November ballot that would end the death penalty in California. Proponents say they gathered over 800,000 signatures, which will now be reviewed by elections officials before they’re able to send the proposal to voters. If passed, the initiative would replace capital punishment with life without the possibility of parole.

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5:29pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Cops & Courts

Criminal justice update: public officials behaving badly and prison realignment

Today, in San Francisco’s Superior Court, a judge heard motions in the case of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Mirkarimi is accused of domestic violence, in the wake of a fight with his wife on New Year's Eve that prosecutors say got physical.

Mirkarimi’s not the only one having trouble in his new job. A number of local criminal justice officials are on rocky ground in the Bay Area. Holly Kernan sat down with KALW’s criminal justice reporter, Rina Palta, to discuss these and other happenings in the public safety world.

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10:50am

Wed February 15, 2012
Cops & Courts

"Killing the Messenger": an investigation into the death of Chauncey Bailey

In downtown Oakland, on August 2nd, 2007, journalist Chauncey Bailey was shot to death on the street, as he walked to work. The murder was a brazen act – committed in broad daylight in front of multiple witnesses. Yet the truth about who was responsible for the death of the longtime newsman – and why he died – was almost buried by a rushed criminal justice system.

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3:45pm

Mon February 13, 2012
Cops & Courts

How wrongful convictions happen

Photo by Randy OHC (http://flic.kr/p/HfnoG)

Linda Starr is the Legal Director of the Northern California Innocence Project. She spoke with KALW’s Rina Palta about the criminal justice system and what happens when it sends the wrong person to prison.

RINA PALTA: So, just to start out, tell me a little bit about the Innocence Project and how it started.

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