A little over a year ago, UC Berkeley police arrested a university lecturer on campus for allegedly soliciting lewd acts in a campus bathroom. He’s suing citing sexual discrimination and invalid basis of arrest. The lecturer, who remains anonymous, retained attorney Bruce Nickerson, who says the arrest targets and threatens gay men. Holly Kernan interviewd Nickerson on Crosscurrents earlier this month.
A spokesperson with California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has confirmed that an inmate on a hunger strike at Corcoran State Prison died on Feb. 2 after refusing food for four days.
Gomez began fasting to protest conditions in the Administration Segregation Unit at Corcoran. Over thirty inmates housed in the isolation unit at Corcoran had also been refusing food since January for the same reason. On Feb. 13, all inmates resumed eating, according to CDCR’s spokesperson Terry Thornton.
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.
Shows like CSI have taught us that a lot can be gleaned from clues left at a crime scene, and painstakingly pieced together by investigators. What they don’t often show is how fallible evidence can actually be if it’s not properly obtained. More and more, prosecutors and police are coming to question the ways in which they’ve typically done business.
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.