California Prison Sentences Don’t Work Any More

Why Now Is the Time to Change the Rules I Helped Make

Just how much discretion should we give to officialdom when sentencing people to prison for crimes?

It’s a hard question, and, as I’ve learned firsthand, the answer can change through time. Forty years ago, I was a principal proponent of the determinate sentencing law (DSL), which made felony sentencing more predictable, thus reducing the discretion of judges and parole officials. Today, I’m supporting a state ballot initiative—Proposition 57—to modify that legislation and restore some discretion to sentencing.

And I’m hardly alone in seeing this issue change across time. The leading backer of …

More In: Jerry Brown

Does Blink-182 Know Something California’s Governor Jerry Brown Doesn’t?

While Politicians Keep Trumpeting the State’s Success, This Summer’s Songs and Films Sound Skeptical

How is California doing these days? The answer may depend on whom you believe: Governor Brown or Blink-182.

This summer has exposed a divide in perception of California, between the political …

California Needs to Embrace the Apocalypse

Why Gov. Jerry Brown Is Practicing ‘Enlightened Doomsaying’ to Save the State—and the World

Is California being governed by apocalyptic French philosophy?

Oui. But it’s not the end of the world.

Indeed, apocalyptic French philosophy may finally provide clarity for those of us long puzzled …

California, Where Less Costs More

It's Time to Stop the Unfairness

Is “Eureka” still the state motto? I suppose so. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll soon redesign the California official seal to express the real code we live by: …

Why Is It So Hard to Enroll a Kid in Public School?

California Sure Doesn't Act As If Educational Access Is Central to Civic Life

A wiseacre neighbor walked by the corner where I was standing and shouted, “Is this the line for the U2 tickets?”

Nope. The line, which extended out a brick building for …

California Needs to Get Over Its Fantasy of Constant Growth

For the First Time in Its History, the Golden State Has to Attract Newcomers as Well as Retain the People It Already Has

California has an official state flower (poppy), an official state insect (the dogface Butterfly), even an official state theater (the Pasadena Playhouse). But no official state sport.

Unless you count the …