Tag Archives: Barbara LaWall

Joel Feinman’s Simple Solution to Ending Mass Incarceration


Lynching in America continued from the 1920s up to 1980, according to Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman.

Arizona incarcerates a higher percentage of the population than South Africa did during apartheid. “We are not the land of free and home of brave as long as that statistic is true,” said Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman.

He spoke recently at a program on mass incarceration sponsored by the Arizona Ground Game (TAGG), a grass-roots Progressive organization that encourages active citizenship through neighborhood building.

“Mass incarceration is a long and ugly story, a bloody and racist tour of where we’ve been,” he said. “The good news is that mass incarceration is actually one of easiest political problems to solve.”

Plea bargains

Part of the problem is the universal use of plea agreements to end criminal cases. In 2013, 97% of criminal cases in the federal system were resolved by plea bargains.

“The average sentence for federal narcotics defendants with a plea agreement is  5 years,” Feinman said. “For defendants who went to trial, the average sentence was 16 years — more than 3 times the years in prison because they chose to exercise their constitutional right under the 6th amendment to have a trial by jury.”

Plea bargains are an unfair contract, where the prosecutor (the Pima County Attorney) has all the bargaining power and the defendant has none. “The criminal justice system is more interested in moving cases along than dispensing justice,” he said. “As a result, you get the highest incarceration rate and the highest number of people in prison. The judge is not the most powerful person, not the jury, not our state representatives or congress people — it is your local prosecutor. They are by far the most powerful person in the criminal justice system.”

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Ann Kirkpatrick Stands Out as Gun Safety Candidate in CD2 Race

Kirkpatrick student gun safety

On the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, Kirkpatrick (at right) joined students across the country in walking out to protest lax gun laws. She was invited by the students of Rincon & University High Schools to be a part of their protest.

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who once supported the NRA, has emerged as a leading gun safety candidate in Tucson’s CD2 Congressional primary race. Among her supporters:

  • She was just named a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Candidate. The group pressures lawmakers to improve gun laws, raises awareness about gun violence and educates the public about common-sense gun laws and responsible gun ownership.
  • She is endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It announced the goal to cut the number of U.S. gun deaths in half by 2025 through background checks that are applied to all gun sales; to “Stop ‘Bad Apple’ Gun Dealers” – the 5 percent of gun dealers that supply 90 percent of all crime guns; and to change social norms around the real dangers of guns.
  • She’s endorsed by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Founded by shooting survivor and former Congressman Gabby Giffords, the center’s legal experts research, write, and defend the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence.
Gabby Giffords endorses Ann Kirkpatrick

Click here to see the short video of Gabby Giffords’ endorsement. https://youtu.be/TpnqNlQeQ9o

Democrats Matt Heinz and Mary Matiella are also Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense candidates. All seven of the Democratic primary candidates support gun safety measures.

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Talk show host John C. Scott returns to the radio on KEVT

After a 7 month hiatus, Southern Arizona talk show host John C. Scott has returned to the radio today on KEVT, 1210 AM, advertising as “progressive voices” of Southern Arizona.  He defined progressive as “moving forward and onward”, talking about “progress through political reform”.  His show will be M to F, 3 to 5 p.m.

On his premier show today on KEVT he interviewed:

— Jim Small, reporter at Arizona Capitol Times (they discussed the Hillary vs. Donald campaign in Arizona, early voting, close races in the Arizona State House and Senate, Propositions 205 and 206, Hispanic voting power).

— Dr. Matt Heinz, candidate in CD 2 House (talked about his opponent freshman Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally, the Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood, etc.)

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Southern Arizona News Examiner endorses some Democratic candidates

Emil Franzi, publisher/editor of the conservative online Southern Arizona News Examiner has endorsed a few Democrats in Pima County, for the upcoming General Election 2016:

Recorder – F. Ann Rodriguez, incumbent

Attorney – Barbara LaWall, incumbent

Assessor:  Bill Staples, incumbent

Supervisor District 1:  Brian Bickel

Supervisor District 3: Sharon Bronson, incumbent

LD 9 House – no to Anna (sic) Henderson (R). (The candidate’s first name is spelled Ana.)

Otherwise, the rest of the S.A.N.E. endorsements are Republicans  including the U.S. President, except for the nonpartisan TUSD School Board (Mark Stegeman, an Independent).

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Watch AZPM interviews of candidates for Pima County Attorney & Sheriff

Metro Week (AZPM Channel 6 on PBS) last night conducted a joint interview of both Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall (D) and her Green Party challenger attorney Cyndi Tuell. Incumbent LaWall is seeking her 6th term, first elected in Nov. 1996.

Also interviewed separately were appointed Democratic Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos and his Republican challenger Mark Napier, who ran for this seat 4 years ago against then-Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.  Nanos was appointed to Sheriff in July, 2015 by the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

Watch these Metro Week interviews here: https://www.azpm.org/

Vote wisely on or before Nov. 8, 2016.  Early ballots go out next week (Oct. 12).

New radio show “What Matters” on KVOI The Voice

What Matters

radio host Matthew Laos

radio host Matthew Laos

hosted by Matthew Laos

“What Matters will be discussing the relevant Issues of the Day from the Economy to Entertainment to politics to education to the arts with great guests discussing “What Matters” and how it impacts our daily lives.”

Carolyn’s note:  Just found out about a new radio talk show hosted by young Democratic activist Matthew Laos. It’s on KVOI The Voice 1030 AM  on the dial, every Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m.

I just listened to Matt’s two previous shows (Aug. 27 and Sept. 3). He interviewed economists, educators, politicians (i. e. Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kovachik) and even former radio talk show host John C. Scott (former campaign manager for Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, who recently won her Dem primary on August 30, 2016).

Podcasts here: http://www.kvoi.com/podcast-window/?yourKey=1363784

Good luck to Matt on his new radio show.  Let us know “what matters” in Tucson and Southern Az.