New films: Rush, Don Jon, Baggage Claim, and Prisoners

Rush Directed by Ron Howard In 1976, one of the biggest sports rivalries on a worldwide scale was between Grand Prix drivers James Hunt and Nikki Lauda. This was a big deal in the UK when I was growing up and I’m old enough to have watched these races when they happened. As drivers, Hunt and Lauda were closely matched but as people they were very different. Lauda was the analytical Austrian who calculated his every move while Hunt was a playboy Brit who lived in and for the moment. “Rush” does the remarkable by capturing both the sense of rivalry between the two men as well as the excitement of the track environment. Auto-racing at this level is very difficult to re-create, especially with what are now vintage car designs, and the film manages to convey a great deal through some fairly minimalistic sequences. At times, early on, this is somewhat disappointing as we get geared up for a race and instead we’re simply told the outcome onscreen – but as the film progresses, the overall pacing of the action succeeds and we’re shown just enough to hold our attention, such that the extra events would probably have detracted from the telling of the story. And it’s a compelling story – with Lauda pushed hard enough that he acted out of character and raced […]

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How Registered Sex Offenders can Challenge “Jessica’s Law” Residency Restrictions

Q. My brother is going to get out of jail soon, and we were planning on him moving in with me, but his parole officer told him he couldn’t because he has to register as a sex offender and I live too close to an elementary school, which is against “Megan’s Law” or “Jessica’s Law” or something like that. Isn’t there anything we can do? I’m afraid if he doesn’t live with me he will be homeless. Jerri A. California’s Megan’s Law requires anyone convicted of a wide range of crimes, including forcible sex crimes involving non-consenting adults and most sex crimes involving children, prostitution, and child pornography, to register as a sex offender upon release on parole or probation or discharge from custody. California Penal Code § 290. Proposition 83, the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act, or “Jessica’s Law,” which amended Megan’s Law on November 8, 2006, forbids any registered sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children regularly gather. California Penal Code § 3003.5(b). Your brother is not alone in facing a very bleak prospect. According to the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit public interest law firm which engages in class action and other impact litigation on behalf of prisoners, these residency restrictions have forced many parolees to become homeless because they are unable to find […]

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New films: Rush, Don Jon, Baggage Claim, and Prisoners

Rush Directed by Ron Howard In 1976, one of the biggest sports rivalries on a worldwide scale was between Grand Prix drivers James Hunt and Nikki Lauda. This was a big deal in the UK when I was growing up and I’m old enough to have watched these races when they happened. As drivers, Hunt and Lauda were closely matched but as people they were very different. Lauda was the analytical Austrian who calculated his every move while Hunt was a playboy Brit who lived in and for the moment. “Rush” does the remarkable by capturing both the sense of rivalry between the two men as well as the excitement of the track environment. Auto-racing at this level is very difficult to re-create, especially with what are now vintage car designs, and the film manages to convey a great deal through some fairly minimalistic sequences. At times, early on, this is somewhat disappointing as we get geared up for a race and instead we’re simply told the outcome onscreen – but as the film progresses, the overall pacing of the action succeeds and we’re shown just enough to hold our attention, such that the extra events would probably have detracted from the telling of the story. And it’s a compelling story – with Lauda pushed hard enough that he acted out of character and raced […]

continue reading

How Registered Sex Offenders can Challenge “Jessica’s Law” Residency Restrictions

Q. My brother is going to get out of jail soon, and we were planning on him moving in with me, but his parole officer told him he couldn’t because he has to register as a sex offender and I live too close to an elementary school, which is against “Megan’s Law” or “Jessica’s Law” or something like that. Isn’t there anything we can do? I’m afraid if he doesn’t live with me he will be homeless. Jerri A. California’s Megan’s Law requires anyone convicted of a wide range of crimes, including forcible sex crimes involving non-consenting adults and most sex crimes involving children, prostitution, and child pornography, to register as a sex offender upon release on parole or probation or discharge from custody. California Penal Code § 290. Proposition 83, the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act, or “Jessica’s Law,” which amended Megan’s Law on November 8, 2006, forbids any registered sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children regularly gather. California Penal Code § 3003.5(b). Your brother is not alone in facing a very bleak prospect. According to the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit public interest law firm which engages in class action and other impact litigation on behalf of prisoners, these residency restrictions have forced many parolees to become homeless because they are unable to find […]

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This weekend at the Capitol

Saturday, July 3 12 – 2 p.m. Madeline Lowery will hold a rally and prayers for California Department of Corrections prisoners on the South Steps. About 30 people are expected to participate.

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