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The snitch scandal at the Orange County District Attorney's Office is nearly over, but it won't bring relief for the mass murderer whose attorneys brought the scandal to light.

Scott Dekraai is the man who walked into a Seal Beach salon in 2011 and opened fire, murdering eight people. He pleaded guilty in May, but the death penalty is still on the table, despite the best efforts of his public defender, Scott Sanders, and a scandal in the district attorney's office.

The "Inmate F" snitching scandal, which we covered earlier this year, has already led to one reversed conviction and harsh criticism by Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals, who denied the defense's request to take the death penalty off the table and recuse the D.A.'s office from the case, reports the Orange County Register.

While certainly not as exciting as the prospect of six Californias, or as debatable as the value of the death penalty, there are still many legal issues in California that are making headlines.

In this week's update, we take a look at a new celebrity lawsuit, how California is dealing with the water shortage, and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.

Shocker: the death penalty in California is a joke.

Okay, we all knew that. It's a ridiculously expensive, wasteful, inefficient, broken, delayed, and completely and utterly dysfunctional system that, quite frankly, isn't doing its job: killing killers. Out of more than 900 sentenced to death, the state has only executed 13 since 1978 -- less than two percent. And any deterrent effect, after waiting decades for sentences to maybe, just maybe, be carried out is minimal at this point.

Whatever adjective you choose to describe our system in the Golden State, U.S. District Court Judge Carmac Carney has two more to add to that list: arbitrary and unconstitutional.

We have this game in the office: "Fresno or Florida." It's inspired by Loveline's "Germany or Florida" game. The rules are simple: whenever asinine human conduct happens in America, we ask: Fresno or Florida?

  1. Guy arrested for Super Soaker shotgun? 
  2. Guy arrested for attacking a teenager with a burrito?
  3. Guy blames DUI on a squirrel?
  4. Guy killed by rooster at cockfight?
  5. Lady intentionally sets a brush fire after locking keys in car?

And today's entry: Jury makes mistake on a verdict form, setting a man free. Tragically, he is murdered for apparently unrelated reasons less than an hour later. Was it all thanks to a "June Jury"?

What do you think when a defendant claims that the cops planted evidence, that he or she was framed.

Bull crap, right? We know, like Shawshank, everyone's innocent. And seriously, why would cops risk their careers and livelihood to put some low-level junkie in jail on an "under the influence" charge. Except they did, according to Allison Ross in her civil suit. And they were caught on tape.

The worst part is, even with the transcripts from the tape, her story still seems incredible.

The Orca Welfare and Safety Act was just effectively put in hibernation, a/k/a, interim hearings where it won't be the subject of hearings, or put to a vote until 2015.

In 2013, the film "Blackfish" came out exposing the nature of animal captivity and the effects on Orcas. As a result, earlier this week Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced AB 2140 -- the Orca Welfare and Safety Act -- that would prohibit orca shows, and the import, export, and breeding and holding of orcas in captivity for "performance or entertainment purposes," reports the Independent Voter Network.

Almost four years after an explosion in San Bruno, California, devastated a community, destroying homes and taking lives, the U.S. Government filed a criminal indictment against Pacific Gas and Electric Company ("PG&E") on April 1.

The Criminal Indictment

The indictment lists 12 counts of violations of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act, for knowingly and willfully violating minimum safety standards including not maintaining the proper records, failing to identify threats, and failing to fix parts of the pipeline. According to the indictment, PG&E was missing pipeline records, and existing records had errors and omissions. The company received notice about the record deficiencies from employees, agencies, and third-party consultants and auditors.

The indictment further alleges that although PG&E knew about areas of threatened pipe, the utility failed to label the pipes as high risk.

Lots of California law updates this week with the 2014 State of the Judiciary, a retiring judge, and a review of laws, pending, passed, and interpreted. Let's jump in:

2014 State of the Judiciary

On March 17, 2014 Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye gave her 2014 State of the Judiciary Address before California judges, legislators and attorneys. The foundation of her statements rested on "fairness and collaboration" -- values that both the judiciary and legislature embody. She went on to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and discussed issues important to her including collaborative courts, self-help centers at the trial courts, JusticeCorps and juvenile justice. To read her remarks in full (or watch a video), click here for the 2014 State of the Judiciary Address.

Flash. That'll be $980.

Who caught you? A camera, one that can't face you in court. And the person who prepared the picture that is attached to your ticket? She's also not available to cross-examine.

Good luck with your defense.

See why red light cameras and other "Automated Traffic Enforcement Systems" (ATES) are problematic? Hearsay issues and Confrontation Clause rights are at the center of the war on ATES -- one that is set to hit the California Supreme Court next week, and which has inspired a pro se plaintiff's U.S. Supreme Court petition for certiorari, as well as protective legislation that backs the camera operators.

"Defendant Nicholas John Smit was charged with a number of drug offenses that exposed him to a maximum of 11 years in state prison. How did defendant attempt to avoid those 11 years? By trying to kill the detective whose testimony was required to convict him, of course.  None of the usual suspects such as Wile E. Coyote, Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam, not even Boris or Natasha, ever eclipsed what defendant did here."

How does one attempt to murder a detective, and in the process, turn an 11-year sentence into four consecutive life sentences with a 40-year garnish? You know, the usual: boobytraps, panji boards, zip guns, and military rockets.