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Withholding or altering exculpatory evidence has long been considered an major violation of a prosecutor's duties. After all, "Society wins not only when the guilty are convicted, but when criminal trials are fair," as Justice William Douglas wrote in 1963's Brady v. Maryland. The consequences for violating that duty can include overturned convictions, mistrials, and damaged careers.

Soon, those consequences could include a felony conviction. Earlier this month, Governor Brown signed legislation that ups the penalties for prosecutors who alter or withhold evidence, making what was previously a misdemeanor a felony crime.

California's rape laws will change dramatically when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, thanks to a host of legislation signed by Governor Brown this week.

Earlier this week, the governor signed legislation that removes the statute of limitations for rape and other sexual offenses. Today, Brown signed two more bills, to expand the legal definition of rape and impose mandatory minimums for rape convictions. The new laws go in to effect on January 1st, 2017.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill yesterday that eliminates the statute of limitations on rape and other sexual offenses. The new law, S.B. 813, adds rape and similar crimes to the list of criminal acts that can be prosecuted regardless of how long ago the criminal act occurred, such as first degree murder, treason, and embezzlement of public money.

The bill's passage "shows victims and survivors that California stands behind them, that we see rape as a serious crime, that victims can come forward and that justice now has no time limit," the bill's sponsor, State Sen. Connie Leyva, said. The push to remove the statute of limitations for rape was inspired in part by allegations against the comedian Bill Cosby. Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women over several decades, with most of the alleged acts having occurred too far in the past to be prosecuted.

Marijuana Legalization Campaign Sues Sen. Feinstein for 'No on 64'

The California's Voter Guide is set to be printed on August 15th. But supporters of Prop 64, the marijuana legalization initiative, have filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to take the bite out of various anti-marijuana ads.

With only days left before the law to legalize marijuana is brought before the people of California, both sides are gnashing their teeth.

Are Marijuana Businesses Legal in California?

Everyone can feel the changes taking place: marijuana, for better or worse, is gaining wider acceptance amongst the general public across the nation, despite its continued status as a controlled substance under the CSA. But where does this leave weed in the Golden State?

Or more importantly, where does this leave cannabis businesses in California? The law is shaky in this area. Maybe one of the best things lawyers can do is to become at least broadly familiar with the law and understand how we got here.

CA Revenge Porn Case Criminalizes Disclosure of Private Facts

There's a disturbing trend playing itself out in California courtrooms according to Eugene Volokh. The trend potentially criminalizes disclosure of private facts, even if the content disclosed isn't actually revenge porn.

Court applications of the Cal. Pen. Code sec. 530(a) should chill the public. Since when did the disclosure of some private facts of another become a full fledged crime?

Felony Burglars Could Be Mere Shoplifters, Thanks to Prop 47

A man who was convicted for second degree burglary in California successfully convinced a California Court of Appeal that stealing by false pretenses was a form of shoplifting, thus falling under the umbrella of reduced sentences under Prop 47.

It could be one of the first cases in a very long time in which a defendant wanted to be branded a thief.

California Pot: Golden State Will Vote on Recreational Marijuana

Yesterday, California's Secretary of State announced that the recreational marijuana measure had obtained more than enough signatures to be included on this November's ballot. The amount of money supporters have raised is $3.53 million according to the Sacramento Bee -- 31 times more than opponents have raised to block the measure.

The development is consistent with increased acceptability by various jurisdictions within the union of the recreational use of a drug that still enjoys controlled substance status under Schedule I.

Just a few weeks ago, Judge Aaron Persky was a little known public servant in Santa Clara Superior Court. Then he sentenced Stanford University student Brock Turner to a six-month sentence for three felony counts stemming from Turner's rape of an unconscious woman, far below the maximum 14 years Turner was facing. The case gained international attention when the victim shared her courtroom statement with the press, detailing how the rape and sentencing affected her.

Now, Judge Persky is facing calls that he should be removed from the bench. A petition has gained over 900,000 signatures in under a week, even as Persky won a new term on Tuesday, having run for his seat unchallenged. Those signatures are unlikely to have much of an effect on Persky's tenure, but a serious attempt to unseat him, led by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, might.

Governor Jerry Brown's plan to reduce the state's prison population will almost certainly make it onto the ballot in November, after surviving a Supreme Court challenge on Monday. The ballot imitative had originally been put forward with a major focus on reforming the juvenile justice system. Amendments by the governor's supporters shifted that focus to the entire prison population.

The California District Attorneys Association sued, arguing that the changes were too extensive to allow the imitative to go forward without new public comment. In a six to one decision, the California Supreme Court rejected that argument on Monday.