08-13-2022  1:53 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Hospital to Refuse Some Patients Due to Capacity

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Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

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Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

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Free Vaccination Events Provide Required Back-to-School Immunizations

On or before the first day of instruction, all K-12 students in Washington state must be up to date on vaccinations required for...

Idaho Supreme Court won't block strict abortion bans

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's strict abortion bans will be allowed to take effect while legal challenges over the laws play out in court, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling means potential relatives of an embryo or fetus can now sue abortion providers over procedures...

Inslee issues directive outlining monkeypox virus response

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a directive to the Washington State Department of Health outlining additional steps to address the rise in monkeypox cases. In his Friday directive to state health officials, Inslee called the disease an “evolving...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

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Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Kansas district rejects strategic plan urging diversity

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school district's board rejected a proposed strategic plan after some members questioned its emphasis on diversity and students' mental health. The Derby Board of Education voted 4-3 this week to reject a plan presented after months of work by parents,...

Two years on, foundations stand by issuing bonds in pandemic

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Cuomo: Taxpayers should pay sexual harassment legal bills

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills as he defends himself against a workplace sexual harassment claim — and he's suing the state's attorney general over it. Cuomo filed the suit against Attorney General Letitia James on...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Post Malone concert doc is all flash, no substance

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Jerry Hall, Rupert Murdoch reach agreement on divorce

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Planet Drum unites global percussionists in common rhythm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Grammy-winning group of the world’s top percussionists has reunited after 15 years on a new record that aims to bring the world together in rhythm and dance. Planet Drum’s new record “In The Groove,” out now, features drummers from very different...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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Fetterman 'grateful' as he returns to Pa. Senate race

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Gang violence leaves 11 dead in Mexican border city

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Gunman in Montenegro kills 10, then shot dead by passerby

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Dan Merica and Evan Perez CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General Eric Holder will announce Monday that the Justice Department will no longer pursue mandatory minimum sentences for "certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders."

In a speech at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates in San Francisco, he will make the case that the United States "cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation."

Holder it set to announce that "drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences."

They now "will be charged with offenses for which the accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins."

Lessening the use of mandatory minimums -- sentences that require a mandatory, "one-size-fits-all" punishment for those convicted of federal and state crimes -- could mark the end of the tough-on-crime era, which began with strict anti-drug laws in the 1970s and accelerated with mandatory minimum prison sentences and so-called three-strikes laws.

Holder is set to label these types of sentences as "draconian," "counterproductive" and "excessive."

The attorney general's speech will also hit upon the reality that the federal and many state budgets are experiencing -- increasing costs.

Legislation to lessen the use of mandatory minimums, Holder will say, "will ultimately save our country billions of dollars."

"Although incarceration has a role to play in our justice system, widespread incarceration at the federal, state, and local levels is both ineffective and unsustainable. It imposes a significant economic burden -- totaling $80 billion in 2010 alone -- and it comes with human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate," Holder will say, according to prereleased excerpts of his remarks.

In 2009, incarceration cost federal, state and local budgets $83 billion.

The administration hopes the move will also address racial disparities in the U.S. prison population, of which ethnic minorities are a majority.

President Barack Obama nodded to some of the issues in remarks he made after the Trayvon Martin verdict last month, giving voice to African-American concerns that "there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws -- everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws."

Although Obama administration officials say the changes they are pursuing will not require congressional approval, some unlikely pairs of lawmakers have come together to push criminal justice changes.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky have worked together to allow judges to depart from mandatory minimum sentences when circumstances merit. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah have undertaken similar efforts.

In his speech, Holder will highlight the work of each lawmaker.

In recent years, there has been a rise in support among conservatives for reforms to the criminal justice system. While more flexible approaches to crimes have long held support among liberal Democrats, fear of being tarred as weak on crime by Republican opponents has long caused moderate Democrats, particularly those running for president, to avoid the issue.

In addition to changes to mandatory minimums, Holder will call for expanding the use of "compassionate release" of people in jail who "pose no threat to the public."

"In late April, the Bureau of Prisons expanded the criteria which will be considered for inmates seeking compassionate release for medical reasons," Holder will say. "Today, I can announce additional expansions to our policy -- including revised criteria for elderly inmates who did not commit violent crimes and have served significant portions of their sentences."

CNN's Carol Cratty contributed to this report.

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