Jonathan Simon

Will Trump roll out the big guns on Second Amendment issues?

Franklin Zimring and Jonathan Simon quoted by California Magazine, March 8, 2017

“It’s a matter of personnel more than principle,” Zimring says. “Trump wants to nominate Supreme Court justices who will push for expansion of Second Amendment interests, not limits.  It can be assumed that [recent Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil] Gorsuch would move in that direction.”

“Most gun laws are written at the local level,” says Simon, “and it would take the Supreme Court a very long time to say the states can’t regulate at all. And while it’s possible a more conservative court would move more aggressively on Second Amendment cases, we’re a long way from that point.”

Initiatives will improve criminal justice system

Jonathan Simon quoted by Daily Journal (registration required), Nov. 7, 2016

“If we actually step up and start investing more in rehabilitation, we can use this good time credit accelerator system to really push people out at the time that they pose little risk to the community, and there’s very little value in incarcerating them,” Simon said.

How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America

Jonathan Simon quoted by Vox, August 22, 2016

“At the end of the day, the ability of courts to control the level of incarceration is relatively weak compared to legislatures who can change the underlying sentencing structure,” Simon warns. But one thing the Court can do is raise the cost of incarceration by insisting upon prisoners’ rights to humane conditions.

For Bay Area officers, these are tense times

Jonathan Simon interviewed by San Francisco Chronicle, July 23, 2016

“The media has been giving all of these events, especially Dallas and Baton Rouge, assassination-level coverage, like with President Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr.,” Simon said. “And that exacerbates things — the rhetoric, the emotions. If we give that much space to shootings, let’s give the same space to discussion of policing, to real grievances, to why these shootings are happening.”

San Diego mayor joins DAs in opposing Brown crime initiative

Jonathan Simon quoted in Daily Journal (registration required), July 14, 2016

“We’re talking about parole consideration, not a guaranteed exit,” Simon said. “The amendment is not very specific about how the parole process will be carried out, but the nature of parole is a focus on the individual and their risk to public safety, and parole has the discretion to deny.”

Drug courts reexamine their toolkits in post-Prop. 47 era

Jonathan Simon quoted in Daily Journal (registration required), Oct. 19, 2015

UC Berkeley law professor Jonathan Simon would like to see drug courts’ best features integrated into the justice system as a whole, rather than confined to a specialized sub-system. “If we’re now in an era when there’s possibilities for rescaling our ambitions for what the criminal process ought to handle, then I think that drug courts might be part of the problem,” Simon said.

Glare of video is shifting public’s view of police

Jonathan Simon quoted in The New York Times, July 30, 2015

“The benefit of being able to hold police accountable in many situations where they are now largely immune is probably worth the cost alone,” said Jonathan Simon. “But even more so when you consider how often the same cameras will provide damning evidence against criminal suspects as well.”

Are overcrowded prisons unconstitutional?

Jonathan Simon interviewed by Slate, March 18, 2015

“Does the Eighth Amendment just prevent torture, or does it protect something more? If it just protects us against torture then obviously it’s a very limited right, and we have to wait until things get really awful in prisons before courts are going to do anything. But if torture is just being protected against because it’s one way to destroy and degrade ‘human dignity,’ then I think almost everything we do in prison has to be rethought.”