Insight With Beth Ruyak

Hosted By Beth Ruyak

Insight creates conversation to build community, exploring issues and events that connect people in our region. Insight covers breaking news and big ideas, music, arts & culture with responsible journalism, civil discussion and diverse voices.

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How A 16-Year-Old Murder Case Reflects California’s Changing Approach To Criminal Justice

 Photo for CALmatters by Dan Morain

The 2003 murder of Matthew Sievert would reverberate for more than a decade and a half in Sacramento, touching some of the highest offices—and toughest questions—in California.

Photo for CALmatters by Dan Morain

Sixteen years ago, a Sacramento teenager was shot and killed in a local park. The son of a Capitol staffer, his death reverberated in the legislature. Years later, the case returned to the statehouse when Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon delivered a plea for clemency to Gov. Jerry Brown on behalf of his brother-in-law, who was one of the men convicted in the shooting.

The killing also illustrates California’s changing approach to criminal justice over the last decades. CALmatters Senior Editor Dan Morain joins Insight to discuss his recent investigation into the ramifications of the murder.

The piece explores the connections between a decades-old crime and the halls of state government, the personal tragedy of a mother who lost her son and the context behind California’s recent shift from an approach that emphasized mass incarceration to one that promotes rehabilitation and realignment.

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