Victory or failure, advocates say this election will go down in history as a turning point in the fight for pot reform—and one that changed the national discourse for good.
It used to be that you couldn’t attack a female candidate without helping her … [But] the power of gender as a deterrent to political attack (and off-the-cuff remarks) is being tested, so far to no advantage, in this election cycle as California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman tries to rally women voters after the word “whore” was applied to her by the camp of her rival, democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.
Even if they are acquitted, it’s clear their lives are forever altered—their names and faces international symbols of teen callousness. None completed school last year; Mulveyhill has already lost a football scholarship to college. One family has received death threats, prank calls, and a rock thrown through a second-story window—along with a stream of nasty unsigned letters delivered to their door. Some call for their daughter to be “raped and killed”; others hurl insults and racial slurs. “I don’t know if I can even describe what my family has been through,” says the mother of Sharon Velasquez, who agreed to speak exclusively to NEWSWEEK. “The cameras in our faces, the harassment, the letters—I’d come home and people would be in the parking lot waiting for me.”