The benefit is that the laws reduce the prison population, but they also downgrade some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and from violent to nonviolent.
Since the laws were passed, crime has gone up.
The Association of Los Angeles District Attorneys cited federal crime statistics that show California’s violent crime rate in some cities has gone up by 50 percent. Violent crime in Los Angeles is up by 69.5 percent since 2013, according to The Epoch Times.
Association President Michelle Hanisee told Fox News that there should have been truth in advertising in selling these measures to the public:
“They should have called them ‘Releasing Violent Felons Into Your Community Early and Without Supervision,’ but no one would have voted for them based on that.”
Now, an effort is underway by California women’s victims groups, district attorneys and law enforcement to reclassify some of the crimes that were switched from violent to nonviolent.
The group Keep California Safe listed just a few of the crimes that don’t qualify as violent and are therefore eligible for early prison release.
The list of nonviolent crimes compiled by the group is staggering:
- Human trafficking of a child
- Abducting a minor for prostitution
- Rape by intoxication
- Rape of an unconscious person
- Felony sexual penetration, sodomy, or oral copulation when drugs are used or the victim is unconscious
- Drive by shooting, or shooting on foot, at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle
- Assault with a firearm
- Felony domestic violence
- Felony assault with a deadly weapon
- Serial arson
- Solicitation to commit murder
- Assault with caustic chemicals
- Assault by a caregiver on a child under 8 that could result in death or coma
- Felony assault using force likely to produce great bodily injury
- False imprisonment/taking a hostage when avoiding arrest or to use as a shield
- Assaulting a police officer, with or without a firearm
- Exploding a bomb to injure people
- Felony hate crime
- Any felony where a deadly weapon is used
- Felony use of force or threats against witness or victim of a crime
- Felony elder or dependent adult abuse
- Conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told KSEE 24 that the laws are eroding public trust in the justice system.
Mims told KSEE 24 about the notorious case of an alleged teenage drunk driver, Obdulia Sanchez, who livestreamed the car crash in which her sister died:
“People know that there’s not any consequence, or very little consequence if they are convicted. …
Sanchez asked me what the charges were. I advised her of her charges, and she asked me how much her bail was going to be. I stated I didn’t know. She started talking about Prop 57 and how it would cut her time in half.”
Many in Southern California remember the case of Officer Keith Boyer, who was helping a man involved in a car accident who then turned on the cop and shot him to death.
The suspect, Michael Mejia, had just been released early from prison because of the crime measures.Independent Journal Review
“What I want to say to the community of Whittier, community surrounding Whittier and the state is, we need to wake up. Enough is enough. Passing these propositions, you’re creating these laws that are raising crime.
It’s not good for our communities and it is not good for our officers.
What you have today is an example of that.”
KCRA 3 reports that Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE) is hoping to change the laws that let violent criminals out of prison early. The group’s spokeswoman Beth Hassett told KCRA that violence is violence:
The No. 1 drug used to facilitate rape and sexual assault is alcohol. An alarming number of the victims that we serve through advocacy and counseling were intoxicated or unconscious when they were assaulted. They don’t remember what happened to them. They couldn’t consent to sex.
Now, the organization is beginning a petition drive to change the California law.
Assemblyman Jim Cooper part of coalition with WEAVE. Petition drive underway to stop early release of inmates for child trafficking, domestic violence and rape of an unconscious person. pic.twitter.com/9UeXDWh8sB
— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) January 11, 2018
WEAVE is gathering signatures for an initiative that it hopes to get on the November ballot. The group needs 365,000 signatures by April.