Proposition 57 was a huge lie. It was billed as a way to release "non-violent" criminals early, and the voters fell for it. The problem with Prop 57 is that the definition of "non-violent" is incredibly broad and it includes some pretty heinous crimes.
Michele Hanisee, President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, has profiled some of the creeps who are Prop 57 early release inmates:
- Paul Karl Anderson -- With a criminal history that begins in 1981, and included felony convictions for assault and thefts, Anderson upped the ante in 1995 when he robbed a bank with a weapon and then held a hostage upon being tracked down by federal marshals. The Board of Parole granted early release from the sentence imposed for his bank robbery/hostage taking because they determined Anderson does not "pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community."
- Rodney Hansen -- This inmate's current prison stint results from a conviction for threatening his ex-girlfriend by tossing a knife at her feet, then threatening to kill both himself and her. Prior convictions since 2007 included possession of a firearm and residential burglary. Nonetheless, the Board of Parole found this inmate should be released early because he does not "pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community."
- Recole Mitchell -- Mitchell was sent to prison for convictions of possession of a loaded firearm in 2016, and threatening to kill his mother in 2015. Despite a lengthy criminal history that begins in 2003 and included two separate convictions for carrying a loaded firearm, the Board of Parole granted Mitchell an early release because they decided Mitchell does not"pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community."
- Paul Silvas -- Sentenced to prison in 2015 for stabbing the family dog to death, Silvas had a prior history of violence as evidenced by his 2008 conviction for assault with a firearm. While he incurred five disciplinary actions since being sent to prison, the Board of Parole found that Silvas "shows compliance with institutional rules" and released him early on the grounds that he does not"pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community."
The Association of Deputy District Attorneys has teamed up with victims, law enforcement, business owners and public safety leaders to pass the "Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018."
Here's what the initiative aims to do:
- Reclassify currently "non-violent" crimes like rape of an unconscious person, sex trafficking of a child under 14, and other serious crimes as "violent" - to prevent the early release of inmates convicted of these crimes
- Reform the parole system to stop the early release of violent felons, expand parolee oversight, and strengthen penalties for parole violations
- Reform theft laws to restore accountability for serial thieves and organized theft gangs
- Expand DNA collection to some low level convictions in order to solve violent crimes like rape and murder-and to exonerate those wrongly accused