Governor Jerry Brown might be on his way out, but we'll be left reeling with the damage done during his time long after he's gone.
You remember Proposition 57, right? That's the one Brown sold as a way to reduce prison over crowding and actually make California safer, and the voters fell for it.
Prop 57 changed the definition of many violent crimes, including rape of an unconscious person, to "non-violent" and now many dangerous prisoners will have the shot at early parole as a result.
And now because Prop 57 is so broad, a judge has decided that thousands of sex offenders could have their chance at earlier parole.
Brown had promised the voters that all sex offenders would be excluded from measure, but on Friday Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner preliminarily ordered prison to rewrite Prop 57's regulations.
This new ruling could mean early parole for more than half of 20,000 sex offenders currently serving time, according to Janice Bellucci, a Sacramento attorney and president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws. She actually has a lawsuit on behalf of the sex offenders, and argues the rules don't agree with Prop 57's language and the voters' intent in approving it.
She says the measure requires early parole consideration for any sex crime not on the state's list of 23 felonies, which include kidnapping, forcible rape, and murder.
This means that people convicted of the following could get early parole:
- Raping a drugged or unconscious victim
- Intimately touching someone who is unlawfully restrained
- Pimping a minor
- Indecent exposure
- Possessing child pornography
Those are some awful crimes! Judge Sumner did say that corrections officials can make their case for excluding offenders convicted of those crimes as they rewrite the regulations.
"Until they figure something else out, they have to consider anybody convicted of a nonviolent offense even if it was a sex offense. We believe we've won a battle but the war continues."
How awful is this?!