Criminal Justice Reform Threatened

Voters approved Proposition 47 in 2014 which reclassified several nonviolent felonies as misdemeanors.

In a 2015 Los Angeles Times article, talked about the effect of Prop 47 on crime and how it made it easier for criminals to commit their crimes because of the little consequence. 

The statewide prison and jail populations decreased as a result of the Proposition because of its promise to reduce some drug possession and theft crimes down to misdemeanors. 

Then Proposition 57, which got approved by voters in 2016, made it easier for “nonviolent” felons to win parole. But nonviolent crimes can included rape of an unconscious person and violent child abuse, which are exactly the kinds of crimes most people would agree criminals need to be held accountable for. 

Now, Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed into law Assembly Bill 1810 — a budget “trailer bill” that takes effect immediately. It includes a provision that seemingly allows defendants charged with any crime to get the charges put on hold and possibly dismissed if they can persuade a judge that the offense resulted from a mental disorder that a mental health expert says is treatable.

Senate Bill 215, now before the legislature, can make it so that a defendant’s mental illness should be considered by prosecutors and judges. But Gov. Jerry Brown short-circuited it and chose not to veto AB 1810. 

Brown was later warned by San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan that this is “the most irresponsible legislation our state has ever seen” and that it would “wreak havoc in our criminal justice system.”

The Los Angeles County Association of Deputy District Attorneys was not happy with these new decisions and seek to overturn AB 1810 and possibly Propositions 47 and 57 as well.

Michele Hanisee is President of the Association of Deputy District Attorney's and she is upset with this abuse on the legislative process. She talked with John and Ken about the problem.

Read Michele Hanisee's statement here.

It has been reported that more than 100,000 submitted signatures on the Keeping California Safe Act were not counted.

Photo: Getty Images

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