John and Ken

John and Ken

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Prop 57: Debate over which inmates should be released early

California voters approved proposition 57 ten months ago, and debate is still raging over which inmates should be allowed to apply for early release.

Prop 57 left it up to prison officials to identify which "nonviolent" crimes would qualify and how an inmate's criminal history would affect eligibility.

The public was also allowed to weigh in and voice their opinion on the matter. At a public hearing in Sacramento last week, more than 8,500 people said what's on their minds. Now, the the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is sifting through stacks of letters from rime victims, inmates, prosecutors, and reformers.

Meanwhile, prison officials have notified prosecutors across the state that more than 1,800 inmates have applied for early parole.

In Santa Clara County, only 6 out of 40 inmates will be released early. And in Sacramento it's even less, 6 out of 65.

That's still not good news. None of these creeps should be getting out!

One prisoner up for release is Kenneth Jay Peoples, who has served 8 years and 10 months of his 15-year sentence for drug possession and helping cover up a vehicular homicide committed by someone he knew.

Last month the parole board said he was at low risk for future violence because his last violent conviction was in 1986.

Ken Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Foundation said:

“People got the idea a few years ago that prisons were full of harmless people. That is a widespread popular misconception.”

Click here to read more about the ongoing mess that is Prop 57 at the Mercury News.

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