(Whittier Officer Keith Boyer and his killer Michael Mejia)
AB109 and Prop 47 are responsible for the death of Whittier police officer Keith Boyer, it's as simple as that. The L.A. Times, along with an organization called The Marshall Project, just put out a piece saying that the events leading up to officer Boyer's death are "complex," and not necessarily the fault of California's terrible prison reform laws.
Click here to read the L.A. Times piece, and then see the response below from Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. He explains perfectly why the Times' article is totally false.
In February of 2017, repeat felon and gang member Michael Mejia, released from prison a year earlier and a few days after release from jail for another crime, murdered his cousin and stole his car, got in an accident and murdered a responding officer.
At the time of Mejia's arrest, law enforcement officials and victims groups pointed to California sentencing reforms (AB109 and Proposition 47) as the reason Mejia remained on the streets long enough to commit the murders. A recent LA Times article by Abbie VanSickle and Richard Winton cites a review the paper conducted with the Soros-funded Marshall Project which "found a far more complex chain of events that allowed Mejia to remain free despite his record of criminal behavior." The main findings reported in the article are:
1) Mejia's probation officer used excessive short jail stints to correct his criminal behavior.
2) The county was too slow in referring Mejia to drug treatment and when they finally did, he didn't show up.
3) The county waited too long to get tougher on Mejia for repeated new crimes and the prosecutor failed to have the probation officer participate in the plea bargain for his last offense.
This is a remarkable example of "hide the ball" that no serious person could possibly believe. Between 2010 when Mejia went to prison for Armed robbery and beating his victim with a baseball bat and in 2014, when he went back to prison for grand theft auto, Jerry Brown singed AB109. That law made Mejia eligible for early release because his violent prior and gang membership could not be considered. Also because of AB109, Mejia was considered a low risk offender who did not qualify for the intense supervision of parole, so he was released on the light supervision of county probation.
Because of AB109, if Mejia violated this probation or committed new crimes, unless he committed a violent crime, the worst punishment he could receive is a short stay in LA's overcrowded county jail. Before AB109 and Proposition 47, Mejia could have been sent back to prison for a year on his first violation of parole, and certainly for committing any new felony. The Times/Marshall Project narrative is that bureaucratic mistakes kept Mejia on the streets.
The fact is that AB109 and Proposition 47, took the supervision of Mejia away from law enforcement and gave it to a newly formed brigade of bureaucrats under pressure by state law to give him repeated chances to show up for a program or reform himself. He did neither. And two innocent people are dead, including a police officer who was trying to do his job. How does that chant go?
"Liberals lie people die."