Crime Victims’ Organizations Urge California Mayors to Oppose Proposition 20
Mayors in California’s 13 largest cities received a letter sponsored by many of the major crime victims’ organizations urging them to block Proposition 20. These organizations believe that the proposition would result in fewer prisoners getting the rehabilitation they need and result in higher vulnerability to recidivism. These groups also fear that with the budget cuts from COVID-19, the funding for victim’s programs will also be reduced if the bill is passed. As it stands, the 2020 Alliance for Safety and Justice study reports that in the past 10 years, only one in five people who were crime survivors benefited from the programs aimed at helping them recover from their trauma.
Some of the most notable signatures on the letter were from Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, and Ruby’s Place. The mayors in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Riverside, Santa Ana, and Stockton all received the letter. As a result, the mayor of Stockton, Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, and the mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf have stated that they will oppose the bill.
What Will Proposition 20 Do?
Proposition 20 is scheduled to be on the ballot in November. The proposition would change many of the criminal sentencing and supervision laws passed from 2011 through 2016. The initiative adds crimes to the list of “violent felonies,” which creates restricted ability for early parole. Also, some theft and fraud crimes, previously misdemeanors, will become wobblers . A wobbler crime is one that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the incident and the individual who is charged. Last, Prop 20 will require DNA collection for specific misdemeanors.
If passed, the ballot initiative will change AB 109 which was passed in 2011, Proposition 47 which was passed in 2014, and Proposition 57 which was passed in 2016. These measures were passed with the intent of reducing California’s high prison population. Just after AB 109 was passed in the state and during the time that Proposition 47 and 57 were in the works, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that overcrowded prisons were a form of cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court then supported a move by a lower court to reduce the population. Currently, California has the smallest prison population in the state’s history. Passage of Prop 20 could change that. A study done by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice reports that there could be up to 10,000 more people incarcerated every year as a result of the proposition.
The proposition is heavily backed by many law enforcement associations. Some of the most ardent supporters include the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Truth in American Government Fund, the Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs PIC, and the Los Angeles Police Protective League Issues PAC.
Do You Need to Speak with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer?
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