Words matter, we often hear in this time of political conflict when politicians always say things and then deny that they meant what they said.
Words also matter in the California penal code, where the word “violent” isn’t thrown around as much as it should be.
The tag is currently not applied to many crimes that intelligent people know are violent.
Some examples include assault with a deadly weapon, solicitation of murder, abuse of adults and children, arson, kidnapping, and other forms of rape and forced sodomy.
All of them are obviously violent, until it comes to sentencing someone who commits one of these crimes.
This has much to do with the 2016 passage of Proposition 57, the pet program of the then-Gov. Jerry Brown, who really wanted to get thousands of prisoners out of federal prison.
His measure, passed by a margin of 64-36 percent (about 2-1), would allow inmates with crimes not legally defined as violent to win early parole in exchange for good behavior and other achievements such as obtaining college degrees.
No one knew, in 2016, what the results would be. But police chiefs warned at the time that another consequence would be violent crime.
So part of the campaign for Proposition 57 was a commitment by state lawmakers to expand the list of crimes that are considered violent.
But like many other things promised by politicians, that never happened.
One result was a gang shooting that killed six and left 12 injured last April in Sacramento.
It later emerged that one of the murder suspects in the case, nicknamed “Smiley” Martin, had spent four years in prison, despite serving a 10-year sentence for domestic violence and aggravated assault – both suspected. “Non-violent” crimes under this country’s law – but not many others.
Although Prop. 57 has been a project of liberals in the Legislature, the April session caught enough attention from the left-leaning attorney general Rob Bonta to be interested in getting the Legislature to follow through on its promise in 2016 to expand the list of legal provisions. violent crimes.
Bonta, a former Democratic Assemblyman from Alameda who supported Prop. 57, told a reporter, last fall, that “Domestic violence, human trafficking, the rape of an unknown person – all of these should be discussed and can be changed under any appropriate means. For Prop. 57. I think if people are asked, ‘Is this a violent crime? ? Or is it not a crime of violence?’ I think people are going to say, ‘It’s a crime of violence,’ so I think those things need to be considered and changed.”
The same should be done by others, such as attacking with a deadly weapon, asking for murder, and forcing sodomy, among others.
It is, in short, high time to make California’s law and detention laws more reasonable.
Because there are many more to the problems of crime Prop. 57 resulted in the Sacramento gunfight.
A report submitted to Orange County supervisors about a year after the incident stated that a quarter of the county’s 8,000 felons were released for retrial and 57 were found guilty of another crime in the year they were released.
That rate may be related to prior recidivism, which some have taken to mean that both the 57th and the redistricting of many crimes from felonies to misdemeanors under the old Article 47 did not increase crime.
And yet… some charges have gone up a lot. In San Francisco, car burglaries and other property crimes rose by 667 incidents per 100,000 residents in just the first 57 years.
There were similar increases in Long Beach and Los Angeles.
Although the CCID-19 pandemic has seen a lull in the rise in crime, recently they have been on the rise.
This is what led the Association of Assistant District Attorneys to call 57 “a total assault on public safety.”
The first way to fix that is for lawmakers coming into the new phase to start clearly classifying violent crimes as they really are, and to stop allowing the early release of many of the most dangerous prisoners.