Proposition 20: Vote NO
Restricts Parole for Non-Violent Offenders, Authorizes Felony Sentences for Certain Offenses Currently Treated Only as Misdemeanors.
This proposition makes changes to policies related to criminal sentencing charges, prison release, and DNA collection. It would reclassify many misdemeanors as “wobblers,” permitting crimes to be either misdemeanors or felonies. These would include firearm and vehicle theft, and unlawful use of a credit card as well as serial crime, regardless of content, and organized retail crime. The proposition would prohibit early release by reclassifying crimes as “violent.” Other crimes, committed prior to 2014 reforms, would require the perpetrator to have his or her DNA on file. Furthermore, rather than having the parole board consider applicants on the basis of fulfilling their sentences and in-prison behavior, this proposition directs the parole boards to consider the person’s age, employment prospects, etc. In sum, a person could remain in prison, regardless of compliance, if he or she were poorly educated and less employable; often racially biased. This proposition will undermine past sentencing reform measures passed by voters in recent elections. Crime is significantly lower in the past few years per the Public Policy Institute of California. These new standards would not stop crime but will swell our prison population through reclassification of offenses, to no discernable public benefit.
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The Rev Dr Rick Schlosser