Californians To Vote on Decade-Old Criminal Justice Law

Californians To Vote on Decade-Old Criminal Justice Law

( – There’s a lot of concern about crime in the United States. In California, lawmakers took a huge step in 2014 by adding Proposition 47 to the ballot, giving voters a chance to decide whether or not some crimes should be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. They passed it. Now, 10 years later, there’s set to be a measure on the ballot to undo most of Prop 47.

Proposition 47 is a landmark law established in 2014 that reduced several crimes — non-violent felonies — to misdemeanors. This meant fewer convictions and lessened penalties for offenses such as drug crimes and theft. The ultimate goal was to save California money by keeping low-level offenders from going to jail, a burden that would fall on taxpayers.

The new measure to remove key parts of Prop 47 would reportedly lead to the establishment of a new type of crime called a “treatment-mandated felony,” which would apply to certain drug abusers. It would also demand charges for repeat theft offenders. Notably, it has some significant backing in the state, especially amid concerns about crimes like theft in major cities. Major retailers, such as Target, Walmart, and Home Depot, have thrown their support behind it, as have law enforcement agencies, Mayors London Breed and Matt Mahan of San Francisco and San Diego, respectively, and conservative lawmakers.

Naturally, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) and legislative leaders in the state Senate and Assembly are against reestablishing harsher penalties. Newsom also said he doesn’t believe the measure should appear on the ballot and suggested doing something legislatively with more flexibility, which he says is “a better approach to governing.”

Democrats in the state have also introduced Prop 2, which would repeal Prop 47 and, if signed, would ask voters if repeat offenders with convictions within three years should be punished more harshly.

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