by Geri Silva, FACTS
The re-sentencing provisions of this act are:
■ Prisoners currently serving life sentences for non-serious, non-violent crimes that would not result in a life sentence under the new law can apply for a sentence reduction. A judge must reduce the prisoner’s life sentence to a term of years no less than double an ordinary sentence unless the sentence reduction would cause “an unreasonable risk to public safety.”
■ The burden is on the prosecution to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the prisoner is an unreasonable risk to public safety. The prisoner must be re-sentenced to the shorter sentence if the prosecution cannot meet this burden.
■ A prisoner will have a right to a court-appointed attorney at any re-sentencing hearing.
■ All relevant evidence can be considered at the sentencing hearing, including but not limited to: prison disciplinary records (both positive and negative reports), health records, family support, sobriety and employment prospects.
■ An estimated 3,000 inmates will be eligible for a new sentence under this initiative.
For the complete proposed text of the act as submitted click here.
Although many would like a more encompassing initiative, we at FACTS are prepared to support the passage of this step forward in the 2012 election.
Geri Silva, co-founder of Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes (FACTS), can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.