Gov. Brown’s parole initiative could free 30-40,000

9
292

by Forrest Lee Jones, Journalism Guild Writer

The California State Supreme Court has re-affirmed its decision allowing Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed initiative for changing California’s parole system to begin gathering signatures for the November ballot.

“Parole Board: Two jobs” – Art: Marcus Bedford Jr., K-00220, DVI J-325L, P.O. Box 600, Tracy CA 95378
“Parole Board: Two jobs” – Art: Marcus Bedford Jr., K-00220, DVI J-325L, P.O. Box 600, Tracy CA 95378

The March 9 decision was the second time the court kept Brown’s crime initiative alive by rejecting a request by state prosecutors to halt signature-gathering for the measure.

The proposed initiative would let some nonviolent criminals seek early parole and make it harder to charge juveniles as adults, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Earlier, Mark Zahner, executive director of the District Attorneys Association, had said he understood Brown’s intention to reduce the state’s prison population, under federal court scrutiny, but that the proposed sentencing changes are “too much, too sweeping,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Brown’s proposed initiative would overhaul rules regarding parole eligibility for inmates serving time for nonviolent crimes and good behavior credits for early release.

The initiative is an effort to return to indeterminate sentencing, said Patrick McGrath, Yuba County district attorney and president of the California District Attorneys Association.

“The emphasis has been on these not affecting violent offenders, but I think most members of the public would be surprised at what qualifies as a non-violent offense under the Penal Code,” McGrath told the Los Angeles Times.

The California State Supreme Court has re-affirmed its decision allowing Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed initiative for changing California’s parole system to begin gathering signatures for the November ballot.

In February, Sacramento Judge Shellyane Chang ruled that Attorney General Kamala Harris should not have allowed Brown to submit his substantial revisions to an existing initiative without additional review.

The governor appealed Chang’s ruling to the state Supreme Court on Feb. 25, warning the justices that California’s long-term ability to comply with a federal court order to reduce its prison population hinged on voters being given a chance to approve his plan, the Times reported.

“If the Superior Court’s order stands, the people will have been deprived of their right to use the initiative process to remedy problems that urgently require attention now,” Brown’s campaign attorneys wrote in their appeal.

The District Attorneys Association claimed the governor’s initiative would effectively repeal nearly 40 years of determinant sentencing laws and authorize parole hearings for an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 felons.

“Cops on Parole Board” – Art: Marcus Bedford Jr., K-00220, DVI J-325L, P.O. Box 600, Tracy CA 95378
“Cops on Parole Board” – Art: Marcus Bedford Jr., K-00220, DVI J-325L, P.O. Box 600, Tracy CA 95378

Their suit said the initiative would repeal Proposition 8, the Victims Bill of Rights, enacted by voters in June 1982. Proposition 8 uses prior felony convictions to enhance any future criminal conviction. The proposed initiative would also exclude prior convictions in making prisoners eligible for parole.

Adult felons who commit multiple crimes against multiple victims would be eligible for early release similar to the procedure for as inmates who commit only one crime against one victim.

Under the newly amended language, “alternative sentences” involving increased punishment like the Three Strikes Law would be excluded from the term of the current offense for many offenders. Thus, repeat offenders would be eligible to apply for early release at the same time as inmates who have no criminal histories.

The current initiative would give the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) unilateral and unlimited authority to award credits to all inmates, regardless of their charges or sentences, for good behavior and approved rehabilitative or educational achievements.

Brown’s initiative, called The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, requires 586,000 registered voter signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

In their writ of mandate, California District Attorney Association claims that the Penal Code currently provides that most prisoners could apply for parole after serving only 50 percent of their sentences.

However, people convicted of violent crimes must serve 85 percent of their time and those convicted of murder must serve 100 percent. That’s at least 68 percent of the California Prison population, according to a 2012 report from CDCR’s Offender Information Services Branch Estimates and Statistical Analysis Section Data Analysis Unit.

Brown’s initiative, called The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, requires 586,000 registered voter signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

The governor is termed out of office in 2018 and has $24 million in his campaign account to spend on this campaign, reported the Times.

Send our brother some love and light: Forrest Lee Jones, E-89706, 4-W-4L, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94964.

9 COMMENTS

  1. What about the Lifers who have served sentencing beyond their matrix, my Husband has served 31 years on a 25 to Life sentence. He is an IDL therefore we can not have a Family Visit, even though the DOM says his counsellor can make that decision. How does he learn to be a family man. How does he learn family values, instead of inmate values.

  2. The most beneficial subject for taking a snapshot of is the best pet, either a dog or maybe a cat. Animals are available second as the favourite and almost all gratifying things; children usually are first. And some think of which pets usually are hard make use of as things, they usually are wrong.pets hotex press

  3. Furry friend insurance comparison affords the vital coverage that is required for pet owner to fulfill the increasing prices of furry friend medical prices. However, to discover the very very best pet insurance cover, you ought to make side by side comparisons among a variety of insurance on your pet polices together with between the pet insurance companies that include them.pet shelter network

  4. Flea control is a very hard right decision especially if you ever live in areas the place fleas are typically largely crammed. Weather has a lot relevant to fleas and seeking to keep these people outdoors and through your pets can be extremely challenging.internet of animals

  5. Picking out finches seeing that pets marvelous idea if you have wanted some sort of bird to be a pet, especially when they haven’t had a whole lot experience. As a poor been awestruck by these individuals will explain, the earth of finches typically offer joy in addition to entertainment for hours on end.voices 4 animals

  6. Approximate declare of which over 60% on most households in the states either contain a family furry friend. Animals along these lines can play with ones flooring on account of defecating, scratch and stinging.all about animals nj

Leave a Reply