By Michele Hanisee
Proposition 57 is a many headed monster that will wreak havoc on public safety. It allows the early release of inmates serving time in state prison for violent and non-violent offenses through parole grants or accelerated sentence credits. In addition, it changes the juvenile system by disallowing prosecutors to directly charge juveniles who commit murder, rape, or other heinous crimes. Instead, a Judge will decide based on criteria that ensures few, if any, juveniles will be charged as adults.
In order to explain the various provisions, a detailed handout has been prepared which breaks out the adult parole components of Prop. 57. That handout is posted on our website and can be downloaded if you click here.
The initiative, misleadingly titled “The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act” is so sloppily and poorly drafted; that it is necessary to go step by step through multiple Penal Code sections to understand why, contrary to the false claims by Governor Brown, Prop. 57 will give violent felons, including rapists, child molesters and murderers, early release from state prison. As my colleague Eric Siddall pointed out in a previous column, the Governor’s spokesperson was forced to admit that Prop. 57 will allow the early release of violent inmates.
The fact sheet includes sentencing examples that illustrate the drastic changes to parole eligibility that will occur in the case of serious felonies, strike priors and sex crimes. A reference to multiple voter enacted initiatives that Prop. 57 contradicts and overrides, such as “Three Strikes,” “The Victim’s Bill of Rights” and “Marsy’s law,” is also included.
I urge everyone to review the document, “Facts About Proposition 57.”