Message from District Attorney Dan Dow
Dan Dow announced today that he, along with his colleagues in the California District Attorneys Association, publicly call for withdrawal of Senate Bill 82 because it is absurdly unsafe for Californians.
There was nothing petty about what happened to former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer yesterday—it was a violent robbery, and it was awful. This crime occurred in broad daylight in Oakland’s Jack London District, a popular tourist destination that also happens to be in the California Senate District of Senator Nancy Skinner. The same Senator who proposed declaring such horrific crimes to be misdemeanor petty thefts under SB 82.
Make no mistake, this was a strong-arm robbery of an 80-year-old grandmother. Fortunately, she was not seriously injured. While Senator Boxer is prominent and a household name due to her lengthy tenure in Congress, there are countless other lesser- known victims who have endured similar attacks. To be clear, all these victims were subjected to a violent crime, and it would be a terrible insult to minimize their trauma by calling it misdemeanor petty theft—a low-level offense that is eligible for diversion. Recent reforms have gone too far—it is time to withdraw SB 82. This is a reckless proposal that only encourages lawlessness.
“This is exactly why I am opposing the ridiculous bill,” said San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow. “Downgrading a violent robbery to a petty theft is legislative malpractice. It will encourage violent behavior and make our community more dangerous.”
In March of this year, District Attorney Dow sent a letter to the California Senate Public Safety Committee in strong opposition to SB 82 and encouraged them to refocus on the needs of victims and survivors of crime. To view that letter and press release, click here.
Please contact Assistant District Attorney Eric J. Dobroth at 805.781.5819 with any questions.
The California District Attorneys Association is a statewide training and advocacy organization representing elected district attorneys, city attorneys with criminal divisions, and more than 3,500 prosecutors.