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What to Know About California’s Proposition 47 | Jake Brower, Attorney At Law |Criminal Lawyer | Criminal Defense |DUI Defense Attorney |Felony Arrests |3-Strike Cases |Santa Ana, Orange County, CA

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  • What to Know About California’s Proposition 47

    Posted Sep 25th, 2014 By in New Criminal Case Law, Prisons, realignment With | Comments Off on What to Know About California’s Proposition 47

    One of the most debated bills in California now is the Proposition 47. If passed, the bill could decrease the number of people in the state’s prisons for misdemeanor or nonviolent crimes. California has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the U.S. and a large percentage of those inmates have committed serious offenses according to the Public Policy Institute of California. However, there is still a significant number of inmates that are imprisoned for low level offenses. Voting on the Proposition is set for early November, but voters should do some diligent research before deciding which way to vote. Therefore, in this week’s blog we have listed what both sides have stated as reasons to vote yes or no as listed on the voter guide:

    What those that are in approval of the bill say:

    For too long, California’s overcrowded prisons have been disproportionately draining taxpayer dollars and law enforcement resources, and incarcerating too many people convicted of low-level, nonviolent offenses.

    Proposition 47 is sensible. It focuses law enforcement dollars on violent and serious crime while providing new funding for education and crime prevention programs that will make us all safer.

    Here’s how Proposition 47 works:

    • Prioritizes Serious and Violent Crime: Stops wasting prison space on petty crimes and focuses law enforcement resources on violent and serious crime by changing low-level nonviolent crimes such as simple drug possession and petty theft from felonies to misdemeanors.
    • Keeps Dangerous Criminals Locked Up:Authorizes felonies for registered sex offenders and anyone with a prior conviction for rape, murder or child molestation.
    • Saves Hundreds of Millions of Dollars: Stops wasting money on warehousing people in prisons for nonviolent petty crimes, saving hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds every year.
    • Funds Schools and Crime Prevention:Dedicates the massive savings to crime prevention strategies in K—12 schools, assistance for victims of crime, and mental health treatment and drug treatment to stop the cycle of crime.

    Here’s what opponents of the bill say:

    California has plenty of laws and programs that allow judges and prosecutors to keep first-time, low-level offenders out of jail if it is appropriate. Prop. 47 would strip judges and prosecutors of that discretion.

    • Prop. 47 will require the release of thousands of dangerous inmates. Felons with prior convictions for armed robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, child abuse, residential burglary, arson, assault with a deadly weapon, and many other serious crimes will be eligible for early release under Prop. 47. These early releases will be virtually mandated by Proposition 47. While Prop. 47’s backers say judges will be able to keep dangerous offenders from being released early, this is simply not true. Prop. 47 prevents judges from blocking the early release of prisoners except in very rare cases. For example, even if the judge finds that the inmate poses a risk of committing crimes like kidnapping, robbery, assault, spousal abuse, torture of small animals, carjacking or felonies committed on behalf of a criminal street gang, Proposition 47 requires their release.
    • Prop. 47 would eliminate automatic felony prosecution for stealing a gun. Under current law, stealing a gun is a felony, period. Prop. 47 would redefine grand theft in such a way that theft of a firearm could only be considered a felony if the value of the gun is greater than $950.
    • Prop. 47 undermines laws against sex-crimes.Proposition 47 will reduce the penalty for possession of drugs used to facilitate date-rape to a simple misdemeanor. No matter how many times the suspected sexual predator has been charged with possession of date-rape drugs, it will only be a misdemeanor, and the judge will be forced to sentence them as if it were their very first time in court.
    • Prop. 47 will burden our criminal justice system. This measure will overcrowd jails with dangerous felons who should be in state prison and jam California’s courts with hearings to provide “Get Out of Prison Free” cards.

    We are in no way advocating for or against the Proposition 47, but we do believe that voters should do more research on their own. Then make educated voting decisions, because the results could bring vast changes to California’s criminal justice system and those within it.

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Jake Brower Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer, Felony Arrests, 3-Strike Cases, Criminal Law, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Los Angeles, Orange, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita,Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Beverly Hills, Hollywood,Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Dana Point, Seal Beach, Long Beach, 1043 Civic Center Drive West, #200, Santa Ana CA 92703