Proposed Ballot Initiative Seeks to end Early Release for some Crimes
Last month, a coalition that includes police officers and prosecutors proposed a state initiative that would end the early release of people such as rapists and child traffickers. This proposed initiative is also looking to expand the number of crimes for which authorities could collect DNA samples from those convicted. The proposed ballot initiative, which is being sponsored by the California Public Safety Partnership, would reverse some parts of Proposition 47. The proposition was approved by voters in 2014 and reduced some crimes deemed nonviolent from a felony to a misdemeanor. Sacramento County Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert, a leader of the coalition, states:
These reforms make sure that truly violent criminals stay in jail and don’t get out early.
The proposed initiative would effectively add 15 crimes to the list of violent crimes for which early release is not an option, which includes things such as child abuse, trafficking a child for sex, domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon. Proposition 47 reduced certain crimes to a misdemeanor and this proposed initiative would allow DNA collection for some of those crimes, such as drug offenses, that Proposition 47 reduced. The proposed initiative would make serial theft a felony and it would mandate a parole revocation hearing for anyone who violates the terms of their parole three times. The proponents of the proposed initiative need to collect signatures from 365,880 voters by the end of April to qualify the initiative for the November 2018 election. We will have to see if the proposed initiative makes it onto the November 2018 election.