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Support CA Senate Bill 75 to end early release of violent criminals

This petition had 185 supporters

Dear Senator,

 I request support of Senate Bill 75 by Senator Patricia C. Bates. SB 75 seeks to reclassify a number of non-violent felonies as “violent” in order to prevent early release of criminals back into our communities. This bill needs to be passed to undo some of the damage that has been done by the passage of Proposition 57 (Prop 57) last year.  Although the proposition had many different facets to it, one of the most disturbing was the addition of Section 32 (a)(1) to the California Constitution, which reads as follows:  “Parole Consideration: Any person convicted of a non-violent felony offense and sentenced to state prison shall be eligible for parole consideration after completing the full term for his or her primary offense.” 

 The term “non-violent felony” is misleading, as there are many felonies that are violent in nature, but are not defined as “violent” in 667.5(c) of the CA Penal Code.  Due to the misleading and exclusive language of the Official Voter Information Guide, Californians were led to believe that “non-violent” crimes relative to Prop 57 were minor property and drug-related offenses.  Unfortunately, people were not as informed as they should have been and had no idea that “non-violent” felonies in the CA Penal Code include crimes such as Rape, Sodomy and Oral Copulation of an Intoxicated or Unconscious Person; Corporal Punishment or Injury on a Child Resulting in a Traumatic Condition; Domestic Violence Resulting in a Traumatic Condition; Lewd or Lascivious Act on Child Age 14 or 15 Where the Perpetrator is at Least 10 Years Older; and many more. Many of the felonies deemed “non-violent” pursuant to the CA Penal Code are crimes against persons, crimes against children or women, or crimes with victims that have been physically and/or sexually violated.  Now, with the passage of Prop 57, these crimes will be eligible for early release by CDCR, as they are currently designated as “non-violent.”

 Prop 57 was written in a very deceitful manner. Unless one was very knowledgeable regarding the criminal justice system, the CA Penal Code, and how prison good time credits work, it was very difficult to understand the true impact the passage of this proposition would have. [LC1] Additionally, those opposed to Prop 57 had limited recourses to inform voters of the negative effects of this measure.  The early release of these violent, habitual, convicted criminals will not decrease violent crime, but instead will create more victims.

 The only way to undo some of the damage that has already been done by AB 109, and will be done by Prop 57, is to pass Senate Bill 75 (Bates, 2017), which will re-classify many non-violent felonies as “violent felonies.” Without this measure, violent, habitual, career criminals will be released from prison earlier and back on the streets to continue victimizing the people of the State of California.  Please help us in minimizing the number of victims that will surely be exacerbated by the early release of these violent criminals. 

Thank you for your time and consideration to this matter.

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