Governor Brown has a proposition on the November ballot that will let career criminals and repeat offenders get out on parole with years or even decades off of their sentence. Supporters of Proposition 57 are trying to sell this as realignment of “non-violent “criminals, but really it would ease punishment for criminals convicted of rape by intoxication, rape of an unconscious person, human trafficking, assault with a deadly weapon, and domestic violence - just to name a few
Violence is defined as “behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.” How could the crimes eligible for Proposition 57 realignment be considered non-violent? Governor Brown is only looking at the bottom line, which is the number of criminals he needs to release from prison.
Attorney General Kamala Harris, who approved the use of the language “non-violent” in relation to Prop. 57 on the ballot, is enabling Governor Brown to use the ballot process to sway voters toward an initiative that will endanger our communities.
Consider this – under Prop. 57 a repeat sexual predator that is convicted on multiple counts of non-violent sexual assault or rape would be eligible for parole after serving ONLY the original sentence. That could mean decades less in prison and even scarier, could mean they are back in our communities preying on our friends, family, and neighbors. Furthermore, when these criminals do reoffend, Proposition 57 would ensure that their sentence doesn’t take into account past convictions.
After Stanford student Brock Turner was sentenced to six months for the sexual assault of an unconscious woman, Californians came together to petition for the removal of Judge Aaron Persky, demanding change. The California Legislature heard the people and put forth legislation that places mandatory sentences on sexual assault crimes (AB 2888), redefine rape to mean all sexual assault (AB 701), and would ensure that a criminal convicted of rape would be ineligible for early release, requiring them to complete their full sentence (AB 29).
Proposition 57 will undermine the work that has been put into stopping sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Governor Brown and the Democrats are aiming to weaken legislation protecting victims in direct opposition of some of their own members. Important legislation such as the Victim’s Bill of Rights, Mary’s Law, Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, and the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act will become weaker if Proposition 57 is allowed to pass.
If you are on the fence, read Jane Doe’s letter to Brock Turner. Think of your children, your siblings, your friends and neighbors – any of them could be the next victim of a “non-violent” Proposition 57 criminal.
It is your vote that will stop Proposition 57. Vote NO.