Crime Victims United, law enforcement, public officials and the California District Attorneys Association oppose Proposition 47

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:52am

(Auburn, CA) Don't let the name fool you, there is nothing "safe" about Proposition 47 "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act."

In truth, Prop 47 is a dangerous and radical package of ill-conceived policies wrapped in a poorly drafted initiative that will endanger Californians. State law enforcement groups, business leaders and crime advocates urge voters to vote NO on Prop 47.

If passed, Prop 47 reduces a number of crimes from either wobblers or straight felonies to simple misdemeanors. The proponents of this measure have already admitted that Prop 47 will make 10,000 felons eligible for early release. According to independent analysis, the vast majority of those 10,000 felons have violent criminal histories.

Here is what the Prop 47 backers aren't telling you:

  • 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. Prop 47 backers say judges will be able to keep dangerous offenders from being released early, but this is simply not true. Prop 47 prevents judges from blocking the early release of prisoners except in very rare cases. For example, proposition would require release of someone who has committed crimes such as kidnapping, robbery, assault, spousal abuse, torture of small animals, carjacking or felonies committed on behalf of a criminal street gang.
  • Prop 47 would eliminate automatic felony prosecuted 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 would only be considered a felony if the value of the gun is greater than $950. Statistics show that people don't steal guns just so they can add to their gun collection. They steal guns to commit crime and would be protected under Prop 47.
  • Prop 47 undermines laws against date-rape. Prop 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. The judge would be forced to sentence them as if it were their very first time in court.
  • Prop 47 will burden the criminal justice system. This measure will overcrowd jails with dangerous felons who should be in state prison and will simultaneously jam California's courts with hearings to provide "Get Out of Prison Free" cards.

Since Aug. 5 several groups and public figures have come out in opposition of Prop 47. They include:

  • California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • California District Attorneys Association
  • California Fraternal Order of Police
  • California Grocers Association
  • California Narcotics Officers Association
  • California Peace Officers Association
  • California Police Chiefs Association
  • California Retailers Association
  • California State Sheriffs Association
  • Crime Victims Action Alliance
  • Crime Victims United
  • John Scribner, Trustee at Sacramento Board of Education
  • Shelley Zimmerman, San Diego Police Chief
  • Stephen Wagstaffe, San Mateo County District Attorney[18]
  • Mark Peterson, Contra Costa County District Attorney
  • John Robertson, Napa County Sheriff
  • David Eyster, Mendocino County District Attorney
  • Thomas Allman, Mendocino County Sheriff
  • John McMahon, San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner
  • Thomas Cavallero, Merced County Sheriff-Coroner
  • Jon Lopey, Siskiyou County Sheriff
  • Dean Growdon, Lassen County Sheriff
  • Birgit Fladager, Stanislaus County District Attorney
  • Thomas Cooke, Mariposa County District Attorney
  • Greg Hagwood, Plumas County Sheriff
  • David Hollister, Plumas County District Attorney
  • Greg Strickland, Kings County District Attorney
  • Bruce Haney, Trinity County Sheriff
  • Kirk Andrus, Siskiyou County District Attorney
  • Todd Riebe, Amador County District Attorney
  • John Anderson, Madera County Sheriff
  • League of California Cities
  • California State Association of Counties
  • San Diego Schools Police Officers Association
  • Justice for Murdered Children
  • National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children
  • Mark Klaas of Klaas Kids
  • Justice for Homicide Victims
  • California Center for the Prevention of Crime and Violence
  • Robert Moses, Victim Advocate
  • Parents of Murdered Children, Sacramento Chapter
  • Crime Survivors
  • Amy I Terrible, Esq., Founder and President at Crime Victim Advocacy Center of Tulare County
  • Laura Strasser, Esq., CVU Advisory Board Member
  • Nina Ashford Salarno, Esq., Executive Board Member at Victims To Victory (a division of Crime Victims United)
  • Jamie Anderson, Education and Child Service Coordinator at Victims to Victory (a branch of CVU)
  • Pam Sexuar, Intern Coordinator at Victims to Victory (a branch of CVU)
  • Doug Ose, Republican Candidate for California's 7th Congressional District
  • San Diego Police Officers Association
  • Frank A. Roman, Spys Safety Products
  • Dale Keough, New Vision Realty Group
  • Alladin Bail Bonds

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. When a career criminal steals a firearm, or a suspected sexual predator possesses date rape drugs, or a carjacker steals yet another vehicle, there needs to be an option besides just another misdemeanor.

Please join Crime Victims United in voting NO on Proposition 47.