Views about Prop 47: The Road to Hell...
Proposition 47 reminds me of the adage that the “road to hell is paved with good intentions.” This measure, supported by soft-on-crime progressives, is way too lenient on criminals. Now, some Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Sacramento have seen that the philosophy behind Prop. 47 is a mess and have introduced legislation to amend portions of Prop. 47. Last time I looked, however, none of these legislative ideas are moving forward. That’s not surprising given Sacramento politics.
Nevertheless, I would use my position as City Attorney as a bully pulpit to urge Sacramento lawmakers to amend, for example, the so-called shoplifting law that now makes it impossible to even consider filing a felony case against a defendant who has stolen less than $950 in valuables. Now someone can steal property worth less than $950 and only get a slap on the wrist – at worst. The bar for filing felonies should be lowered. Felony prosecutions and convictions of thieves will keep criminals behind bars for longer periods. We need that.
Other so-called “reform” laws need to be overhauled. For example, AB 1950 stripped the City Attorney’s office of its ability to effectively oversee the probation of convicted criminals. Before AB 1950 a convicted defendant’s probationary period could last for up to three years. Now the maximum is one year. Before the City Attorney’s office had discretion to set the probation period depending on probationer’s record and crime. Now we have lost that discretion. The result: the justice system has less leverage over probationers. I will fight to change these misguided laws.