Gun thieves and date rapists are rejoicing in the Golden State following the passage of Proposition 47, a ballot initiative that reduces penalties for those so-called “non serious” offenses.
To give one an idea, the text from the state-approved voter guide describes one of the “cons” of Prop. 47 thusly:
Potentially releases 10,000 felons from state prison. Reduces penalties for stealing guns. Reduces penalties for possession of “date rape” drugs. Opposed by prosecutors, law enforcement, and the business community. Opposed by crime victims and sexual abuse victims. Vote NO on Prop. 47.
Naturally, as one might imagine, law enforcement isn’t too thrilled. For example, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department issued the following critiques of Prop. 47 on its Facebook page:
- In most instances, many crimes that were previously “arrestable” as a felony will now only be “citable” as a misdemeanor. That means they may not be booked into jail but rather given a citation (similar to a traffic ticket) with a court date to appear, and released in the field. They will not be held pending trial. Such felony crimes that are now misdemeanors include:
- Commercial burglary (theft under $950)
- Forgery and bad checks (under $950 value)
- Theft of most firearms
- Theft of a vehicle (under $950 value)
- Possession of stolen property (under $950 value)
- Possession of heroin, cocaine, illegal prescriptions, concentrated cannabis, and methamphetamine
Undoubtedly, America has a problem with mass incarceration. We have five percent of the world’s population with 25 percent of the world’s prison population, according to the ACLU. We are the world’s largest jailer. So, yes, we need to address this problem. But we must address it intelligently. Giving gun thieves and suspected date rapists a slap on the wrist doesn’t seem to fix the problem, in fact, it will probably end up making things worse.
“It’s going to increase crime,” Mike Rushford, of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation told local news affiliate KCRA. “There are going to be more guns on the street under this law, because it’s easier to steal the gun and the penalties are lower.”