CA judge rules sex offenders are included in Prop. 57’s early release consideration

By Seth Augenstein . . . California voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative in November 2016 calling for criminal sentencing reform. The centerpiece of Proposition 57, a major initiative pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown, was to allow release of those convicted of “nonviolent felony offenses” after they had served their full prison terms.

The catch: Prop 57 never defined what “nonviolent felony offenses” are. And despite promises that sex offenders would be kept behind bars for longer stints due to added regulations by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, it appears the law will be applied equally among most felons.

A state Superior Court has now ruled that the prison system’s attempt to expand the law to explicitly exclude sex offenders from early release was an overreach—and the judge asks the CDCR to define just who the “nonviolent felony offenders” are.

“Proposition 57 did not define what is a ‘nonviolent felony offense,’” the judge ruled in his decision last week. “Proposition 57 states any person convicted of a ‘nonviolent felony offense’ is eligible for early parole consideration. CDCR essentially inserts the phrase ‘except registered sex offenders’ into the text of the initiative.

“The court cannot insert words into an initiative to achieve what the court presumes to be the voters’ unexpressed intent; neither can CDCR,” the court adds.

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    • #36338 Reply

      That’s about as bad as Florida passing a law stating once you’ve completed your sentence, you will be eligible to vote. Oh and by the way, sex offenders are not included.

      • #40598 Reply

        If registrants could vote, that would be just that many more who oppose their draconian sex offender restriction measures that get tacked on to the registry law every legislative session.

        If we are stripped of our right to vote, then we shouldn’t have to pay one red cent in taxes and the government should still have to put us on full disability and house, feed, and take care of us medically the rest of our lives. If the people want these laws so badly, then by George let them start footing the bill and see how long the registry and its restrictions last…

    • #36414 Reply

      The two parties enjoy electronic advantage. Isolate your enemies, conglomerate your disciples and allies. Databases used to exclude convicts from legal social interaction. Soon facial recognition devices will alert upon arrival.

    • #39076 Reply
      Linda Ward

      I believe that sex offenders can be rehabilitated and most would never offend again. Yes, they should be included in early release/parole. I agree with the judge’s ruling and that this should be the rule nationwide. Most sex offenders are not as bad as a ,murderer. And most of the murderers get out in 15 years.Each murder case is judged by individual merits. It should be the same for sex offenders. But they are all lumped into the same pool, regardless of individual merits. And this is fair?

    • #40597 Reply

      I read somewhere that after Janice won this ruling, the state ignored the court order and still excluded convicted sexual offenders from early release eligibility and that she’s going to have to file yet another lawsuit.

      Our politicians have become far too arrogant when they see themselves as being above and beyond court authority. I would like to see if the judge will hold any of those politicians in contempt of court for openly defying the order to include sex offenders in early release from prison.

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