Orange County is asking Governor Gavin Newsom to veto legislation that would reduce sentences for as many as 10,000 repeat felons.
Senate Bill 136, authored by Senator Scott Wiener, D- San Francisco, would eliminate a one-year sentence enhancement for repeat offenders that go on to commit more crimes. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, an estimated 10,000 inmates are currently serving sentences under existing sentencing laws.
“SB 136 is dangerous,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, a former prosecutor. “California lawmakers are putting dangerous predators back on the streets, where they can terrorize our neighborhoods.”
On Tuesday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved OC Supervisor Andrew Do’s resolution urging Gov. Newsom to veto the controversial legislation.
SB 136: Early Release for Child Abuse, Domestic Violence
Neither the poorly crafted bill nor the legislative analyses identify the complete list of crimes that would qualify for shorter sentences. The Associated Press reports that it “would ease sentences for those convicted of repeat child abuse and domestic violence offenses.”
“This legislation grants early release to violent felons that have repeatedly engaged in child abuse and domestic violence,” said Supervisor Do. “SB 136 sends a horrible message to crime victims: California won’t protect you from the devastating violence of child abuse and spousal abuse.”
SB 136 faced bipartisan opposition in the state legislature from victims’ rights advocates, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, including the California District Attorneys Association and California State Sheriffs Association. Sixteen Democratic lawmakers opposed the bill.
“There’s got to be accountability at some point,” Democratic Assemblyman Jim Cooper of Sacramento, a former sheriff’s deputy, told the Associated Press.
California Already Released 48,000 Prisoners in 12 Years
SB 136 comes as California has already granted early release to tens of thousands of prisoners. Today, there are approximately 48,298 fewer prisoners in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities than in 2006.
“48,000 prisoners back on the streets is equivalent to the population of Aliso Viejo or Cypress,” said Supervisor Do.
As of October 31, 2006, at midnight, 173,357 inmates were incarcerated in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities. As of September 18, 2019, at midnight, that figure is just 125,059.
Supervisor Andrew Do represents Orange County’s First District, which includes the Central Orange County Cities of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster, a portion of the City of Fountain Valley, and the unincorporated community of Midway City. In his second term, Supervisor Do has reformed Orange County’s mental health services, expanded access to health care, and led efforts to combat homelessness.