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May 3, 2008

The latest news on California sentencing reform

The Sacremento Bee has this new piece, headlined "California lawmakers consider new sentencing laws," which provides an update on the seemingly endless debate in California over sentencing reforms.  Here are excerpts:

Lawmakers have revived a pair of bills to overhaul California's criminal sentencing laws, but majority Democrats are still wrangling over which approach to push. Both measures would create a panel appointed by the executive, legislative and judicial branches that would be empowered to stiffen or reduce prison terms on its own, subject to a majority vote by the Legislature.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year proposed an advisory panel that the Democrats viewed as toothless. Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Lisa Page said that the governor is open to negotiating a commission proposal with legislative leaders but that they have shown "little interest" in a deal....

Assembly Speaker-elect Karen Bass said that reconsideration is going to have to wait until the budget gets fixed. "I certainly think we need to have sentencing reform, but frankly, my focus as soon as I take over is going to be the budget, the budget, the budget," said the Los Angeles Democrat, who takes over as speaker on May 13.

No Republican in either house voted for either sentencing commission bill when they came up last year. "I'm not interested in abdicating the Legislature's responsibility" to set prison terms, said Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, the GOP point man on prisons.

My simple message to Assembly Speaker-elect Karen Bass: getting serious about sentencing reform and prison overcrowding/expenditures is a critical part of fixing the budget, the budget, the budget.

May 3, 2008 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

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Comments

It is my principle that the will of majority should always prevail.

Posted by: Lawsuit loan | May 4, 2008 1:59:28 AM

Lawsuit loan:

That's a pretty scary (and precarious) "principle" to hang your hat on...

Posted by: Alec | May 4, 2008 11:44:18 PM

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