More on California’s Fatally Flawed Criminal Justice "Reform" Measure

This post, More on California's Fatally Flawed Criminal Justice "Reform" Measure,  by Kent Scheidegger, first appeared on  at

The San Diego Union-Tribune has this editorial on Proposition 57 and the recent court decision on its application to sex offenders:

The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board has advocated for criminal justice reform more often than any other editorial board in California in recent years for good reason. The U.S. has more — to much more — crime than nations with less punitive judicial systems, and in California, tough-on-crime policies from the 1990s have led tens of thousands of people with salvageable lives to be warehoused in prison long after they posed a likely public threat.

Even so, in 2016, our board could not bring itself to endorse Proposition 57, a deeply flawed measure Gov. Jerry Brown trumpeted as a big step forward for the criminal justice reform movement. The problem was that the measure was originally supposed to target juvenile justice, but it was revamped into a much broader constitutional amendment that stated anyone convicted of a nonviolent felony offense would be eligible for early parole consideration. A lower court ruling said the changes were unacceptable, but in June 2016, the California Supreme Court overturned the ruling on the grounds that a 2014 state law allowed flawed measures to be fixed before being put before voters.

Now we know how flawed this measure truly was.

It takes a lot for a major California newspaper to denounce a criminal justice “reform” measure.  They generally march in step with the soft-on-crime crowd.  I hope we see more newspapers marching to a different drummer as the truth becomes more clear.

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