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Is Proposition 57, approved by voters, delaying justice for victims?

Jesse Gary of KTVU in San Francisco has this report with the above title on the effects of Proposition 57, passed by the voters last November.

The killing of Madyson Middleton struck at the core of California's conscience because it was a hideous crime committed in a Santa Cruz arts center apartment complex.

The slaying of the 8-year-old [girl] was made more shocking because the identity of the suspect was the victim's then-15 year old neighbor.
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The suspect, identified as Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, was charged as an adult for killing and sexually assaulting the girl before her body was dumped into a recycling bin.

Almost two years after the crime, the suspect still hasn't been brought to trial.
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The trial delay is directly linked to an act approved by voters that was an effort to improve the judicial process. Last fall, voters approved Proposition 57, which passed with nearly 65 percent of the vote.

The measure in part mandates that juveniles accused of a crime receive a special transfer hearing to determine if they should be tried in adult or juvenile court.
The story refers to this as an "unintended" consequence.  It was unintended by the people, who were not well informed what they were voting on, as the press and the big money were on one side and the underfunded opposition was on the other.  It was intended by the proponents, though, at least in the sense that "knowingly" is equivalent to "intentionally" in culpable mental states.  Proposition 57 was all about helping the criminals with complete disregard for the victims, past and future.


A new AP report suggests there was a "big" Prop 57 development today, which I have blogged over at SL&P http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2017/03/thanks-to-voter-approval-of-prop-57-california-prisons-to-free-9500-inmates-in-4-years-based-on-new-.html

I would be VERY interested in your informed perspective on what the AP is reporting about. As hinted above, the AP report made this seem like a big deal, but perhaps it was something inevitable/expected once Prop 57 was passed.

The proponents of Proposition 57 expected 16,000 current prison inmates to be eligible for parole. This may actually be proven true over time. This makes the AP story no big deal but it is certainly correct in reporting that the measure is allowing thousands of inmates to be released earlier on parole than they would have been if the initiative had not passed. The public safety implications of releasing habitual felons with violent priors into communities was not discussed in the AP story. That issue will become a more newsworthy topic over the years ahead. As California continues to experience disproportionate increases in violent crime compared to the rest of the country, state corrections experts will be remain uncertain as to what the cause is and most academic studies will continue to highlight the much needed reduction in the state's inmate population.

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