I support prop 47 to reduce drug crimes to misdemeanors.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 2, 2014 - 1:38pm
uh. no way.
19% (6 votes)
perhaps.
9% (3 votes)
yup but that's far enough.
13% (4 votes)
hells yeah. on the road to legalization. end the drug war.
59% (19 votes)
Total votes: 32
Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 2, 2014 - 4:44pm.

In the alternative I hope I live to see felony possession of tobacco leaf.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on November 2, 2014 - 5:44pm.

I don't drink or smoke or do drugs so I don't really care.

In fact, having encountered people who are addicted, I've decided that they are hopeless.

I have some sympathy in that addicted people will be around no matter what the laws are. So why spend the money and resources? Just let them be.

Submitted by spdrun on November 2, 2014 - 7:40pm.

Look it this way. The taxpayers can pay a few grand every year to rehab addicts who really need it. Or they can pay $60,000 per year to imprison them, even if they're functional.

Which will it be?

Submitted by Essbee on November 2, 2014 - 9:24pm.

As I understand it, the law also downgrades many other types of non-violent offenses to misdemeanors. Does this include breaking into my home? Breaking into my car? Shoplifting? Sorry, but even though these are "non-violent", these are bad offenses that can seriously jeopardize my quality of life. For this reason, I will not support this proposition.

Submitted by mike92104 on November 2, 2014 - 9:55pm.

http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_47,_Reduced_Penalties_for_Some_Crimes_Initiative_(2014)

California Proposition 47, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in California as an initiated state statute.

The initiative, if it is approved by the state's voters, would reduce the classification of most "nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes" from a felony to a misdemeanor. Specifically, the initiative would:[1][2]

Mandate misdemeanors instead of felonies for “non-serious, nonviolent crimes," unless the defendant has prior convictions for murder, rape, certain sex offenses or certain gun crimes. A list of crimes that would be affected by the penalty reduction are listed below.
Permit re-sentencing for anyone currently serving a prison sentence for any of the offenses that the initiative reduces to misdemeanors. About 10,000 inmates would be eligible for resentencing, according to Lenore Anderson of Californians for Safety and Justice.[3]
Require a “thorough review” of criminal history and risk assessment of any individuals before re-sentencing to ensure that they do not pose a risk to the public.
Create a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund. The fund would receive appropriations based on savings accrued by the state during the fiscal year, as compared to the previous fiscal year, due to the initiative’s implementation. Estimates range from $150 million to $250 million per year.
Distribute funds from the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund as follows: 25 percent to the Department of Education, 10 percent to the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board and 65 percent to the Board of State and Community Correction.
The measure would require misdemeanor sentencing instead of felony for the following crimes:[1][2]

Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
Personal use of most illegal drugs
The initiative is being pushed by George Gascón, San Francisco District Attorney, and William Lansdowne, former San Diego Police Chief.[4]

Supporters of the initiative refer to it as "The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act".

Submitted by citydweller on November 3, 2014 - 9:00am.

.

Submitted by CA renter on November 3, 2014 - 2:30am.

Essbee wrote:
As I understand it, the law also downgrades many other types of non-violent offenses to misdemeanors. Does this include breaking into my home? Breaking into my car? Shoplifting? Sorry, but even though these are "non-violent", these are bad offenses that can seriously jeopardize my quality of life. For this reason, I will not support this proposition.

Agreed, and I will not support it for the same reason. They should have kept this to drug offenses only, because those are "victimless" crimes. Not sure why they had to tack on all of this other stuff; that was a stupid idea on their part.

If somebody breaks into a person's home, it is only luck that will determine if they "just want to steal stuff" vs injuring or killing someone who unexpectedly comes home or pops in from another room.

It most certainly DOES affect one's quality of life, and greatly so. These property crimes make people feel very violated; they make people feel unsafe in their homes and neighborhoods.

Anyone engaging in these crimes deserves to be put in jail for a substantial period of time (enough time to keep them off the streets for awhile and to make them think twice before committing these crimes), and they should also have to pay treble damages to their victims before they are released, IMO. All prisoners should be required to work full-time while imprisoned. We should not have to hire people to clean graffiti, pick up trash, paint and maintain public areas, etc. -- that's what prisoners should be used for. Taxpayers are already paying them, so we should get something in return in addition to just keeping this filth off the streets. Each additional conviction should result in longer and more punitive sentences.

I do make exceptions for people who shoplift food for their families to eat or get medicine for a sick family member who doesn't have insurance (should be misdemeanors), but anything beyond that should be a felony.

Violence is just one factor. Any crime that has a victim should be treated differently than a "victimless" crime like drug use/possession.

Submitted by CA renter on November 3, 2014 - 2:35am.

A ton of people would advocate for the legalization of drug use/possession, but very few of them would want to legalize or reduce the sentencing for property and other non-violent crimes where there are victims.

Scaredy, if you have any pull with these guys, tell them how stupid it was for them to include those other offenses. This is a waste of political energy when we really do need to do something about changing drug laws.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 3, 2014 - 7:15am.

burglary 1st degree, breaking into one's home, is still a strike felony carrying up to 6 years in state prison.

burglary 2nd degree is entering a store with the intent to steal, and I think that might actually still be a felony.

the reduced property crimes seem to ahve relatively less personal impact...stealing from stores, writing a bad check, receiving stolen property... certainly, there is much more of a victim than in a drug crime, where there is arguably no victim at all, but definitely less than a burglary or even an auto theft...

Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
Personal use of most illegal drugs

hell, I don't know. The prisons just got too full. The federal courts took over supervision of the CA prison system and and started sending people down to the county jails. Then the county jails overflowed.

you cannot send every repeat shoplifter and drug user to state prison for 3 years and not run out of bed space unless you build a lot more prisons....

the other practical problem is that handing out felony convictions too easily makes it very difficult for the felons to ever get back into regular society...

Submitted by livinincali on November 3, 2014 - 8:01am.

I think this law is to get people to buy more expensive iPhones. If somebody steals your iPhone 5s they get a misdemeanor. If they steal your iPhone 6 Plus with 128 GB storage they get a felony. Clearly you need to get the more expensive phone so that when the police capture the thief of your phone they'll go to prison. Oh wait the police don't care that your phone got stolen and the guy is never going to get caught anyways.

I find the opponents talking points kind of funny though. Somebody will get a misdemeanor if they steal a gun. Last time I checked it was felony to possess an unlicensed hand gun in CA. I'm not entirely sure how the law is written but it says illicit drugs for personal use. I can't think of anybody that takes date rape drugs for their own personal use.

Submitted by spdrun on November 3, 2014 - 8:13am.

scaredyclassic: exactly. There's no reason why non-violent thefts of under $950 should draw over a year in state prison, as is the typical sentence for a felony. It's simply not a good use of public resources.

Imprisonment in CA costs something like $60k per year. It would be better to sentence them to a term of community service at equivalent minimum wage until they have paid off two times the value of the theft as restitution.

For a $950 theft, that's about 30 days of picking up garbage by the roadside if they don't know how to do anything else.

And don't mark the thief with a felony record for life. The idea is for them to reform and hold down a productive job eventually, not be made unemployable, forcing them to stay in the crime business.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on November 3, 2014 - 9:22am.

Essbee and CAr's comments reflect how drug punishment and harsh punishment in general is a soccer mom issue.

Soccer moms want every criminal put away and they don't care about the ramifications or costs.... until they have to beg for mercy when their kids get caught.

Soccer moms are afraid of drugs' influence on their kids. But I'd say 90% of kids and young adults do drugs at one time or another, regardless of the laws we put in place. Despite the increasingly harsh laws in the past decades, the incidence of drugs has increased, not lessened.

Submitted by spdrun on November 3, 2014 - 10:17am.

Where soccer moms is a misspelling of "dumb authoritarian cunts."

Though personally, I don't think it's a woman/parent problem. Other countries that have greater female participation in politics don't have the same issue with excessive sentencing.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 3, 2014 - 10:19am.

spdrun wrote:
Where soccer moms is a misspelling of "dumb authoritarian cunts."

Though personally, I don't think it's a woman/parent problem. Other countries that have greater female participation in politics don't have the same issue with excessive sentencing.

this is not an effective way to win friends and influence people. Probably also wrong. The urge to punish harshly comes from a place of fear, not authoritarianism. The way to fight fear is with live and understanding.

Submitted by spdrun on November 3, 2014 - 10:34am.

Honestly, the more I hear of the inbred, uneducated opinions of the average American, the less I want to befriend or influence them. Americans are spoiled authoritarians at heart.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 3, 2014 - 10:39am.

spdrun wrote:
Honestly, the more I hear of the inbred, uneducated opinions of the average American, the less I want to befriend or influence them. Americans are spoiled authoritarians at heart.

our entire existence on this tiny rock is about befriending those around us and trying to exert a tiny bit of influence.

Submitted by spdrun on November 3, 2014 - 10:42am.

America has 300+ million people in it. Even if you take 0.1% of those people, you get 300,000. Still a pretty large pool of friends :)

Submitted by poorgradstudent on November 3, 2014 - 1:13pm.

I'll vote yes, but I won't cry if the measure fails. California spends too much on prisons, but reform should be a careful and incremental process.

Submitted by spdrun on November 3, 2014 - 2:21pm.

I'd call making simple possession without intent to sell and small thefts without violence misdemeanors incremental.

The category of "felony" is extremely overused in the US right now. Under common law, felonies used to be violent hanging offenses, not stealing the equivalent of an iPad.

Submitted by CA renter on November 3, 2014 - 4:50pm.

spdrun wrote:
Where soccer moms is a misspelling of "dumb authoritarian cunts."

Though personally, I don't think it's a woman/parent problem. Other countries that have greater female participation in politics don't have the same issue with excessive sentencing.

Let me put it this way so that you can better understand it...

During the commission of a crime, if someone is going to be raped or taken as a hostage (where there are people of both sexes), it will usually be a female or a child. Do we (women and mothers) have a hell of a lot more at stake than a single, childless guy? Hell yes. Do we feel a greater need to protect ourselves and our children? Absolutely. If that makes us "dumb authoritarian cunts" then I'll wear that badge proudly (and I'm no soccer mom).

People who commit property crimes are far more likely to commit violent crimes than drug users who don't commit other types of crimes. All it takes is for a property crime to go sideways, like when a victim attempts to protect his/her life (in his/her mind) or property...or if a victim unexpectedly shows up while these scum-sucking vermin are committing a crime.

Do we need to legalize the possession and use of drugs? Yes, I have always advocated for that (and I've only smoked pot 4 times in the past 20 years). Do we need to reduce sentencing for "non-violent" (by the grace of God) crimes where there are victims? No, absolutely not.

The Three Strikes law is one of the primary reasons for the reduction in violent and property crimes over the past couple of decades. It was a tremendous success in that respect.

http://www.courts.ca.gov/20142.htm

http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/...?

That first link discusses Prop 36 that modified the original law and relaxed it a bit.

Submitted by njtosd on November 3, 2014 - 5:17pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:

I have some sympathy in that addicted people will be around no matter what the laws are. So why spend the money and resources? Just let them be.

And people will always cheat on their taxes, so lets just get rid of the tax laws. And people will always speed, so lets just get rid of the highway patrol. The same with murderers - we should just let them be.

Whether I agree or disagree with the current laws and/or penalties, your attempt to look open minded just makes you sound, well, high.

Submitted by njtosd on November 3, 2014 - 5:21pm.

spdrun wrote:
Honestly, the more I hear of the inbred, uneducated opinions of the average American, the less I want to befriend or influence them. Americans are spoiled authoritarians at heart.

Then why are you here? Most of us would be really ok if you left.

Submitted by njtosd on November 3, 2014 - 5:29pm.

CA renter wrote:

During the commission of a crime, if someone is going to be raped or taken as a hostage (where there are people of both sexes), it will usually be a female or a child. Do we (women and mothers) have a hell of a lot more at stake than a single, childless guy?

These are old statistics, but according to that study, in the U.S. men are murdered at a rate of almost 3.5/1 compared to women (77% of murder victims were men, 23% women).http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1635092

So you'd think men would be more likely to be concerned about violent crime. Come to think of it 88% of murderers are men according to this report: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8...

I will point out to FlyerInHi that it would appear that unless men are driven to murder by purely rational motivations (hmm OJ Simpson, Richard Speck, Ted Bundy), there seems to be a lot of emotion out there.

Submitted by spdrun on November 3, 2014 - 5:58pm.

njtosd: exactly. Violent crime, and even robbery/theft, stats are disproportionately skewed towards men as victims.

CA Renter: I sympathize with your view. But ultimately, we should be judging results, not risks. Jailing someone for several years (at the cost of $60,000 per year) for a crime that resulted in a fiscal loss of under $950 is disproportionate.

As are felony convictions which will likely make them unemployable after release and more likely to continue with crime for lack of other options.

Prop 47 doesn't apply to thefts with high risk of death or injury (like housebreaking that still falls under burglary laws) that will remain felonies. But things like swiping a laptop or writing a bad check for a small amount, while reprehensible, should not draw multiple years in prison.

It's unfair, and a bad use of public resources. Think about it this way. For every year a person is NOT incarcerated, 2-3 students can get a free ride to a decent university. Education and job prospects might do better in preventing crime than keeping people in cages.

The following stats may interest you.
CA prison spending in 1985: 4% of budget
CA higher ed spending in 1985: 11%
Prison spending in 2010: 10%
Higher ed spending in 2010: 6%

Lastly, the jury is out on three-strikes laws reducing crime. Correlation doesn't imply causation. I've heard theories ranging from:
(1) The crack epidemic burning itself out in the early 90s.
(2) Reduced air pollution with lead due to leaded fuel being phased out through the 1980s.
(3) Increased racial equality in urban areas.
(4) Decreased alcohol consumption in the US
(5) Abortion being legalized in the 1970s, reducing the number of unwanted, neglected children reaching their teens in the 90s.

Submitted by CA renter on November 3, 2014 - 7:07pm.

njtosd wrote:
CA renter wrote:

During the commission of a crime, if someone is going to be raped or taken as a hostage (where there are people of both sexes), it will usually be a female or a child. Do we (women and mothers) have a hell of a lot more at stake than a single, childless guy?

These are old statistics, but according to that study, in the U.S. men are murdered at a rate of almost 3.5/1 compared to women (77% of murder victims were men, 23% women).http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1635092

So you'd think men would be more likely to be concerned about violent crime. Come to think of it 88% of murderers are men according to this report: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8...

I will point out to FlyerInHi that it would appear that unless men are driven to murder by purely rational motivations (hmm OJ Simpson, Richard Speck, Ted Bundy), there seems to be a lot of emotion out there.

Agreed, but I think that men are more inclined to think that the guys being murdered "deserve it" for some reason. Maybe they are gang members, involved in some kind of mutual dispute, etc. From what I've seen (totally anecdotal), men tend to underestimate their risks when it comes to being a victim of violent or property crimes. Most women are keenly aware of the fact that they can be victimized at any time.

And I intentionally left out murder because I know that more men are murdered; but when it comes to rape or hostage-taking during the commission of a crime, it is usually women and children who are the victims. Since those types of crimes constitute such a personal violation (and many women would probably admit that they fear rape more than being murdered...it would be an interesting poll), we probably have a heightened sense of fear and hatred of criminals than men. And rape probably does occur on a more random basis (innocent person more likely to be victimized) than murder, where the murderer and victim often have some kind of dispute. And since rape is much more common than murder, it stands to reason that women are more fearful of an attack than most men.

http://www.infoplease.com/us/statistics/...

And those rape statistics are probably understated since many rape victims don't report the crime. The murder statistics would be pretty accurate.

-------

But I digress...your point still stands.

Submitted by CA renter on November 3, 2014 - 7:23pm.

spdrun wrote:
njtosd: exactly. Violent crime, and even robbery/theft, stats are disproportionately skewed towards men as victims.

CA Renter: I sympathize with your view. But ultimately, we should be judging results, not risks. Jailing someone for several years (at the cost of $60,000 per year) for a crime that resulted in a fiscal loss of under $950 is disproportionate.

As are felony convictions which will likely make them unemployable after release and more likely to continue with crime for lack of other options.

Prop 47 doesn't apply to thefts with high risk of death or injury (like housebreaking that still falls under burglary laws) that will remain felonies. But things like swiping a laptop or writing a bad check for a small amount, while reprehensible, should not draw multiple years in prison.

It's unfair, and a bad use of public resources. Think about it this way. For every year a person is NOT incarcerated, 2-3 students can get a free ride to a decent university. Education and job prospects might do better in preventing crime than keeping people in cages.

The following stats may interest you.
CA prison spending in 1985: 4% of budget
CA higher ed spending in 1985: 11%
Prison spending in 2010: 10%
Higher ed spending in 2010: 6%

Lastly, the jury is out on three-strikes laws reducing crime. Correlation doesn't imply causation. I've heard theories ranging from:
(1) The crack epidemic burning itself out in the early 90s.
(2) Reduced air pollution with lead due to leaded fuel being phased out through the 1980s.
(3) Increased racial equality in urban areas.
(4) Decreased alcohol consumption in the US
(5) Abortion being legalized in the 1970s, reducing the number of unwanted, neglected children reaching their teens in the 90s.

Yes, I've heard about all of those other possible causes, but there is no doubt that the Three Strikes law affected the crime rate. They have studies showing that a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by a fairly small number of individuals.

This information will likely show Three Strikes in the most favorable light, but it's worth reading:

http://www.threestrikes.org/studies.html

I agree with you that we need to enact policies that focus on rehabilitation and reintroduction into society; but, on a personal level, I also know that I don't want an A/C repairman, pool cleaner, gardener, handyman, etc. who was previously convicted of child molestation or even petty theft. I highly doubt that I'm alone in feeling this way. As a society, we need to figure out how to deal with this in a more effective and fairer way...for everyone.

With all due respect, spdrun, you're not a woman and you don't have kids. You haven't the faintest idea about what we've had to deal with in our lives (*serious* sexual harassment and/or child molestation/rape are VERY common experiences that most women have had to deal with at some point in their lives, and it goes unreported most of the time), or why we feel the way that we do. We're not being irrational, and we're not "dumb, authoritarian cunts."

Submitted by harvey on November 3, 2014 - 7:24pm.

Essbee wrote:
As I understand it

Do you understand it?

Quote:
Does this include breaking into my home? Breaking into my car?

Clearly you don't.

Quote:
Sorry, but even though these are "non-violent", these are bad offenses that can seriously jeopardize my quality of life.

You'd have to be pretty creative to think that the actual offenses under consideration could "seriously jeopardize" your quality of life.

A massive, expensive prison system that destroys thousands of lives such that they have no alternative but crime might also affect your quality of life.

Submitted by njtosd on November 3, 2014 - 7:26pm.

spdrun wrote:
But ultimately, we should be judging results, not risks. Jailing someone for several years (at the cost of $60,000 per year) for a crime that resulted in a fiscal loss of under $950 is disproportionate.

This economic analysis works only if you catch every single perpetrator every time, which is ridiculous. (Also, can you explain why you are referring to it as a fiscal loss? Are you really referring to tax revenues? If so, are you completely uncaring regarding the loss by the individual? ) Is it justified if a year in prison were to deter 15 other people from engaging in crimes that cost victims $4001 each? Also, what about the possibility that people don't go out at night, spend money and boost the economy after hearing that a neighbor was mugged and lost $20. Is that really a $20 crime?

Submitted by spdrun on November 3, 2014 - 7:42pm.

CA Renter: with all due respect, it's a leap of insanity to compare someone who stole an item worth under $950 or wrote a bad check, to a rapist or child molester.

Would I want to employ a former child molester? Probably not. Someone who broke a car window when he was an 18 year old dumbshit, stole a radio, and got caught for it? If he's otherwise suitable, sure. Many people did a lot of stupid stuff at age 18 or 19.

Would I employ someone who wrote a bad check over $450 (possible felony in CA) ten years ago, where someone held a grudge, decides to follow the letter of the law, and took it to the D.A.'s office? For sure.

njtosd: We'd have to deter about 130 thieves for a two year sentence for theft of a $900 item to even begin to make sense.

Submitted by harvey on November 3, 2014 - 7:39pm.

CA renter wrote:
If somebody breaks into a person's home, it is only luck that will determine if they "just want to steal stuff" vs injuring or killing someone who unexpectedly comes home or pops in from another room.

The thread is about Prop 47, and you are talking about burglary.

In other words you haven't even read it.

Quote:
During the commission of a crime, if someone is going to be raped or taken as a hostage [...]

Oh wait! Not just burglary, but also rape and kidnapping...

Submitted by spdrun on November 3, 2014 - 7:51pm.

Yep, TSOR says that residential burglary is a felony and will remain so, not covered by Prop 47. Commercial burglary is a "wobbler" that can be charged either way, but still isn't covered by this.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 3, 2014 - 8:17pm.

It is true that a nonviolent shoplifting can turn into a robbery in the blink of an eye. If you shop lift and struggle with the person trying to apprehend you you are then taking property by force, a robbery. If it's your kid doing t that, she has just committed a violent strike and may be tried as an adult and sent to prison even as a juvenile. The strike will remain on her record forever.

That wouldn't be affected by this proposition.

Submitted by njtosd on November 3, 2014 - 9:41pm.

spdrun wrote:

njtosd: We'd have to deter about 130 thieves for a two year sentence for theft of a $900 item to even begin to make sense.

So what we have to do is punish the offender for less than $900? I suppose shooting defendants found guilty would be cheap. In fact (aha!) you might even be able to get people to pay for the privilege of killing convicted criminals. The fiscal effect would be positive (especially if the criminal had been receiving public assistance). Your economic analysis makes all the sense in the world. I wonder why someone hasn't thought of all this already. You're a genius.

Submitted by harvey on November 3, 2014 - 10:14pm.

Let's hear how the privatization movement is behind this one.

Submitted by Essbee on November 3, 2014 - 10:21pm.

spdrun wrote:
Where soccer moms is a misspelling of "dumb authoritarian cunts."

Though personally, I don't think it's a woman/parent problem. Other countries that have greater female participation in politics don't have the same issue with excessive sentencing.

Wow, I went from being called a "soccer mom" (Yes, I am), to the "c-word". I don't think I have ever in my life been called that. It is an incredibly offensive term, about the worst term that can be used to describe a woman. Classy to bring it into this discussion.

When thinking about sentences, another thing I consider is that the "less than $950" of property is just what the person has been CAUGHT and CONVICTED of stealing. I would bet that most of these small time criminals have stolen a LOT more than $950.

I agree with CaR, if they had made this just about drug possession, I would have supported it. Because they threw in a bunch of other stuff, I will not.

Submitted by njtosd on November 3, 2014 - 11:09pm.

Essbee wrote:
spdrun wrote:
Where soccer moms is a misspelling of "dumb authoritarian cunts."

Though personally, I don't think it's a woman/parent problem. Other countries that have greater female participation in politics don't have the same issue with excessive sentencing.

Wow, I went from being called a "soccer mom" (Yes, I am), to the "c-word". I don't think I have ever in my life been called that. It is an incredibly offensive term, about the worst term that can be used to describe a woman. Classy to bring it into this discussion.

When thinking about sentences, another thing I consider is that the "less than $950" of property is just what the person has been CAUGHT and CONVICTED of stealing. I would bet that most of these small time criminals have stolen a LOT more than $950.

I agree with CaR, if they had made this just about drug possession, I would have supported it. Because they threw in a bunch of other stuff, I will not.

Already asked this very sophisticated European to clean up his language

http://piggington.com/what_no_one_is_tal...

He refused. His reason? "vulgarity (the way the US treats its own citizens) begets vulgarity." I have also asked him to go back to wherever he came from - no response yet.

Submitted by CA renter on November 4, 2014 - 3:05am.

harvey wrote:
CA renter wrote:
If somebody breaks into a person's home, it is only luck that will determine if they "just want to steal stuff" vs injuring or killing someone who unexpectedly comes home or pops in from another room.

The thread is about Prop 47, and you are talking about burglary.

In other words you haven't even read it.

Quote:
During the commission of a crime, if someone is going to be raped or taken as a hostage [...]

Oh wait! Not just burglary, but also rape and kidnapping...

A person who shows a blatant disregard for "minor" laws is more likely to commit other, more serious crimes. I know that robbery is excepted from this change, but this proposition can begin the slide down the slippery slope.

Many people who've committed more serious, violent crimes (like assault, rape, or murder) started out with the minor stuff. And many who've killed during the commission of a crime (or raped, or taken someone as a hostage) really had no intentions of doing so before the actual acts; but because the victim wasn't giving up easily enough or because things got heated for some reason, they end up in a rage and commit more violent crimes.

And let's not forget that in order to be charged with three felonies, one has to be *caught* and *convicted* of these felonies; which means that s/he has probably committed many other crimes, but has avoided being either caught and/or convicted for those crimes. It's highly unlikely that a decent, fairly law-abiding citizen will be affected by Three Strikes or other similar laws. Most will never have a single felony conviction.

These repeat offender laws and strict sentencing guidelines enable us to get more serious offenders caught, convicted, and sentenced to longer terms...getting them off the streets so that decent people can live a better life. If it helps to deter others, that is icing on the cake.

edited to add: Just saw Essbee's post where she already pointed out that a criminal would have to be caught and convicted, etc. Good to see that someone else gets it, too.

Submitted by spdrun on November 4, 2014 - 5:44am.

Last week, a client wrote me a bad check. This wasn't in CA, but let's say that it was. The check was for about $650. Under current California law, writing a bad check over $450 can be charged as a felony.

Were I in California and if I had chosen to go to the police, he could have been investigated for a felony. Granted, he'd likely have shown an accounting error and not been charged, but even the possibility of felony charges for a mistake like that is absurdly disproportionate. It's instances like that that Prop 47 aims to address.

As it was, I called him, asked for a new check with a small fee tacked on. He sent one the next day.

Submitted by spdrun on November 4, 2014 - 6:24am.

So what we have to do is punish the offender for less than $900? I suppose shooting defendants found guilty would be cheap

We're not early 19th Century England with the Bloody Code, last I checked :) Not that it discouraged anyone. I've read that pickpocketing was a spectator sport at public hangings of thieves.

I was thinking along the lines of either imprisonment in a county jail, or community service at minimum wage, until restitution is made for two times the stolen item's value.

Should be about 30 days for a $900 item at 8 hr/day, picking up trash on the roadside, cleaning toilets in a state park, etc.

BTW, Prop 47 brings California law in line with other states.

In NY, as an example.
* Theft or shoplifting under $1000 is a misdemeanor
* Bad check issuance is a misdemeanor
Laws are similar in Oregon and Arizona.

NY's violent crime rates have always been slightly lower than California's. I fail to see how this will lead to an epidemic of violence.

Some states make the dividing line between misdemeanor and felony $200. I wonder if their laws have been adjusted for inflation in the past 50 years.

IMHO, $950 is a good dividing line. However, thefts involving burglary or theft from a person (mugging) should be felonies under any circumstances. As should be thefts of firearms.

Submitted by no_such_reality on November 4, 2014 - 6:22am.

CA renter wrote:
Essbee wrote:
As I understand it, the law also downgrades many other types of non-violent offenses to misdemeanors. Does this include breaking into my home? Breaking into my car? Shoplifting? Sorry, but even though these are "non-violent", these are bad offenses that can seriously jeopardize my quality of life. For this reason, I will not support this proposition.

Agreed, and I will not support it for the same reason. They should have kept this to drug offenses only, because those are "victimless" crimes. Not sure why they had to tack on all of this other stuff; that was a stupid idea on their part.

Because that's the way proposition actually work. You have a title that says one thing and then bury stuff you want in it. Props 1 & 2 are the same way. Prop 2 has 1.5% general transferred (plus a few other dozen other calculation) to the 'rainy' day fund. Which then spells out specifically where the money goes. 50% to the penions, big chunk to the schools, etc.

So it's not really a rainy day fund, it's a set aside for the sacred cows and funding sponsors.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 4, 2014 - 8:09am.

spdrun wrote:

So what we have to do is punish the offender for less than $900? I suppose shooting defendants found guilty would be cheap

We're not early 19th Century England with the Bloody Code, last I checked :) Not that it discouraged anyone. I've read that pickpocketing was a spectator sport at public hangings of thieves.

I was thinking along the lines of either imprisonment in a county jail, or community service at minimum wage, until restitution is made for two times the stolen item's value.

Should be about 30 days for a $900 item at 8 hr/day, picking up trash on the roadside, cleaning toilets in a state park, etc.

BTW, Prop 47 brings California law in line with other states.

In NY, as an example.
* Theft or shoplifting under $1000 is a misdemeanor
* Bad check issuance is a misdemeanor
Laws are similar in Oregon and Arizona.

NY's violent crime rates have always been slightly lower than California's. I fail to see how this will lead to an epidemic of violence.

Some states make the dividing line between misdemeanor and felony $200. I wonder if their laws have been adjusted for inflation in the past 50 years.

IMHO, $950 is a good dividing line. However, thefts involving burglary or theft from a person (mugging) should be felonies under any circumstances. As should be thefts of firearms.

950 is new ...it was 400 a few years ago.

Submitted by njtosd on November 4, 2014 - 1:45pm.

Including amounts just gives rise to the need to update laws later. I think it should be linked to something (percent of average individual income) that remains fairly stable. But then lawmakers wouldn't have the ability in include their little pork belly projects each time the law was updated.

Submitted by spdrun on November 4, 2014 - 3:18pm.

If we're going to calculate thresholds on the fly, what if we made sentence proportional to the financial harm inflicted? Take the victim's income, per family member. Divide the amount stolen by it. Use the result as a multiplier to determine the base jail sentence. With maximum and minimum bounds, of course.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 4, 2014 - 9:38pm.

Looks like it's ahead in the exit polls. I have no idea if I voted for or against it. I let my kid vote my absentee ballot.

Submitted by harvey on November 4, 2014 - 10:51pm.

CA renter wrote:
A person who shows a blatant disregard for "minor" laws is more likely to commit other, more serious crimes. I know that robbery is excepted from this change, but this proposition can begin the slide down the slippery slope.

Slippery slope? Did you say slippery slope?

Quote:
Many people who've committed more serious, violent crimes (like assault, rape, or murder) started out with the minor stuff. And many who've killed during the commission of a crime (or raped, or taken someone as a hostage) really had no intentions of doing so before the actual acts; but because the victim wasn't giving up easily enough or because things got heated for some reason, they end up in a rage and commit more violent crimes.

You are saying we should punish people for the crimes they've committed, but also for the crimes they might commit in the future. Got it.

Quote:
And let's not forget that in order to be charged with three felonies, one has to be *caught* and *convicted* of these felonies; which means that s/he has probably committed many other crimes, but has avoided being either caught and/or convicted for those crimes.

And of course we can apply the same reasoning to everyone who commits misdeeds. When a cop unlawfully beats a suspect or looks the other way when they see another cop commit misdeeds, it means they've probably beaten up a lot of other people as well.

Right?

Quote:
It's highly unlikely that a decent, fairly law-abiding citizen will be affected by Three Strikes or other similar laws. Most will never have a single felony conviction.

Thanks for stating the definition of law abiding. Of course this proposition has nothing do to with law abiding citizens, nor does it have to do with the three strikes law (which was supposed to be about violent felonies.) This law is about people who have committed minor, nonviolent crimes.

But it appears, despite your hopeless confusion, the voters of California made the right choice.

Submitted by bearishgurl on November 4, 2014 - 11:52pm.

I voted for Prop 47 because I'm sick to death of our great state and its counties having to spend taxpayer money to take care of the kids of those incarcerated in the form of TANF and foster care (EBT is fully reimbursed by the Federal Gov't)... with ZERO reimbursement to the "system" because these misdemeanant or "should-be misdemeanant" or unlucky wobbler defendants (who had judges who didn't like them) are doing time in the Big House for comitting petty crimes which don't warrant the CA taxpayers spending $42-$48K per year on their support in the "system." (spdrun, it only costs taxpayers $60-$85K per prisoner per year in CA [as you asserted here] if they are in incarcerated in a "maximum security" facility such as the CTF in Soledad or one of the states's two psychiatric hospitals, i.e. Patton in San Bernardino).

These bad-check writers and those convicted of (a borderline amount) of possession for sale, etc could still be WORKING FT and regularly making restitution and fine payments to the court. Instead, they're languishing in a CA Big House making NOTHING and costing the rest of us a FORTUNE while they "do their time!"

Submitted by bearishgurl on November 5, 2014 - 12:06am.

scaredyclassic wrote:
950 is new ...it was 400 a few years ago.

Yes, it was. I have a good memory ;=]

Submitted by FlyerInHi on November 5, 2014 - 12:51am.

scaredyclassic wrote:
I let my kid vote my absentee ballot.

Are you allowed let someone else vote your absentee ballot?

Submitted by CA renter on November 5, 2014 - 6:41am.

spdrun wrote:
Last week, a client wrote me a bad check. This wasn't in CA, but let's say that it was. The check was for about $650. Under current California law, writing a bad check over $450 can be charged as a felony.

Were I in California and if I had chosen to go to the police, he could have been investigated for a felony. Granted, he'd likely have shown an accounting error and not been charged, but even the possibility of felony charges for a mistake like that is absurdly disproportionate. It's instances like that that Prop 47 aims to address.

As it was, I called him, asked for a new check with a small fee tacked on. He sent one the next day.

Totally understand that, and agree that we *might* need to make some accommodations. As you've said, though, if the person could show that writing the bad check was an accident, they shouldn't be charged or convicted of anything, as long as s/he fully compensates the victim in a short period of time.

But I'm sure you know people who've knowingly bounced checks as a matter of habit, and as a way to get away with "buying" things they have no business buying. This can cause a chain of events that can lead to multiple people down the line having to pay ridiculously high bank fees and coming up short in their own accounts as these bad checks work their way through the system (because people expect the checks to clear, and write checks against these deposits, etc.). It can be very disruptive, and we shouldn't have much tolerance for this type of behavior either, IMO.

Submitted by CA renter on November 5, 2014 - 6:48am.

harvey wrote:
CA renter wrote:
A person who shows a blatant disregard for "minor" laws is more likely to commit other, more serious crimes. I know that robbery is excepted from this change, but this proposition can begin the slide down the slippery slope.

Slippery slope? Did you say slippery slope?

Quote:
Many people who've committed more serious, violent crimes (like assault, rape, or murder) started out with the minor stuff. And many who've killed during the commission of a crime (or raped, or taken someone as a hostage) really had no intentions of doing so before the actual acts; but because the victim wasn't giving up easily enough or because things got heated for some reason, they end up in a rage and commit more violent crimes.

You are saying we should punish people for the crimes they've committed, but also for the crimes they might commit in the future. Got it.

Harvey, I know that I shouldn't engage crazy trolls, but you are *once again* twisting my words into something I've neither said nor implied. You're either doing it intentionally, or your reading comprehension problem is rearing its ugly head again.

It's really quite simple: If you don't want to be convicted of a felony, don't commit a felony (better yet, don't commit any crime where there is a victim).