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Wed Oct 16, 2013, 07:27 PM

California Gov. Jerry Brown Vetoes Drug “Defelonization” Bill..

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) Saturday vetoed a bill that would have allowed prosecutors or judges to charge simple drug possession as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. The bill would have made drug possession a “wobbler,” meaning it could be charged either way, based on judicial or prosecutorial discretion.

Some 10,000 people are convicted of drug possession felonies each year in California, and experts estimated that, under the bill, 15% to 30% of them would have been charged instead with misdemeanors. The exact number is unknown because the bill would have left those decisions up to prosecutors and judges.
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Bill supporters, including the ACLU of California and the Drug Policy Alliance lambasted Brown’s decision to veto the bill.“By vetoing SB 649, Gov. Brown has thwarted the will of the voters and their elected representatives by rejecting a modest reform that would have helped end mass incarceration in this state,” said Kim Horiuchi, criminal justice and drug policy attorney for the ACLU of California.

“California voters and the legislature recognize the urgent need to reevaluate our sentencing laws and enact smart reforms, especially for low level, non-violent drug crimes,” Horiuchi continued. “Doing so will allow California to reduce its reliance on incarceration and free up limited resources for the sorts of community-based treatment, education and job training programs proven to reduce crime and create safe and healthy communities. Despite this, Gov. Brown remains inexplicably opposed to meaningful sentencing reform.”

http://www.thedailychronic.net/2013/25866/california-gov-jerry-brown-vetoes-drug-defelonization-bill/



I keep reading how liberal California's office holders are. You could have fooled me.

7 replies, 2012 views

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Reply California Gov. Jerry Brown Vetoes Drug “Defelonization” Bill.. (Original post)
Upton Oct 2013 OP
Politicalboi Oct 2013 #1
Link Speed Oct 2013 #2
Upton Oct 2013 #5
tularetom Oct 2013 #3
JoeyT Oct 2013 #4
Upton Oct 2013 #6
Galileo126 Oct 2013 #7

Response to Upton (Original post)

Wed Oct 16, 2013, 07:40 PM

1. WTF Moonbeam

 

Hopefully someone will put this on the ballot in 2014 so "we" can decide.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 16, 2013, 07:51 PM

2. The percentage of minorities in our jails/prisons is already lopsided.

 

This bill would have pushed it over the edge.

Think about it. For similar offenses, I (well-off, middle age White Guy) would walk while Rudy Gonzales would do time. I could afford to hire an attorney friend of our DA while Rudy would get some no-account Public Defender.

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Response to Link Speed (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 16, 2013, 08:00 PM

5. You the "well-off, middle age White Guy" already walks the majority of the time..

The fact that the California State Sheriffs Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, and the California District Attorneys Association all opposed the bill, while the ACLU supported it, tells me all I need to know.

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Response to Upton (Original post)

Wed Oct 16, 2013, 07:55 PM

3. Police and correctional officer unions are among Browns biggest contributors

And they need drug possession to be a crime in order to justify continuing high levels of funding and therefore higher salaries.

It's actually no more complicated than that.

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Response to Upton (Original post)

Wed Oct 16, 2013, 07:59 PM

4. I'd rather not see any discretion at all. Make it all misdemeanors.

After a certain amount, or if it's stored certain ways, you can be charged with sale or trafficking anyway, so why not just make all possession misdemeanor? At best putting the choice in the hands of prosecutors means you're going to see white people charged with misdemeanor, everyone else with felony.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 16, 2013, 08:18 PM

6. 13 other states already have similar laws..

I haven't read about any difficulties such as you suggest. The bill passed the California legislature with bipartisan support. Polls have shown the people in the state overwhelmingly support sentencing reform. Brown could have let the bill become law without signing it. This veto is all about Brown catering to LE and prison guard unions..

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Response to Upton (Original post)

Wed Oct 16, 2013, 08:43 PM

7. This is silly...

The math doesn't add up. If I get caught with $200 worth of weed and get arrested, the California tax payer gets on the hook for paying my $40-50K per year incarceration.

Since when does $200 = $40K?

I haven't smoked weed in over 10 years, but JEEZ... enough already! What's the worst thing that can happen to a pot smoker...?

(a) A ticket for driving waaaaay too slow (if they had any inkling TO drive). I remember not even wanting to be behind the wheel while stoned. (As apposed to the drunk drivers. etc etc)

(b) Eat an entire bag of Chips-a-hoy cookies.

(c) Watch a cool movie or listen to some cool tunes (with headphones, of course).

(d) Fall asleep.

No, it's all about Federal money coming to state gov'ts to fight the "war on drugs". It's a big business racket, and there is plenty of pork to go around. "Give us our bacon!!" sayeth the governors.

<end rant>

-gali

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