*California voters will decide whether or not to go tougher on crime through a November ballot initiative that makes changes to previous propositions and bills designed to reduce the state’s prison population.
California’s Proposition 20 proposes expanding the list of offenses that disqualify incarcerated persons for parole. It also calls for upgrading several theft-related fines from misdemeanors to felonies. It would also require law enforcement to collect the DNA of people who commit certain misdemeanors.
If Prop 20 passes, vehicle theft, firearm theft, unlawful use of a credit card and other specific types of theft and fraud crimes will be chargeable as “wobblers,” which means the prosecutor will decide whether to charge them as misdemeanors or felonies. Under the current criminal code, these crimes are considered misdemeanors.
Prop 20 would establish two new types of crimes: serial crime and organized retail crime, and it would increase penalties for repeat shoplifters.
Changing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) parole review program, Prop 20 would reclassify 51 crimes and sentence enhancements as violent in order to exclude them from the program, which is only available to nonviolent offenders. It would also require that an incarcerated person’s entire criminal record is taken into account before becoming eligible for parole, instead of only looking at that individual’s most recent offense. It would also allow prosecutors to request a review of the parole review board’s final decision.
The initiative makes critical adjustments to 2011’s AB 109, 2014’s Proposition 47, and 2016’s Proposition 57, all of which were California legislative responses to the 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared overcrowding in California’s prisons violated the Eight Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Together, those measures changed several crimes from wobblers to misdemeanors, increased parole chances for incarcerated people convicted of nonviolent crimes and shifted the imprisonment of non-violent and non-sexual offenders from state prisons to local jails.
Prop 20 is supported by the Republican Party of California, the California Grocers Association, police and peace officer associations, Crime Victims United and Crime Survivors, Inc. Supporters argue that the previous criminal justice reforms were misguided and caused significant public safety problems, and that Prop 20 would close loopholes that let out violent offenders.
They also say that the proposition would rightfully reclassify crimes as violent that are currently considered nonviolent, including felony assault with a deadly weapon, human trafficking of a child and rape of an unconscious person.
“Prop. 57 was misleading because it promised that only nonviolent inmates would be released from prison early,” said Citrus Heights Police Chief Ron Lawrence, former president of the California Police Chiefs Association. “But under California law, a number of violent crimes are classified nonviolent.”
Opponents of Prop 20 argue that tough-on-crime stances do not reduce crime, and that Prop 20 would only increase the state’s spending on prisons and tear families apart. They also highlight that the criminal justice system disproportionately incarcerates Black and Brown people, and that the proposition would only deepen the devastation mass incarceration has caused in Black and Brown communities.
Groups that oppose Prop 20 include the ACLU of California, the California Labor Federation, the California Teachers Association, Equality California, the Public Defenders Association, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and the National Center for Crime Victims.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Gov. Jerry Brown also oppose it.
Brown, who signed AB 109 and developed Proposition 57, said, “Proposition 20 is supported by a very narrow group of people who don’t accept even the modest prison reforms that I was able to achieve. It’s driven by ideology and, in some cases, by a total lack of understanding of human nature and no sense of redemption or allowing people to put their lives on track.”
Quinci LeGardye | California Black Media
‘What Have You Done for Black People?’ Obama Sits Down in Person With The Breakfast Club (Watch)
*President Obama’s jam-packed book tour for “A Promised Land” stopped by The Breakfast Club Wednesday morning for a wide-ranging interview, including the ongoing question by that one Black person in your orbit who keeps asking, “What has Obama done for Black people?”
DJ Envy asked Obama how he takes it when people question what he’s done for people of color, or say that he hasn’t done enough.
“I understand it because when I got elected, there was so much excitement and hope… And I also think we generally viewed the presidency as almost like a monarchy.In the sense of, ‘once the President is there he can just do whatever he needs to get done and if he’s not doing it then it must be because he didn’t want to do,’” Obama said.
He then pointed out that the current president appears to be able to “do what he wants” because he “breaks the law.” But Obama said he was very confident in what he had done for “Black folks” during his time in office “because I had the statistics to prove it.”
He said that among his accomplishments for African Americans, 3 million more Black people had health insurance who didn’t have it before, the number of Black folks in prison dropped for the first time in years, 30 percent fewer people were in the juvenile correction system, Black poverty dropped to its lowest level since 1968, Black businesses and income rose, and data shows that “millions of Black folks were better off by the time I left office.”
After Charlamagne Tha God pressed him to be more specific about his policies that aided Black people, rather than the “rising tide lifts all boats” answer, Obama conceded, “There is no way in eight years to make up for 200 years.”
Here’s Obama’s full interview with DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God.
Trump’s Misspelled Tweets are Coded Messages? Q’Anon is Even More Deranged Than You Thought (Watch)
*You’ve heard that the Trump supporters within the conspiracy movement Q’Anon believe that Democrats are running a pedophile ring and eating babies to extract a life-extending chemical from their blood. And that these child eaters/molesters include Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey.
But did you know these folks also believe that Donald Trump’s misspelled tweets – like “covfefe” and “the smocking gun” – are secret, coded messages for Q-Anon members? And that Trump was secretly recruited by top military generals to run for president in 2016 in order to break up this criminal cabal of Dems, end their control of politics and the media, and bring its members to justice?
Did you know that two Q’Anon believers were just elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing areas in Colorado and Georgia?
On “The Daily Show” Monday night, Trevor Noah broke down Q’Anon’s origins, their infiltration into mainstream politics and just how removed from reality its members really are
Edward Norton Explains Why Trump Could be Eyeing a ‘Nixon-Style Deal’
*Actor Edward Norton hit up Twitter last week to share his theory about why Donald Trump is challenging the election win of Joe Biden.
The actor believes the president is buying time to cover up any illegal actions he committed as commander-in-chief. Norton believes Trump is holding out for a “Nixon-style deal” in exchange for conceding the office of the presidency.
Norton began his Twitter thread by noting that his father was a federal prosecutor and that he has played “a fair amount of poker” to recognize what Trump appears to be doing.
“I do not think Trump is trying to ‘make his base happy’ or ‘laying the groundwork for his own network’ or that ‘chaos is what he loves,'” Norton tweeted. “The core of it is that he knows he’s in deep, multi-dimensional legal jeopardy and this defines his every action.”
Check out his tweets below.
The “American History X” star went on to say….”I will allow that he’s also a whiny, sulky, petulant, Grinchy, vindictive little 10-ply-super-soft b—- who no doubt is just throwing a wicked pout fest & trying to give a tiny-hand middle finger to the whole country for pure spite, without a single thought for the dead & dying,” he wrote.
Norton urged lawmakers to remove Trump from office without accepting any deals that protect him from prosecution.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to claim the election was stolen from him without offering any proof. He has proclaimed on Twitter: “I WON THE ELECTION.”
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