Oakland’s new district attorney wants to cut prison terms for criminal offenders, including murderers, to fulfill her ultra-woke campaign pledges.
According to the Berkley Scanner, Alameda County DA Pamela Price released a statement to her staff, stating her desire to reinstate fair punishment and decrease reoffending.
Although virtually every offense in the California criminal code is eligible for probation, the instruction stated that probation should be the “presumptive offer” during plea talks. It also states that low-end jail sentences should be provided in instances that aren’t.
Price, who became DA in January, called the memo an “interim final directive” and said she welcomes input.
LEAKED MEMO: Barring “extraordinary circumstances” and approval by District Attorney Pamela Price herself, the penalty for most crimes in Alameda County will soon be restricted to probation or the lowest-level prison term. https://t.co/bkF9MGA4bZ
— The Berkeley Scanner (@BerkeleyScanner) March 2, 2023
The outlet’s unnamed employees expressed “great worry” about the new regulations’ influence on county public safety.
In “exceptional” cases, such as hate crimes, human trafficking, “severe” bodily harm, and child or elder abuse, the policy enables exceptions.
The memo mandates prosecutors to get supervisory permission before enhancing any new case or plea offer. Price’s first significant policy change is expected to be approved by month’s end.
California’s most prevalent sentencing enhancements are gun, gang, striking, and personal use claims for defendants accused of firing a gun.
Enhancements represent a crime’s seriousness.
Sentencing enhancements are blamed for California’s overcrowded prisons and for punishing the same offense many times. Around 80% of state prisoners have sentence enhancements.
The memo mirrors Price’s campaign pledges from last year’s Nov. 8 general election victory over prosecutor Terry Wiley.
Price campaigned on justice reform, seeking alternatives to jail, holding police responsible, and ending extraordinary situations allegations that carry life in prison without parole or the death sentence.
Critics also noticed that Price requested attorneys to provide hundreds of cases to her staff in early January. They say no answer had been received.
She ordered prosecutors to remove past strikes, which significantly prolonged jail terms.
Price’s new “interim final” standards will apply to cases sentenced within 120 days starting Monday.
Price is part of a national progressive movement pursuing county prosecutor positions to decrease mass imprisonment and reform. Price promised to resentence lifers and pursue police malfeasance.
After entering office, she reopened eight police shootings and in-custody fatalities, including two over a decade old. Price became Alameda County’s first black district attorney in 2022.
One county over, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins was elected following a wave of voter displeasure with her progressive predecessor, Chesa Boudin.
How did this work out in SF under the 2 years of Chesa Boudin? Asking for a friend… https://t.co/AVa4VTwwUx
— Wendell Laidley (@wml415) February 24, 2023
Voters dismissed Boudin because his progressive changes were too mild and rendered the city unsafe.
Boudin was elected after pledging to hold police personnel responsible, reduce jail congestion, and implement racially equitable criminal justice systems. After a year, pandemic-induced fears of rising criminality shifted the political winds.
Despite recorded crime reduced during his term, a rise in house burglaries and terrible crimes perpetrated by those already jailed under Boudin’s watch reinforced a perception of lawlessness in the city.
His office’s high personnel turnover and mismanagement were also criticized. The recall decision was 55-45 in favor of Jenkins.
This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.
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