Referendum on SB10 to Save Our Criminal Justice System

Sigh. Here we go again. Legislators have decided to end bail and bonds as we know them in a misguided effort to “end racial and economic discrimination”. We’ve mentioned Bail Fail ( how the proposed elimination of cash bail in other states like New Jersey) in other blog posts, Facebook mentions, and Twitter feed. Do we really have to “wait and see” what happens before the same disastrous results occur in California? Look at a recent Opinion from the Orange County Register written by Andrew Do and Tony Rackauckas.

“Sacramento continues risky experiments with public safety.
During this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers once again conducted risky experiments with our criminal justice system. As with so many public safety experiments in the past decade, Sacramento has put feel-good political correctness above the safety of our community.

Sacramento’s most damaging creation, Senate Bill 10, ends bail in California. Instead of cash bail, criminal courts will conduct “risk assessments” to determine whether an offender should be held until trial or released back into the community. This experimental bail system jeopardizes the safety of our neighborhoods, making it even easier for criminals to evade justice.

How will this new process work? Would every arraignment become a trial where experts have to testify and who would pay for it? Why would anyone appear in court if there is no cash bail? No one knows — not even supporters.

Proponents say that most nonviolent misdemeanor offenders will be back on the street within 12 hours. The rest? Their fate will be determined by a computer algorithm created by each court.

Experimental algorithms work great for picking movies and buying shoes — now, after years of fine tuning and collecting vast amounts of highly-personalized data on their customers. Even then, the algorithms get it wrong. Of course, the ramifications of a bad movie or an ugly pair of shoes aren’t quite the same as putting a suspected burglar or rapist back into our community.

Contained in a vacuum, California might be able to withstand the criminal onslaught during the experimental fine-tuning stage of this new bail algorithm. But, this isn’t the only ongoing public safety experiment in California. Under Assembly Bill 1810, convicted criminals with any type of mental disorder can wipe the slate clean after completing a two-year diversion program.

Residents of Garden Grove recently witnessed a brazen snatch-and-grab job at a Garden Grove cell phone store — in broad daylight. Criminals are thumbing their noses as they think they can get away with crimes such as petty theft here in California, thanks to state politicians.

Law-abiding citizens must speak up and make our voices heard. Thankfully, in California we are able to have a direct check on this out of control behavior through the initiative and referendum process.

For starters, support the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act. Scheduled to be on the November 2020 ballot. The initiative would reign in some of the damage done by Prop. 47, Prop. 57 and AB109. This common-sense proposal would reclassify current “non-violent” crimes like rape of an unconscious person, trafficking of a child for sex, assault of a peace officer, felony domestic violence and other similar charges just as violent, making perpetrators ineligible for early release after committing these heinous acts. Other components of the initiative will fix problems with DNA collection, serial theft, parole violations and other issues caused by Sacramento’s ill-conceived attack on our criminal justice system.

Secondly, sign the referendum to put SB10 to a vote of the people. A coalition of those wary of SB10 have already filed the referendum that has been cleared for circulation. If it gets the necessary 366,000 signatures, the new law will be placed on hold until voters have a chance to decide in November 2020.

California is already suffering from three Frankenstein’s monsters: Prop. 47, Prop. 57 and AB109. We don’t need more experiments that jeopardize the safety of our neighborhoods.” (Andrew Do, a former prosecutor, serves as chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Tony Rackauckas is Orange County district attorney and public administrator.)

As for the proposed idea that the current bail system is discriminatory toward minorities, the following groups are opposed to SB10 ( some had originally supported it!):
American Civil Liberties Union
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA
Asian Law Caucus
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Black and Pink
Brooklyn Bail Fund
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
California Partnership
Centro Legal de la Raza
Chicago Community Bail Fund
Civil Rights Corps
Color of Change
Colorado Freedom Fund
Critical Resistance
Denver Justice Project
Dignity and Power Now
End Solitary Santa Cruz County
Equal Justice Under Law
Fair Chance Project
Ground Game LA
Human Rights Watch
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Impact Fund
Inland Congregation United for Change
Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Instituto de Education Popular del Sur de California
Latino Justice
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Media Mobilizing Project
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Organization for Women (Hollywood)
Pangea Legal Services
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Reform CA Riverside Temple Beth El
Richmond Community Bail Fund
Riverside All of Us or None
Stonewall Democratic Club
Stop LAPD Spying
The California Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
The National Council of Jewish Women | Los Angeles
Trans Latina Coalition
White People for Black Lives
Young Women’s Freedom Center
YWCA San Francisco & Marin
YWCA Silicon Valley