A Few Bills of Note: Youth Sentencing, regulating slates

With the deadline approaching, the fight is on.

by Brian Leubitz

With the deadline to get bills to the Governor rapidly approaching, there aree a few bills that are worthy of mention. First, a bill allowing judges to consider the rehabilitation of some convicted criminals with life sentences in a new resentencing procedure:

California prison inmates serving life-without-parole sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles would have a chance at freedom under a bill approved Thursday by the Assembly.

The bill, which now heads back to the Senate – where it is expected to pass – was approved in the Assembly with the minimum of 41 votes and no Republican support. It was the third time in as many years that the lower house considered some form of the proposal by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco.(SF Chron)

You won’t be surprised to learn that there are some really nasty comments on pretty much every article on the mainstream media that is reporting about this. But if we aren’t even going to pretend to rehabilitate, why bother even have non-life sentences. Just put everybody in prison for life and throw away the proverbial key. But, in the end, that is not a practical or just solution. Even for people who commit murders, we need to allow a judge to have some discretion to determine if the person in question has made strides toward rehabiliation and whether we can, years later, consider them for release. It is the humane policy, especially considering that many of these youth were the lookouts for burglaries and other lesser crimes gone wrong.

In another story that is more annoying than life changing, ssome of the statewide slate mailers really suck. They are of very little value to anybody except the  people that make money off of them.  SB 488 would fix at least one of those:

Make no mistake:  It’s no coincidence that the hired gun for the California Organization of Police and Sheriffs (COPS), Kelly Moran, is actively trying to kill a great piece of campaign reform legislation – SB 488.  This bill prohibits the unauthorized use of public safety logos, insignias and other identifiers on political mail pieces.(Labor Fed)

Ok, we have slate mailers, fine, but at the very least, people should be able to understand where they are coming from without a bunch of confusing names like the COPS slate.

One thought on “A Few Bills of Note: Youth Sentencing, regulating slates”

  1. We have three kinds of legislators in Sacramento: Republicans; Normal, thinking people, and scared little bunnies.

    These scared little bunnies have districts which mostly assure their re-election, and yet they are so cowed by Republicans or aspire to statewide office (where no Republicans need apply) that they are unwilling to vote for a common sense bill like the reforms to youth sentencing.  

    These bunnies are still better than Republicans–a lot better–but they really are pathetic.

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