CA: Assembly Public Safety committee faces pressure for blocking fentanyl, rape and other crime bills

Source: 4/20/23

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —The Chairman of the California Assembly Public Safety Committee, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, is responding to the mounting pressure his committee is facing after his committee decided to block or stall several crime-related bills.

This week, both Republicans and Democrats have held or are scheduled to hold news conferences to speak out against the committee for not taking action on fentanyl.

The committee, which is made up of mostly progressive Democrats, has been known for blocking penalty enhancements broadly for fear of mass incarceration and the potential disproportionate impacts on Black and brown communities.

The committee has also recently been criticized for favoritism after approving a progressive Democrat’s bill that enhances penalties on high-dollar property crimes (AB 484), while rejecting numerous measures to boost penalties for domestic violence, rape of a developmentally disabled child, rape of an unconscious person, human trafficking, and the use of a gun during serious crimes, among other issues.


Jones-Sawyer’s committee for years has also blocked numerous attempts to change or toss parts of Proposition 47, the voter-approved law that changed how property crimes and retail thefts are prosecuted in the state.

They think we should go back to incarcerating,” Jones-Sawyer said. “We’ve reduced the prison population, which is expensive and ruins lives, and the best thing to do is rehabilitation and the best way to deal with it is to stop crime at the beginning. Mr. Muratsuchi’s ultimate goal was not that.”

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Aren’t there already laws on the books against these things? If so, how is it more dangerous that revising the penalties for violating them is being held up?

And when has increasing the penalty for any given crime ever eliminated or reduced commission of that crime? Never, as far as I can tell. Sex crimes are the perfect example. Statutory penalties have increased nearly across the board and multiplied exponentially through the registry, but hasn’t reduced sex crime at all.

The certainty of being caught is a vastly more powerful deterrent than the punishment.
So were the findings of noted criminologist and professor at Carnegie Melon University, Daniel Nagin, whose study was published in 2013. His other findings state that:

Sending an individual convicted of a crime to prison isn’t a very effective way to deter crime.Police deter crime by increasing the perception that criminals will be caught and punished.Increasing the severity of punishment does little to deter crime.There is no proof that the death penalty deters criminals.
His findings were prominently featured on the U.S. DOJ, National Institute of Justice website.

As to sex crimes, it has been found that the majority of ‘contact offenses’ are more often and typically “crimes of opportunity”, that is, spontaneous acts that are unplanned and in which the offender acts spontaneously (e.g., the offender is left alone in the house with a minor child, and an offense is then committed). A deterrance would be a Ring camera, or the like, placed in plain view (in living rooms, bedrooms, etc.).

Of course, this will not prevent ALL sex offenses, but it could help to deter. I am sure there are other measures that could be taken other than seeking the death penalty (like in Florida) or unnecessarily increasing penalties.

ACSOL posted this article in order to provide insight into pressures upon state legislators.

We have our own issues here in Texas with two of the legislators on a House committee hearing sex residency restriction and presence restriction bills.

One legislator (R) just within the last 3 weeks has been alleged to have violated the law by giving alcohol to one of his interns under the age of 21 and then having sex with her (he is married and is in his 50s I think). He is a former pastor. If true, he violated the law giving alcohol to a minor.

Of course during the hearing he made his opinion known that he was all for protecting the children and wanting the sex residency restrictions and presence restriction bills. More than one representative has called for his resignation. Because of this incident of giving alcohol to a minor the House just passed a bill making stricter penalties for giving alcohol to minors.

The other legislator (D) had 3 staff members quit for her making a harassing work environment where she was having the staff members run personal errands for her and threatening to fire them if they did not run her personal errands.

Both are under investigation and subpoenas have been issued as part of the investigation.

Another young legislator (R) on the committee whose parents were ministers, who claims to be pastor and who is the founder for a group called For Liberty and Justice looked up two people testifying against these SO bills and outed them in front of a room full of people for their past sex crimes. So much for being a pastor and following the bible. He also made his viewpoint clear he is all for the SO bills residency and presence restriction bills to protect the children.

Skin color has nothing to do with any of the above because the first is white, the second is black and third is Hispanic. Appears to me the “religious” ones are the most mean, unforgiving and hypocritical.

We also have our legislator issues in Texas. A House committee recommended a bill to the full House and recommended that it be adopted. Once an SO bill passes out of a committee and hits the floor, it almost always becomes law as no one then wants to vote against an SO bill.

The bill requires a registered person to not go within 2,500 feet of the residence of the victim. The bill has no requirement for the victim to report to any government agency where he/she lives and no requirement to keep the residence address updated to anyone. The bill has no requirement for any government agency to tell the registered person where the victim lives, no way to collect the information and no way to continuously update the registered person. And the bill does not inform the victim that their aggressor needs to always know where he/she lives at all times which could be for the life of the registered person as Texas has only a 10 year and a life time registration.

This means it is upon the registered person to know at all times where the victim lives. This bill is asinine and was put forth by a freshman legislator (R), a pastor, and the person I mentioned in another post as outing testifiers against SO bills as to their past sex crimes in front of a room of people and a House committee. So very Christian of this person…

In my past I dated a lady where long before I met her a stranger attempted to rape her and I dated other ladies where long before I met them they were sexually assaulted. And I had two female friends where long before I met them they were raped by a close family member. From my personal conversations with all these ladies, NONE of them want the aggressor to know where they live, especially the lady were attempted rape occurred by a stranger and who she testified against in court.

I have a gut feeling sometime in the future the state will be sued over this bill.

  the use of a gun during serious crimes during, any crime both sides could jump all over this one i agree