Californians overwhelmingly demand return to ‘common sense’ crime policies

Apr 28, 2024 | Political News

A referendum to overturn California's failed police reform measures has garnered significant support from residents, which lawmakers say is imperative to pass in order to restore public safety across the state.

Proposition 47, which became law in 2014, reclassified several felonies as misdemeanors including retail and property theft, in addition to a wide range of drug possession convictions.

The Democratic law was introduced as an effort to reduce incarcerations. However, it added a significant increase in crime due to a lack of accountability for criminals.

According to the amendments to Prop 47, repeated thefts for individuals who steal less than $950 will be felony charges as long as they have two or more prior theft-related conditions. They are currently considered misdemeanors.

Additionally, it would enable the entire worth of stolen property from several crimes to be added together, meaning that repeat offenders might face felony charges if the amount surpasses $950.

A wide range of drug possession convictions that were originally felonies were also changed to misdemeanors. If passed, it would authorize harsher penalties for selling lethal doses of fentanyl and add it to the list of hard substances, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, that are prohibited when in the possession of a firearm.

Additionally, if drug trafficking results in fatalities, traffickers could be faced with murder charges. This would allow for harsher sanctions for dealers whose trafficking resulted in death or serious injury.

The amendment, titled the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act, will appear as an initiative on the state's ballot in November.

The initiative has since secured massive support, receiving more than 900,000 signatures from California residents, which far surpassed the 500,000 signatures required to appear on the ballot.

The reform laws have also garnered support from both political parties, including progressive politicians and district attorneys.

Golden State residents lined up for hours to sign the petition, according to Sacramento County District Attorney Thien Ho, who supported the effort.

“That's how popular it is. That's the sentiment of people, and it's across all spectrums,” Ho stated, according to a Fox News report.

Ho added that the effort “cuts across party lines and cuts across racial lines, social and economic lines. It’s small businesses, big businesses, everyday people” who are “passionate” about the reforms taking effect.