Two young men were just charged with murder, along with several additional felonies, in connection with the shooting during the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade last week, in which one woman was killed, and 23 others were injured. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker also announced the men were each being held on a $1 million bail.
They’re clearly not in California… because if this shooting took place in Los Angeles or San Francisco, most Californians know these young men may have walked, or gotten zero bail and received reduced sentences. So called criminal justice reformers would weap alligator tears for the shooters, while dismissing the victim and her family.
This is relevant because Tuesday Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Riverside) announced three news bills to address the deplorable state of California’s public safety system.
Joining Assemblyman Essayli was El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, San Bernardino Police Chief Darren Goodman, Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez, Lt. Kevin Kauk, Commander for Riverside Community Services Bureau, former Sheriff’s Deputy Megan McCarthy, and representatives from Crime Victims United.
“The elected leaders have failed the people of California,” said Assemblyman Essayli pointing to the State Capitol. He said their “soft on crime policies” have made California unsafe.
Essayli said the Public Policy Institute of California found 76% of Californians say we are not safer today than only a few years ago.
“Homicides are up 23.9%,” Essayli said. Property crimes are up. Violent crimes are up – and all are attributable to soft on crime policies and “criminal justice reforms” which have emptied out state prisons, and made a mockery of public safety in California.
Essayli’s new bills, AB 3037, AB 3038, and AB 3039 are specifically targeting several key areas:
- AB 3037 will restore judicial discretion for firearms enhancements, and will bring back commensurate sentencing for having a firearm in the commission of a felony (10 years), discharging a firearm in the commission of a felony (20 years), and intentionally discharging a firearm in the commission of a felony and causing injury or death (25 years to life);
- AB 3038 will require a school district to hire at least one armed school police officer/resource officer to be present at each school in the district during regular school hours and when students are present on campus.
- AB 3039 will allow juror removal for anti-law enforcement biases. Allows a court to strike a juror for harboring bias against the police in order to ensure a fair and impartial jury.
“The public safety crisis is not by accident,” Sheriff Chad Bianco said. “It’s a radicalized agenda called ‘criminal justice reforms’ – a sick social experiment.” Sheriff Bianco explained this all started with Assembly Bill 109 in 2011, which forced county jails to house state inmates, while releasing county criminals.
AB 109 upended the entire system under the thin guise of relieving prison overcrowding, which is never served by releasing criminals.
Bianco addressed the sources of the violent crimes, and property crimes – Proposition 47, passed in 2014 by voters tricked into voting for the “Safe Streets and Schools Act,” which was a deliberately deceptive ballot title and summary; and Proposition 57 in 2016, which released violent criminals out on our streets.
As the Globe reported recently, “Ten years of increased drug and serial theft crimes across California has taken its toll on the state’s residents and businesses. Because of Proposition 47, there is no accountability when it comes to these crimes, theft is underreported and some stores are even told not to report theft crimes.”
“The news touts this as a success,” Sheriff Bianco said. “But when crimes are no longer crimes, we are at a breaking point.”
“Over many months we’ve all seen videos of organized theft across California,” said DA Vern Pierson. He noted that many more have personally witnessed theft. “We’ve seen what our governor just discovered at Target.”
“The governor and Attorney General refuse to prosecute crimes with guns.” Instead they are pushing a bill that will give career criminals three more chances before they are convicted and sent to prison.
He gestured to the Capitol and said that lawmakers in their “guarded tower” are blissfully unaware but will be facing reality eventually. It’s an election year.
DA Pierson also explained the ballot initiative currently collecting signatures, to make serious repairs to Prop. 47. The initiative, The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act, specifically goes after serial thieves and drug crimes.
DA Pierson said while there is a bill package being pushed by legislative Democrats claiming to increase the penalties for property crimes, it won’t matter if it passes because Prop. 47 specifically states that changes to the penalties for property crimes can only be implemented if passed by the electorate – not by the Legislature.
“They are content to pretend they are adding penalties for property crimes,” Pierson said. Walmart, Target and other retailers are all behind the ballot initiative to replace Prop. 47 with accountability.
“Politicians broke the criminal justice system, and cannot be trusted to fix it,” Assemblyman Essayli said. “Don’t believe them.”
Former Sheriff Megan McCarthy spoke about being violently assaulted in 2019 by a criminal who is walking the streets today. After responding to a call, the son of the female caller attacked her, punched her repeatedly, beat her, got her gun away from her and pointed it at her forehead and pulled the trigger. But the gun malfunctioned. She said a jury acquitted him in 2023, claiming she was not a victim because of her job.
She said she was stripped of her rights because of AB 3070, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Newsom.
State law used to allow the parties in criminal and civil cases to remove jurors from the jury panel by exercising challenges for cause and peremptory challenges, in order to select a jury composed of individuals that can render a fair judgment about the facts of the case.
AB 3070 claimed the law allowed “unlawful discrimination” in jury selection “in the form of both intentional and unconscious, implicit bias.”
AB 3039 will remove a prospective juror’s views related to law enforcement as a presumptively invalid basis for exercising a peremptory challenge.
The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act, campaign reports that a survey of likely California voters found that 70% of voters support the title and summary of the Homeless, Drug Addiction, Retail Theft Reduction Act. The overwhelming support was consistent across every demographic and geography including the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Furthermore, 89% of likely voters support amending Proposition 47 for stronger penalties for those engaged in repeated retail theft and trafficking hard drugs like fentanyl.
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Author: Katy Grimes
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