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  • California Public Safety Committee Votes to Revictimize Victims

    California prison

    Yesterday, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee voted 4 – 2 to approve Senate Bill No. 399, which allows any prisoner to petition the sentencing court for “recall” (i.e., cancellation) if they have served at least 10 years of a life-without-parole sentence for any crime committed before turning 18 . These juvenile offenders, almost all of whom were convicted of first-degree murder with any number of aggravating circumstances (e.g. multiple murders, murder for hire, murder of a police officer or firefighter, and torture of the victim), would then be allowed a rehearing where victims families would have to testify to fight a new and reduced sentence.

    As bad as this policy is, the tactics employed by supporters of the policy are even worse. Activist groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI), Equal Justice Initiative, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund have engaged in a coordinated campaign using self-published reports and “studies” that include false or misleading factual claims. The Heritage Foundation’s Adult Time for Adult Crimes report identifies and refutes many of these false studies.

    A coalition of groups representing prosecutors, police and victims defeated this bill once before when the Assembly Public Safety Committee voted 4 – 3 against it last June. Not happy with the committee vote, the Assembly’s majority simply changed the voters on the committee, moving Assembly Member Fiona Ma off the committee and moving Assembly Member Nancy Skinner from Berkeley in. Of the two remaining “no” votes on the committee, one is a founding member of the Community Volunteers Assisting Law Enforcement and the other is a retired California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief. The bill’s chief sponsor is a psychologist.

    Here is an Adult Time for Adult Crimes excerpt about one of the killers these California liberals want to set free:

    A Mexican native, Jesus Mandujano was from the town of Nuevo Italia in the State of Michoacan, Mexico. He migrated northwards and, in 1992, began his career in
    the United States as a burglar.

    On January 3, 1992, Mandujano and some fellow gang members entered the home of J. Sacramento Benitez-Hernandez. Benitez-Hernandez’s sister sold jewelry from the home, and Mandujano and his fellow gang members intended to get some money. Mandujano, armed with a handgun, confronted Benitez-Hernandez, who fled to his bedroom and closed the door. Mandujano shot him through the bedroom door, killing him.

    On April 2, 1992, Mandujano participated in another home robbery in San Jose. During the robbery, he pistol-whipped several men in the house and forced two women to undress, threatening to cut off their breasts if they did not comply. He then sexually assaulted one of the females in a bedroom.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to California Public Safety Committee Votes to Revictimize Victims

    1. Drew, PA says:

      A psychologist? Oh, the humanity!

    2. Cathy Dunham says:

      Adult Time for Adult Crime is related to the old saying, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. It about making responsible sentencing of a level with the seriousness of the crime; so that offenders pay for their misdeeds and victims can get a sense that they are not forgotten. (As all too often in the past they have been).

    3. Jennifer, Chicago says:

      I cannot find the words for how low this is, that Senator Yee would pull a dirty trick like substituting a committee member for a re-vote of this bill that FAILED last time. By so doing, however, he avoided having to take any testimony at all. The new vote on the committee did not have to hear from the agonized victims families. And of course hundreds of these profoundly affected families have NO idea whatsoever that he is proposing retroactively requiring them to spend the rest of their lives going to parole hearings, even though their loved one’s murderer was sentenced to natural life for a horribly aggravated killing. Senator Yee, you should not be filing bills like this that so profoundly affect victims families unless you NOTIFY THEM that you are proposing this. They must be given an opportunity to chime in with their public officials too. They have a right to be heard in this public policy debate. http://www.jlwopvictims.org

    4. Phyllis Loya, Antioc says:

      As I write this, I have tears streaming down my face for I am so apprehensive as to what is ahead for my family. I am the mother of Officer Larry Lasater who was murdered in the line of duty while serving with the Pittsburg(CA) Police Department in 2005 Larry had served his country as a Marine Officer, and left a promising career in the military to serve his local community as a police officer. He and his wife Jo Ann were expecting their first child when he was brutally ambushed and shot. In life, his motto had been "Lead By Example", and in death he continued to do so by being an organ donor. At the conclusion of a four month trial justice was rendered: death penalty for the shooter and life without possibility of parole for the other defendant under the felony-murder rule. The second defendant committed the armed robberies and murder four days before his eighteenth birthday, thus LWOP was the most severe punishment possible. Unfortunately, now with SB399 which is cleverly titled the Fair Sentencing For Youth Act when it should be called the Re-Victimization Act, the justice a jury and judge rendered us may be snatched away if this legislation passes. I have spent the last week e mailing, faxing letters, making phone calls and it looks like this decision is going to be in the hands of 11 democrats who would have to vote no or abstain. If not, it passes and I don't know what our chances are that the governor will veto it. I have heard if it passes, he will not veto it. I am brokenhearted but will rally and fight anew tomorrow. One more day to do battle before the third reading and vote in the California assembly. If anyone reads this before August 5th, I beg you to call or fax letters to each assembly member in California urging a NO vote on SB399.

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