(Official Washington Examiner Editorial, May 5): California is among the states going way overboard in inventing new ways to be mollycoddle dangerous criminals. These states are diminishing society’s freedom by abandoning justice and safety.

Of course, offering second chances to those who earn them is a good thing. Failing to penalize offenders adequately or deter them in the first place, though, is an invitation to cultural rot and mayhem.

On Saturday, with almost no public notice, California augmented early-release credits for some 76,000 felons, including violent and repeat offenders. This comes atop the state adopting no-bail policies during the pandemic while its Supreme Court forbade cash-bail systems for the indigent. The results of these leniencies in California, as they have been across the country, are rising rates of recidivism and of crime in general.

Leftist officials persist in such policies despite pushback from many prosecutors and even from the press. On Jan. 4, for example, the Yolo County district attorney’s office complained that just in the eight months of a zero-dollar bail policy, 427 released arrestees committed crimes, including serious crimes such as attempted murder, within that county alone. In all, nearly 40% of those released on zero bail reoffended at least one time.

Meanwhile, the CBS affiliate in Sacramento reported last month that “Sacramento County businesses say California’s no bail policy and looser chronic-nuisance-offender policies are destroying their livelihoods. It’s gotten so bad in parts of Sacramento county that some businesses are asking to break their leases to escape the constant crime.”

All this continues a trend that began a full 10 years ago, when the Golden State adopted the first of four major leniency steps — legislative act AB 109, and Propositions 36, 47, and 57 in, respectively, 2012, 2014, and 2016. These new laws capped prison populations, gutted the state’s prior “three strikes” law against recidivists, began treating all thefts of less than $950 as mere misdemeanors, and reduced existing sentences for tens of thousands of non-heinous offenders….

[The full editorial is at this link.]


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