Governor Newsom Releases More Violent Criminals

Katy Grimes from The California Globe has this story covering Newsom’s announcement on May 28th, “[He} granted 14 pardons, 13 commutations and 8 medical reprieves – for murderers, bank robbers, armed robbers, kidnappers, killers for hire, drivers of get-away-cars for murderers, and assaulters with firearms.” Yet again we are looking at the release of criminals who have been convicted of heinous, violent crimes that would lead any reasonable person to believe pose a threat to the safety and security of the community in which they are released into. 

Grimes points out the significance of “good time” served while incarcerated.  Good time operates on the assumption that these criminals have been rehabilitated and completed appropriate and effective programs to ensure they will be productive members of society.  However, in many instances this is not the case, and they could have earned these time served credits by flying under the radar so-to-speak, which is a far cry from being rehabilitated.  Grimes states, “There are 5,000 sex offenders in California state prisons with only one treatment program.” Keeping this in mind, it stands to reason this one program may not work for every person, and it would be rather easy go relatively unnoticed and “pass” the program. 

Grimes reports on the historical legislation that has led to this:

Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s AB 109 and AB 117 in 2011, ostensibly to reduce the prison population in state facilities, “Prison Realignment” was sold as needed to decrease California’s prison population by shifting “new non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual offenders” from state prisons to county jails, while concurrently reforming the state’s parole system…There were 175,000 inmates in prison in 2011 when Gov. Brown signed AB 109, and now there are less than half of that. What’s left in prison are the most very serious and dangerous individuals. These inmates being released are some of the most violent remaining prisoners.

Therefore, the inmates Newsom approved for release are those who were sentenced and remained incarcerated as a matter of public safety and accountability. With violent crime up in California, these releases could have a devastating impact on crime and produce more victims that could have been prevented had the violent convicted criminals been held accountable for the harm they have already caused.