Topics

Juvenile Delinquency
Prop. 47 will bring some rationality to sentences for low-level crimes
Prop. 47 will bring some rationality to sentences for low-level crimes

Initiatives are a poor way to do lawmaking, especially when it comes to criminal sentencing laws. It’s partly how California got into its current over-incarceration mess, with ballot measures that were public responses to high-profile crimes. But we’ve also seen that the preferred way -- the Legislature -- isn’t much better. Lawmakers like to write bills that respond to high-profile crimes with get-tough sentences, so they can look like men and women of action, and so they can curry favor with the public and with powerful law enforcement interest groups. Or even other interest groups. The Legislature is supposed to be more flexible than the initiative process, but it...

Loading