Proposition 20, Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative: No

This is a difficult, challenging issue. Criminal justice always is. But like ballot box budgeting, this is an issue that should not be decided on emotions and with a popular vote.

Don’t get me wrong, our criminal justice system is clearly broken. Recent attempts at “reform” have created unintended consequences for too many, which is noting more than evidence that such “reform” should not be mandated at the ballot box, but crafted by the people who are experts on the issue.

But all you really need to know is that one of the legislative supporters of the mess of a proposition is the cow himself, Trump stooge Devin Nunes.

This is being proposed as a “tough-on-crime” initiative banking on the fear that resulted from recent laws and propositions that in part were designed to reduce the prison population, after the Supreme Court ruled that overcrowded prisons were cruel and unusual punishment. Some of what these did was to reclassify crimes, which resulted in a rise in some types of crime, especially personal property crime, which has frustrated not nly law enforcement, but the increased victims of those crimes.

Not good. But this proposition is not the answer. To be fair, it does have some good ideas, such as adding the ability to charge some crimes, such as firearm theft and vehicle theft, as either misdemeanors or felonies, and codifying two new crimes: serial crime and organized retail crime. But that’s it.

The rest? Not so much. And the worst part of this proposition isn’t the cost, which is estimated to be some tens of millions of dollars annually, most of which will be borne by local jurisdictions. No, the worst part is the continued march toward a surveillance and fear state. Swipe a candy bar? The state will take your DNA, by force if necessary, and one youthful mistake could haunt your for the rest of your life.

This is part of the Republican march to a police state. Don’t let them fool you with their shrill fear mongering. Vote No.

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