By Sir Michael Vanwhervin
California voters will vote on Prop 47 on November 4 in order to decide whether to reduce punishments for some crimes.
According to Ballotpedia, the proposition would “Mandate misdemeanors instead of felonies for ‘non-serious, nonviolent crimes,’ unless the defendant has prior convictions for murder, rape, certain sex offenses or certain gun crimes.” This means that people who were selling drugs may have a second chance in life.
Supporters of the proposition want people that steal small stuff or commit some other non-violent crimes to be charged with a misdemeanor rather than a felony. They want to help people that get out of jail can find a job and stay out of jail.
“We have way too many people in state prisons,” said English teacher Jessica Forbes. “Jail often makes people commit more crimes after they get out of jail.”
A Contra Costa Times editorial argued, “It makes far more sense to release prisoners with no history of violence in an orderly fashion instead of having to release prisoners who are the closest to finishing their sentences, even if they’re violent.” The voters should let people who commit drug crimes and other non-violent crimes have shorter sentences.
Some police officers oppose the proposition because they say it would make officers less powerful because the consequences of crimes might be lower. However, I think this would be good, because it would make officers less likely to frame people for drug crimes.
Most people don’t have the stuff that they desire, so they go out and try to get it. It’s hard to get stuff. People who don’t have jobs that pay them enough have to go out and take what they want.
Prop. 47 would save money by reducing prison sentences, then would put that money into a program to help former criminals change their ways by helping them find jobs. Forbes said that this would be a good way to “help people get back on their feet.”
Tell people who are voting to vote for Prop 47 because they may have friends or family members in jail, so that mean their sentences may be less.