SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California’s district attorneys began campaigning against Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to reduce the state’s prison population on Wednesday with support from a national advocate for abducted children.
The Democratic governor’s plan would undermine 35 years of laws and voter initiatives designed to protect the rights of crime victims, said Marc Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter Polly was kidnapped and murdered in 1993.
“All of that is being torn asunder. It’s like we’re being knee-capped by the executive branch,” Klaas said at a news conference with the California District Attorneys Association.
Brown wants voters in November to increase sentencing credits for adult inmates and allow earlier parole for non-violent felons.
The state Supreme Court is weighing the association’s lawsuit contending that Brown improperly amended his proposal onto an existing juvenile justice initiative.
District attorneys said they are launching a publicity campaign to counter the $24 million that Brown has in his campaign fund to support his proposal.
“This is something to support criminals,” Klaas said. “This has got nothing to do with crime victims. We become revictimized.”
Initiative spokesman Dan Newman criticized the district attorneys for trying to block a vote. “This important reform measure will protect public safety and prevent court ordered prison releases,” Newman said in an email.
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