Thirty years serving our prisons can provide a reasonable idea of which sentences are fair and not fair to the public, victims and offenders.
Proposition 36 keeps life sentences for dangerous criminals like rapists, murderers and child molesters and requires life sentences when a defendant's current conviction is a violent or serious felony. Also, it allows those sentenced to life for nonviolent petty crimes to petition for resentencing and be subject to twice the normally prescribed sentence. Our respect for the "rule of law" rests on the premise of fairness to all stakeholders.
No victim of a petty crime could reasonably argue a life term to be a fair sentence. Simple math reveals that eliminating a $50,000 per year cost per inmate multiplied by 3,000-plus inmates produces tax savings. This cost is simply unfair to taxpayers. Proposition 36 is right for California.
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