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Top Democrat Assembly Member Defends Killing the Bill 299

Democrat Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer said Bill 299 is just another attempt to revive a failed version of the three-strikes mentality of mass incarceration.
Democrat Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer said Bill 299 is just another attempt to revive a failed version of the three-strikes mentality of mass incarceration. (Photo: AP Photo)

Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a Democrat and chair of the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, defends his stance along with the rest of the panel’s Democrats who voted last week against Bill 229. Bill 299 is a Republican-backed state bill that would have to classify domestic violence, human trafficking, and other sex crimes as violent crimes. As a result, the bill was killed, despite the committee’s two Republicans voting in favor of the legislation.

Jones-Sawyer explained, “The bill was broad recategorizing non-violent crimes, and even misdemeanors, as violent felony acts [sic].” He added that the bill is just another attempt to revive a form of the three-strike mentality of mass incarceration. The said policy is a failure. He advocates that they need to find ways to reform the criminal justice system and support diversion and rehabilitative programs that would end crime cycles of all categories.

 

See: California Republican Assembly Member Calls Out Democrat Lawmakers for Playing “Partisan Politics”

Under California law, committing a “violent crime” enhances the punishment for crimes per the state’s Three Strikes Law. This law significantly increases the prison sentence of those convicted of felonies previously convicted of violent crimes. For instance, for those already found guilty of two violent felony offenses, a third conviction would result in 25 years to a life prison sentence.

Democrat Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer said Bill 299 is just another attempt to revive a failed version of the three-strikes mentality of mass incarceration.

Democrat Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer said Bill 299 is just another attempt to revive a failed version of the three-strikes mentality of mass incarceration. (Photo: Fox News)

Bill 229 aims to expand the felonies under violent crimes, raising the punishments for those already convicted. It also aims to include domestic violence, human trafficking, and other sex crimes, such as rape of an incapacitated or unconscious person. Under the current law, the listed crimes are considered non-serious and non-violent.

Democrats are facing a backlash as right after they killed Bill 229, and passed a separate bill to enhance sentences for people convicted of high-value theft worth more than $275,000.

Republican Assembly Member Joe Patterson, who introduced Bill 229, told Fox News Digital last week the Democrat’s “priorities are inconsistent at best.”

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