Schwarzenegger Giveth and Taketh Away

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed 21 bills into law yesterday. Some were good for liberty, some were bad.

The good: Incapacitated prisoners will now be eligible for medical parole. Savings to California: $46 million.

The bad: He scaled back the early release of prisoners in county jails by cutting good time for misdemeanors from 50% to 33%.

On drunk driving: He signed a bill that lengthens the time a driver's license is revoked for a third DUI from 3 years to 10 years. It takes effect in 2012. [More...]

The Governor signed yet another crime bill named after a singular victim. This time it's "Adam's Law." It provides that child abusers who cause severe damage to a child under 8 years old could be sent to prison for life.

He also signed a bill creating a new misdemeanor crime of impersonating someone online with intent to cause harm.

And Amber alerts are not just for children anymore. Now Calfornians will get a "blue alert" when an officer is injured or killed on the job.

The Governor has 300 more bills to sign or veto by Thursday.

No wonder the state legislature's approval rating is at an all time low of 10%.

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    Adam's Law (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:45:53 AM EST
    No problem with it, but then again I believe there is a special place in hell for these people.

    It could capture (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MKS on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 12:11:11 PM EST
    accidental injuries too....

    and do doubt some ambitious governor wannabe DA will stretch the law as far as possible....all about being tough on crime.

    We could always put everyone in jail for life for every offense.

    Meanwhile cops kill another person in custody and its no big deal.


    Wow (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:27:41 AM EST
    Religious right meets TalkLeft.

    Not surprised.


    Don't believe in G0D, Heaven (none / 0) (#14)
    by vml68 on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:59:05 AM EST
    or Hell and have no problems with the worst child offenders being punished.

    Sadist. (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 12:32:06 PM EST
    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:07:29 PM EST
    if I was 100% sure some winner diddled a kid, pass me the shank, I'll take care of it.

    But it is the inevitable unintended victims of such draconian laws that I worry about...they never are applied only to the worst of the absolute worst, they always snag somebody who should be charged with lesser crimes, or god forbid an innocent.  


    But what's with you guys in Colorado? (none / 0) (#1)
    by mcl on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 08:33:42 AM EST
    "Denver mayoral candidate suggests biking is `gateway drug' to communism."

    Recently, Maes cast his strongest accusation at Hickenlooper to rile up the Republican base:  Hickenlooper apparently has had the audacity to make Denver bicycle friendly. According to Maes, it’s not “just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor,” but rather a conspiracy plot that “could threaten our personal freedoms,” and “convert Denver into a United Nations city”.  The conspiracy theorist Maes continued to unravel the twisted threat of anti-Americanism that bicycling represents:  “This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed.”

    (..) Maes said he was once duped into thinking that sustainable initiatives like farmer’s markets, community gardens, and bike lanes were “harmless and well-meaning”. Now, however, he has woken up to the fact that “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

    To explain the fear building up in his amygdala at the revolting thought of a healthy, livable, and sustainable Denver, Maes said, “At first, I thought, ‘Gosh, public transportation, what’s wrong with that, and what’s wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what’s wrong with incentives for green cars?’ But if you do your homework and research, you realize [this] is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.”

    Under the Ex Post Facto Clause of (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 09:17:32 AM EST
    the U.S. Constitution, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, a reduction in the good time rate can only apply to crimes committed on or after the date of enactment of the new law.  So at least that change from 50% to 33% won't affect those presently serving time, or in the pipeline, for misdemeanors in California.

    He dropped the ball a few years ago (none / 0) (#3)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:00:50 AM EST
    when he vetoed some good criminal justice reform bills for California based on the recommendations of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.

    Colorado... (none / 0) (#4)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:04:43 AM EST
    mcl, I thought that excerpt was from an Onion article. LOL...The sad part is, there are a couple of commenters who seem to think it's all true!

    OK, in most cases choosing the lesser of two evils is still evil,but I think Colorado voters are lucky to have a really clear choice between "evil and also crazy" and "way way way less evil and also not crazy."

    Blue Alert? (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:25:40 AM EST
    Was that really necessary for a seriously cash-strapped state?

    Seems to me anytime an officer is hurt or killed the authorities are already doing a fine job getting the word out...don't they drop everything when a cop killer is on the loose as long-standing standard procedure?  And do they really want a public who may be sympathetic to a guy who serves a cop a knuckle sandwich to know who they're looking for?  Such a suspect might find many willing to harbor them:)  

    Re: Blue Alerts (none / 0) (#6)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:37:58 AM EST
    I can safely say as a CA resident that most of the citizens here would like to know if a cop killer is on the loose because they are perhaps the most dangerous kind of killer and a threat to the general public as well, not just other cops.

    As a CA resident ... (none / 0) (#8)
    by nyrias on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:05:24 AM EST
    I applaud this policy. I would like to know if a violent criminal is loose, and the general area he is in.

    Better pass... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:21:47 AM EST
    Prop 19 to pay for it...or better yet take it right out of the police budget regardless.

    I got to thinking about a flipside blue alert...a notification system for the psychos with badges out there would be a nice little public service...but my state is broke too, so we must prioritize and stick to the basics.  We won't prioritize of course, but that's beside the point:)


    i *am* voting for Prop 19. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by nyrias on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:45:11 AM EST
    And is an alert system causing a lot of money?

    With internet and everything, it shouldn't be that expensive.


    Strange Bedfellows (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:55:08 AM EST
    You get points for that in my book...,  

    I don't do that to get points from you ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by nyrias on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 04:16:53 PM EST
    I just don't believe the government should intrude in our lives in something as minor as doing pot .. which harms NO ONE.

    Shouldn't be expensive... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:55:58 AM EST
    but this is government we're talking about:)

    High-Five nyrias...Prop 19 is rare common ground for us!


    Yeah .. it is SILLY .. (none / 0) (#20)
    by nyrias on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 04:15:47 PM EST
    to prohibit something that does not have much more health consequences than alcohol. In fact, even if it does, who cares?

    What other choose to poison their bodies with, is not a concern of mine (not that i don't occasionally enjoy a glass of wine). We canNOT legislate away stupidity.

    The savings (of prison & law enforcement) can be used in other ways.

    Note that i vote as an independent, and i make up my own mind on issues. So please don't assume i have the same positions on EVERYTHING as some right wing nuts, just because i happen to be for capital punishment.

    (u guys should also know that i am NOT anti-gay nor anti-choice .. i am just anti-violent crime)


    system. iow, whoever types Amber Alert info into a computer so it shows up on our electric freeway message signs, will now type Blue Alert info as well. Sounds cost-prohibitive, no?

    well then why not do it for everyone? (none / 0) (#22)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 09:29:15 PM EST