Tens of thousands of California sex offenders would be forced to wear electronic tracking devices for the rest of their lives under bills backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The bills, which also would boost punishment for a wide range of sex offenses, “will give California the strictest laws and the toughest penalties for the worst crimes,” he said yesterday. “We want these criminals off the streets and away from our schools and children.”
The Democratic-led Legislature have killed many of the measures contained in the bills in party-line committee votes. Schwarzenegger warned he was ready to go directly to the people with an initiative if Democrats didn’t cooperate by quickly passing the bills. State Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, a member of the public safety committee, called the new bill “a brutal, cookie-cutter approach” to criminal justice. It’s the job of the Legislature, she said, not the voters, to deal with complex, emotional issues like this.