California police chiefs and prosecutors are critizing a sentencing guideline proposal that state legislators will debate today, says the Sacramento Bee. The critics said the bill would give an unelected body authority to transform sentencing laws. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger backs the idea, which requires only a majority vote and could be pushed through by Democrats without Republican support.
Under the proposal, the commission would have until July 1, 2012, to establish new sentencing guidelines, which would automatically take effect on Jan. 1, 2013, unless rejected by the legislature and the governor. The commission would include 13 voting members, including the California chief justice and eight others appointed by the governor. It also would have three nonvoting members, including an ex-felon selected by the speaker of the Assembly and a crime victim chosen by the governor.