CA Crime Ballot Measure: Ex-Police Chief Backs It, Prosecutor Doesn’t


Recently retired San Diego police chief William Landsdowne tells AlJazeera America he endorses California’s Proposition 47, which classifies many low-level nonviolent drug and property offenses as misdemeanors, as “a common-sense approach to overincarceration in California and across the nation.” As California has moved inmates out of state prisons to reduce overcrowding, “We have not seen a rise in crime,” Landsdowne says. The measure on Tuesday’s ballot, he says, “will provide monies for drug treatment and K–12 prevention and services, and it provides monies for victims of crime.”

Reminded that current California police chiefs oppose the measure, Landsdowne says, “I could not have supported this bill if I was still working. People are afraid of change. They do not want things to change, but it needs to if we want to follow other states.” Sacramento prosecutor Anne Marie Schubert doesn’t like the measure. She says it is “shocking” that under the proposal, “if you steal a handgun, which is a straight felony in California right now, under this law, if it costs less than $950, it will be a misdemeanor. People steal guns to commit violent crimes.” She adds: “Prop 47 will significantly and substantially reduce penalties for individuals who possess drugs, commit thefts and date rapes, regardless of what their record is.”

Comments are closed.