UPDATED 1:45 PM PT – Tuesday, December 29, 2020
The California Supreme Court ruled to uphold a new law that allows for the early release of non-violent sex offenders.
On Monday, the court voted unanimously to uphold part of a ballot measure that gives any “non-violent” inmates a chance at early parole. Proponents of the measure, however, argue they never intended for it to apply to inmates convicted of sex crimes.
On the other hand, the court argues that because of the “plain language” the law was written in, non-violent sex offenders cannot be excluded. Critics of the decision questioned how this benefits the victims.
“We need to protect the public,” Elk Grove Assembly Member Jim Cooper (D) said. “There’s been a lot of legislation from the past 3 or 4 years–and some needed reforms, I’ll agree with you, but we’ve gone way overboard.”
He emphasized that victims should be the top priority when considering legislation reforms. “What are we doing to protect the victims?” Cooper questioned.
The ruling could reportedly allow more than 4,000 nonviolent sex offenders to be released in the state early and on parole.