Gov. Brown Signs Law Giving Judges Discretion Over Lengthening Prison Sentences in Gun Crimes
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that allows judges to decide against imposing prison sentencing enhancements of 10 or more years in cases where firearms are used in committing a felony.
State Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) introduced the measure, saying public safety is not served by the current mandate for enhancements, which come in the form of an additional sentence of 10 years, 20 years or life in prison.
“Far too many people of color are disproportionately impacted by our state’s overly punitive sentencing laws, which tie the hands of our judges,” Bradford said after the signing. “We must provide judges with the same level of discretion at sentencing as we afford prosecutors when filing charges.”
The governor drew criticism Wednesday from state Senate Republican leader Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel for signing the measure a little more than a week after a gunman killed 58 people in Las Vegas.
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