Filming, Livestreaming Violent Felonies Could Result in Tougher Sentences Under New California Law

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Violent incidents videotaped or streamed live on sites such as Facebook by attackers or accomplices could result in tougher punishment in California under a law signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Assembly Bill 1542 provides that a judge will be able to consider additional penalties for anyone involved in a violent crime who “willfully recorded a video” while the attack was happening. But the new law doesn’t require a judge to hand down the tougher sentence, and applies only to the 23 existing crimes in California identified as “violent” felonies.

Related:  After West Hills Attack, San Fernando Valley Assemblyman Introduces Bill to Criminalize Conspiring to Record Video of Violent Felonies

Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills), the proposal’s author, said that there have been an increasing number of attacks motivated by the ability to instantly share footage on social media.

“Our criminal code has simply not kept pace with technology-driven social media changes,” he said during an Assembly floor debate in May.

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