Initiative to Toughen Criminal Penalties, Expand DNA Collection Makes 2020 California Ballot

Inmates are seen at San Quentin State Prison in this undated photo. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Inmates are seen at San Quentin State Prison in this undated photo. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

California voters will decide whether to increase penalties for some crimes while expanding the collection of DNA from those convicted of nonviolent offenses under an initiative that earned a place Monday on the 2020 ballot.

The initiative by the group Crime Victims United of California was determined by the secretary of state’s office to have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

“This will make California safer,” said Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), a key proponent of the initiative who spent 30 years with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

The ballot measure would roll back some provisions of previous initiatives that were aimed at reducing prison populations, including one from 2014’s Proposition 47 that reduced felony theft charges to misdemeanors in cases in which the stolen goods are valued at less than $950.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.