Many have different ideas when asked to establish a line between what is and is not violent. On Nov. 4, Proposition 47, a proposition which changed the legal classification of “nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from felonies to misdemeanors, was approved on the statewide ballot. However, by passing this proposition, it will only mean that we will now face greater threats in California than before.
Proposition 47 will result in shorter prison sentences for those who commit or have committed crimes such as stealing firearms, committing identity theft and possessing dangerous narcotics. Those who are already convicted and serving jail time for these crimes will be punished with only a probation or a sentence of one year, at most, in a county jail.
Through this, Prop. 47 ultimately undermines laws against sex crimes, reducing the consequences of drugs used to assist the progress of date rape, such as Gamma-Hydroxybutyric (GBH) Rohypnol, Ketamine and any other drug designed make a victim helpless to just a simple misdemeanor. According to California Votes, the times a suspected sexual predator has been charged with possession of date rape drugs will not matter because the judge will still be forced to sentence the criminal as if it were a first offense.
California continues to make an effort to lower the possibility of rape; however, Prop. 47 will only delay our state from reaching our goals of decreasing the amount of rape incidents. By allowing those who possess date rape drugs to suffer only minor consequences, Prop. 47 may increase the number of rape incidents and future rapists.
On the other hand, Prop. 47 will help to ease California prison population overcrowding by allowing current inmates to receive a resentencing. Yet, this will result in the release of thousands of potentially dangerous inmates who may fill the courts with resentencing hearings.
Considering how hard California is working to push forward, Prop. 47 will only set us back. It will rewrite our laws to help benefit criminals rather than help to establish a safe environment.