California Initiative to Turn Drug Possession Felonies Into Misdemeanors

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California Initiative to Turn Drug Possession Felonies Into Misdemeanors Passes.

California News




Californians for Safe Neighborhoods and Schools sponsored Proposition 47, passed on November 4th.

Penalties for common drug and theft crimes in California will be reduced from potential felonies to misdemeanors, shortening the time some offenders spend behind bars.

Crimes covered by the measure include drug possession and the following offenses when less than $950 is involved: shoplifting, check and credit fraud, forgery, theft and possession of stolen goods.

As with other misdemeanors, the new maximum sentence will be one year in jail, down from a maximum of three years.

Citizens already serving prison time for a felony conviction on a reclassified crime will be able to petition for a new sentence — even those incarcerated under the state’s “three strikes” law.

The popular vote in favor of Prop 47 comes just two years after voters approved another sentencing reform initiative, that one reforming the state’s notorious “three strikes” law. Prop 47 got 57% of the vote.

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