State Attorney General Calls Ruling "Discouraging"

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 22, 2007

Jerry Brown says the high court ruling means hundreds-- possibly thousands-- of cases will be returned to superior court where juries will review sentences.  The Supreme Court ruling says judges cannot give a convicted felon a harsher sentence based on information that was not presented to a jury.  Brown says it opens the possibility for shorter prison terms in some cases.

"You gotta remember only about 10-to-15-percent of the cases result in the highest term and those are the worst cases, the worst offenders.  These are not the ones you want to get out of jail quicker."

The high court ruled in the case of a former Richmond, California police officer.  He was convicted of sexually abusing his ten-year-old son. Brown says he wants judges to have more discretion in determining sentences.  He also wants a review of the sentencing system.  In a statement Governor Schwarzenegger responded to the ruling saying he'll work with the Attorney General's office to determine the impact of the decision.