Sentencing Bill Keeps Moving

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 3, 2007

An Assembly committee approved the measure by Democratic State Senator Gloria Romero to create a sentencing commission.  She says the subject has gained urgency from a recent court hearing on whether to impose a cap on the number of inmates in state prisons.  

“Two federal judges who will have significant authority over the state prison system both asked provoking questions about the necessity perhaps of a sentencing commission for California…” 

Romero’s bill would require the commission to create a new sentencing system—establishing the length of sentences for certain crimes. Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed a commission that would only serve an advisory role. A spokesman for the Governor says Schwarzenegger is open to debate but thinks that final authority on sentencing laws rests with elected officials. G.O.P lawmakers say the bill could result in the early release of prisoners.