On Sunday night, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1393, authored by Sen. Holly J. Mitchell, the Fair and Just Sentencing Act. Prior to its passage, the law inappropriately tied judges’ hands by requiring them to add an additional five years to cases, even when they believed that the punishment was unjust and unwarranted. With Brown’s signature on SB 1393, judges will have maximum flexibility during the sentencing phase of a trial to impose, or not impose, the additional five-year sentence enhancement. A coalition of people who are directly impacted by unduly harsh sentences, their families, service providers, and advocates for racial, economic and social justice, including Drug Policy Alliance, commended lawmakers for this important reform.
Statement from Eunisses Hernandez, Policy Coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance
“This new law is a crucial step in ending the mandatory use of failed and punitive policies from California’s tough on crime era. This five-year enhancement is one of the most used enhancements in California; with close to 100,000 years applied to sentences of people in custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. California can and must continue to be a leader in repealing ineffective and punitive policies that waste millions in taxpayer dollars on incarceration, tear families apart, and fail to help our communities thrive.”
For more background on this bill, visit LegInfo.