CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

California Prison Sentences Don’t Work Any More

Why Now Is the Time to Change the Rules I Helped Make

Just how much discretion should we give to officialdom when sentencing people to prison for crimes?

It’s a hard question, and, as I’ve learned firsthand, the answer can change through time. Forty years ago, I was a principal proponent of the determinate sentencing law (DSL), which made felony sentencing more predictable, thus reducing the discretion of judges and parole officials. Today, I’m supporting a state ballot initiative—Proposition 57—to modify that legislation and restore some discretion to sentencing.

And I’m hardly alone in seeing this issue change across time. The leading backer of …

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