2011 Past Meetings
April 27, 2011 – 4th Annual Judges Forum
Another Santa Cruz Neighbors FIRST. We’re going to COURT.
Reminder for Santa Cruz Neighbors Meeting April 27th, 7pm In the COURT ROOM Sharp!
You ALL have a Court Date! 701 Ocean St, Court Room 4
Judges Ariadne Symons, Paul Marigonda and John Gallagher will be our hosts
Agenda will cover Welcome from Judge Gallagher, New Legislative Changes – Judge Marigonda, Sentencing, Bail and “You Be the Judge” – Judge Symons
Judges Gallagher, Symons, and Marigonda introduced themselves and welcomed the public.
Issues to be discussed: Propostion 36, out of funding. Also, AB 109, Criminal Justice Allignment, signed 4/5 by Governor Brown, Sentencing, and Bail.
Judge Marigonda: AB 109:Voted on 3/17. Reallignment of responsibilities from state to local jurisdictions. Reclassification of non-violent crimes punishable locally. Idea is that it will result in a reduction in crowding, less waste, better rehabilitation. More cost-effective to keep some criminals local. No imnates will be released early. All felons sent to the state (already?) will serve out their sentences. All serious offenders (sex offenders, child molesters) will go to state. Felons not eligible for state, will be kept locally. Less supervision necessary, more productive when released, less recidivism. I guess these are the goals, it won’t be enacted until there is money allocated to the counties. Certainly will change day to day business (more caseloads).
Proposition 36: Drug sentencing statute passed in 11/2000. No one jailed for drug possession, under the influence, instead, had to do drug treatment program. This ran out of funding. (I read in the Sentinel, doing my own research) that there were only two probation officers who oversaw this (checking in with drug offenders, testing, etc.–just two). This program allowed for three strikes (relapse, etc.) before they would potentially have to do jail time. UCLA study mentioned regarding recidivism (I looked for info on study, doing online search, and didn’t see anything conclusive, or even very descriptive online about effectiveness of Prop 36). However, according to article in Sentinel (Cathy Kelly, 2/17/2011) Santa Cruz county had highest completion of treatment rate, 58%, for prop 36 in the nation.
Drug Court: Predates Prop 36. About 45 people/year originally. Limited to drug users facing felony charges (not convicted felons, or serious felons). Treatment for minimum one year. Now, about 25 cases/year (my research today).Only program with funding now. It costs $450 million/year to send people to jail for simple drug possession (my research).
Judge Symons: Talking about bail and sentencing.
Bail: There is a uniform code/is Statewide schedule written by judges, based on specific crime. Person arrested only pays 10% of amount. Often times a person gives word that they will show up, when it’s a misdemeanor.
Sentencing: Misdemeanors: Fine or 0-365 days in jail. Generally only serve one half of your sentence. Probation conditions.
Felons: 16 months–2 years–3 years only applies to some felonies, not all. If convicted of a strike, sentence can be potentially doubled, ie. 32 months–4 years to 6 years. District Attorney or judge can strike a strike. Many felonies carry more time, for example, rape is 3, 6 or 8 years. Murder is 15 to 20 to life. Conviction + two strikes>>>potentially 25 years to life. Lots of discussion about how the audience would sentence people based on circumstances that Judge Symons provided.