Latest Crime Wave in California Fueled By Democrat-Passed Laws

By Dylan Martin

February 23, 2023

California Democrats have passed numerous laws in the past 12 years to benefit criminals at the expense of law-abiding citizens. The result is a dramatic spike in all categories of crime throughout the state. California Republicans are proposing reforms to combat crime - but will it be too late to turn the tide?

Crime is spiking across California - and the latest numbers should be cause for alarm. According to the latest statistics from the Public Policy Institute of California, in 2021 California homicides spiked 41.2% and aggravated assaults by 18% when compared with pre-pandemic 2019 levels. 

Property crimes went up 2.4% between 2020 and 2021, but experts say California’s property crime statistics have become completely useless because many businesses and residents have simply given up reporting them because they know police and prosecutors no longer enforce property laws.

What is fueling California’s spike in crime? Bad laws and even worse politicians.

“For the last 12 years, California Democrats have been on a mission to make life easier for criminals at the expense of law-abiding residents - and literally every single bill they have passed on criminal justice has been in favor of giving criminals more rights and more leeway,” says Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California.

DeMaio points to a litany of laws state Democrats have passed since 2012 as evidence:

  • Prop 47: downgrades many felonies to misdemeanors and eliminated many tools law enforcement needs to get criminals off the street. Because Prop 47 raised the felony threshold to $950 per day per store for property crimes, experts agree this has led to a major uptick in “Smash and Grabs.” Under Prop 47, drug dealing and property theft is essentially now legal in California.
  • Prop 57: allows for early release of violent criminals from prison.
  • SB 357: legalizes loitering and solicitation for prostitution - resulting in a spike in human sex trafficking.
  • No Bail Policies: state Democrats passed a law eliminating bail, but even though state voters overturned that law, local Democrat politicians are dropping bail requirements - resulting in release of offenders who go on to commit even more crimes.

“While Democrats are taking tools away from law enforcement and prosecutors, they are also demeaning the profession of policing by calling cops racist thugs prone to using excessive force - and you wonder why we now have massive vacancies in California’s local police departments,” DeMaio notes.

DeMaio says voters are slowly waking up to the crime wave and that presents an important opportunity to make much-needed changes to put criminals back behind bars where they belong.

DeMaio points to a recent Berkeley/IGS poll which found that 78% of voters say crime has risen statewide, with 65% of voters saying crime has increased in their local area. Another poll by Politico/Morning Consult shows 75% of voters blame the liberal policy of “defund the police” as the main cause of rising crime.

That’s why DeMaio’s Reform California has launched a “Restore Public Safety” campaign to educate and engage voters and urge them to vote criminal-coddling politicians out of office at the state and local levels. (Join the Restore Public Safety Campaign)

DeMaio is also encouraging the handful of Republicans in the state legislature to get more aggressive in proposing legislative fixes to combat crime - and he’s pleased with a recent package of laws proposed.

In fact, California Republicans in the state legislature have recently introduced a package they say will “Make Crime in California Illegal Again.” Among the proposals:

  • Assembly Bill 328: Would reinstate the 10 or 20 years to life mandatory sentencing enhancement for using a firearm in the course of a violent crime. 
  • Assembly Bill 335: Would repeal Prop 47 which was approved by voters in 2014 to reduce some theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.  
  • Assembly Bill 27: Would prevent courts from reducing sentences for those charged with felonies with a firearm
  • Assembly Bill 75: Re-ups an effort to increase penalties for serial theft offenses. 
  • Assembly Bill 88: Would require district attorneys to notify crime victims of parole hearings. 
  • Assembly Bill 303: Requires the California Attorney General’s office to share any investigative reports and notes on individuals in the Armed and Prohibited Persons System with local law enforcement agencies. 
  • Assembly Bill 330: Requires the Office of Emergency Services to host and update a website with resources for victims of domestic violence. 
  • Criminal Street Racing and Side Shows Surveillance: Addresses how current law requires law enforcement to observe criminal street racing and sideshows in person, also interpreted as live via surveillance equipment in order to legally seize these vehicles. 
  • Criminal Justice Report: Requires the LAO to compose a 10 year report following the passage of AB 109 to include rehabilitation data, funding and staffing for counties, and rehabilitation programming options. 
  • CDCR Secret Credits Transparency Bill: Where inmates are being released early via a secret credit system without transparency to District Attorneys and victims, this bill would require the Department of Corrections to notify District Attorneys of credit calculations in advance.
  • Increase Penalty for Fentanyl Dealers: Increases penalties for Fentanyl dealers.

“With rising crime getting the attention of California voters, it is crucial that Republicans continue to offer bold policy alternatives, like this bill package, that really speak to the average Californian — and show them that there can be a different and proactive approach to solve issues like rising crime,” DeMaio says.

Join the Campaign: Restore Public Safety

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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