- Opal Singleton Hendershot
California Sex Offenders Eligible for Early Parole
California Supreme Court rules: some sex offenders eligible for early parole
To give you some background, in 2016 California Prop 57 passed indicating that non violent convicted felons could be considered for early parole. Government Officials said it would not include sex offenders even though the proposition did not specifically exclude them. What the public did not understand is that child sex trafficking and child sex crimes including pimping, incest, assault, indecent exposure and possessing child pornography are not considered violent in the California Penal Code.
In 2018 an anonymous sex offender out of Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against the State of California saying they were being discriminated against as they were not under consideration for early release because they had been convicted of a sex crime. Judge Allen Sumner out of Sacramento agreed and the case made its way through the appeals court.
In 2020 California voters voted No on Prop 20. This bill would have increased the classification of what is a "violent offense" in the State of California. Had the bill passed it would have made child sex trafficking and child sex crimes a violent offense. The bill failed to pass.
December 28, 2020, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye ruled that inmates who have been convicted of "non-violent" sex crimes may be eligible for early parole consideration. Her statement, "The initiatives language provides no indication that the voters intended to allow (Corrections) Department to create a wholesale exclusion from parole consideration." In other words, it is the Voters fault because YOU did not require the wording for sex crimes in the bill.
WHAT THIS MEANS-
Sex offenders can be considered for early prison release by the California Corrections Department. Additionally, prior convictions of other crimes considered to be sentencing enhancements such as carrying a weapon, gang affiliation or pimping or pandering will not be considered at the time of their parole hearing. Over the next few years up to 20,000 sex offenders may be considered for early parole under this ruling. They may be released, they may not, but with this ruling it very well could happen.