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A Sacramento County sheriff has hit out at California state laws, saying they ‘treat criminals like victims’ in the wake of the mass shooting on Sunday April 3 which claimed the lives of six people.

Sheriff Scott Jones made the statements last night after it emerged last week that one of the suspects in the shooting, 27-year-old Smiley Martin, was released from prison in February after serving less than half of a 10-year sentence. 

Jones argued in an interview with Fox News that incidences like Sacramento’s mass shooting on April 3 will continue as long as California’s lax laws on criminality remain.

‘Every crime has a victim and these victims are racking up… If we don’t change the way California and the rest of this nation treats criminals, then this is only going to be a continuing trend,’ the sheriff said.

‘The best predictor of future behavior is past conduct, and violent people, they’re going to be violent when they get out, and that’s what we’ve seen here.’ 

Martin was incarcerated in 2017 for punching and whipping his girlfriend with a belt while she was hiding in her closet, but was granted his freedom despite the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office warning he ‘should not be released as he poses a significant, unreasonable risk of safety to the community.’ 

The 27-year-old was also arrested as a teenager in 2013 for being in possession of an assault rifle and two magazines that he tried to discard when police made contact with him, and later received a two-year stretch in connection with a series of robberies prior to his arrest and incarceration for assaulting his partner. 

‘As we start treating criminals like victims and victims like criminals, it’s entirely predictable what is going to happen, and we’re seeing it play out,’ Jones declared. 

Sacramento sheriff Scott Jones has hit out at California state laws, alleging they 'treat criminals like victims' in the wake of the mass shooting on Sunday April 3 which claimed the lives of six people

Sacramento sheriff Scott Jones has hit out at California state laws, alleging they 'treat criminals like victims' in the wake of the mass shooting on Sunday April 3 which claimed the lives of six people

Sacramento sheriff Scott Jones has hit out at California state laws, alleging they ‘treat criminals like victims’ in the wake of the mass shooting on Sunday April 3 which claimed the lives of six people

This Feb. 6, 2022, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Smiley Allen Martin, two days before he was released to Sacramento County probation for his sentence on charges of corporal injury and assault likely to cause great bodily injury. Martin was arrested Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in connection with a mass shooting that killed six people in Sacramento

This Feb. 6, 2022, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Smiley Allen Martin, two days before he was released to Sacramento County probation for his sentence on charges of corporal injury and assault likely to cause great bodily injury. Martin was arrested Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in connection with a mass shooting that killed six people in Sacramento

This Feb. 6, 2022, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Smiley Allen Martin, two days before he was released to Sacramento County probation for his sentence on charges of corporal injury and assault likely to cause great bodily injury. Martin was arrested Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in connection with a mass shooting that killed six people in Sacramento

Witness video showed rapid gunfire of at least 76 shots ringing out over the course of 54 seconds as people screamed and ran for cover

Witness video showed rapid gunfire of at least 76 shots ringing out over the course of 54 seconds as people screamed and ran for cover

Witness video showed rapid gunfire of at least 76 shots ringing out over the course of 54 seconds as people screamed and ran for cover 

Jones made particular reference to Proposition 57, a part of California state law which grants offenders more opportunity to benefit from ‘credit-earning opportunities’ based on the demonstration of good behavior and progress towards rehabilitation.

Under proposition 57, some inmates can also have their sentenced dramatically reduced and win early parole provided they can demonstrate their release ‘would not pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community’. 

The progressive law has been praised by some as a way to encourage the rehabilitation of offenders rather than pure punishment. 

But the approach has incurred heavy criticism from many, and has been cited as a major contributing factor to rising violent crime rates in California as criminals are spared long sentences and released early despite demonstrating a history of violence.

California corrections spokeswoman Dana Simas said Martin had received a number of pre-sentencing and post-sentencing ‘credits’, which enabled his early release something only supposed to be granted to ‘non-violent’ inmates. 

‘In the late 80s and early 90s… violent crime in California and across the country was so bad that it gave rise to things like three strikes, gang enhancements, gun enhancements,’ Jones continued.

‘That has led, at least in California, to violent crime being reduced over the last two or three decades. But people have a short memory, and they say, ”Well, since we aren’t as violent anymore, we don’t need these things” without realizing… these things actually reduce violent crime.’ 

Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32,

Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32,

Johntaya "Jojo" Alexander,

Johntaya "Jojo" Alexander,

Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32 (L), and Johntaya ‘Jojo’ Alexander (R), were both caught up in the April 3 shooting in Sacramento

Melinda Davis, 57

Melinda Davis, 57

Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21

Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21

Melinda Davis, 57 (L) was sleeping rough in the center of the Californian state capital, and was among those who died in Sunday’s shooting in downtown Sacramento. Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21 (R), was gunned down in front of her best friend

Sergio Harris

Sergio Harris

DeVazia Turner

DeVazia Turner

Sergio Harris, left, and DeVazia Turner, right, have been named as two of the six people killed during a mass shooting outside a Sacramento bar in the early hours of Sunday 

The shooting broke out at 2.01am on Sunday, April 3 in downtown Sacramento after a brawl broke out on 10th Street

The shooting broke out at 2.01am on Sunday, April 3 in downtown Sacramento after a brawl broke out on 10th Street

The shooting broke out at 2.01am on Sunday, April 3 in downtown Sacramento after a brawl broke out on 10th Street 

Smiley Martin, 27, appears in the video holding a black handgun which he pointed towards the camera

Smiley Martin, 27, appears in the video holding a black handgun which he pointed towards the camera

Smiley Martin, 27, appears in the video holding a black handgun which he pointed towards the camera. Martin says little throughout the 38-second clip but other men can be heard in the background

Smiley Martin, 27, appears in the video holding a black handgun which he pointed towards the camera. Martin says little throughout the 38-second clip but other men can be heard in the background

Smiley Martin, 27, appears in the video holding a black handgun which he pointed towards the camera. He says little throughout the 38-second clip but other men can be heard in the background. Law enforcement wiped the video from his Facebook account after his arrest

What are woke laws that are affecting crime figures?

Beverley Hills police chief Mark Stainbrook recently hit out at three specific California state laws, citing them as contributing factors to rising crime rates in the state.

‘I think this is a confluence of about 10 years of laws and policymaking starting with Prop 47, then AB 109, and Prop 57 which essentially decriminalized many of the crimes in California,’ Stainbrook said in December. 

Supporters of the laws say they are bringing about a more progressive and rehabilitative approach to crime and punishment, while their detractors say they are simply too lax and give career criminals more freedom to enact violence and cause mayhem. 

Proposition 47 

Proposition 47 was passed by California voters in November 2014.

It made some ‘non-violent’ property crimes, where the value of the stolen goods does not exceed $950, into misdemeanors.

It also made some ‘simple’ drug possession offenses into misdemeanors, and allows past convictions for these charges to be reduced to a misdemeanor by a court.

Under California law, if two or more person’s conspire to ‘cheat and defraud any person or any property, by any means which are in themselves criminal’ they can face no more than one year in county prison, a fine of $10,000 or a combination of the two.

AB 109

Signed into law in 2011, the purpose of AB 109 was to reduce the state’s prison population.

The legislation sought to achieve this by either sending inmates convicted of less serious felonies to county jails, or putting them under the supervision of county probation officers.

Proposition 57 

Proposition 57, a part of California state law introduced in November 2016, grants offenders more opportunity to benefit from ‘credit-earning opportunities’ based on the demonstration of good behavior and progress towards rehabilitation.

Under proposition 57, some inmates can also have their sentenced dramatically reduced and win early parole provided they can demonstrate their release ‘would not pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community’. 

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It comes after Beverley Hills police chief Mark Stainbrook blamed a series of recent California state laws for spiraling crime in Los Angeles, in particular smash-and-grab robberies. 

‘I think this is a confluence of about 10 years of laws and policymaking starting with Prop 47, then AB 109, and Prop 57 which essentially decriminalized many of the crimes in California,’ Stainbrook said in December.

Smiley Martin is a career criminal who was released from prison in February just four years into a 10-year sentence for felony gun and robbery convictions. 

The decision, made by California’s Department of Corrections (CDCR), was even made over the strenuous objections of the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, which submitted a letter saying that the man ‘displayed a pattern of criminal behavior’ and posed a ‘significant’ danger to the community. 

A letter from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office to the Board of Parole Hearings on April 29, 2021, asked for the state DOC to deny Smiley’s request for early release from prison ‘as he poses a significant, unreasonable risk of safety to the community.’

In the letter, Danielle Abildgaard, the deputy district attorney, states that Smiley ‘clearly has little regard for human life and the law,’ and has displayed a pattern of criminal behavior his entire adult life as he has committed several felony violations.

The letter from the DA’s office says Smiley had prior felony convictions of robbery and possession of a firearm. He also had a prior misdemeanor conviction of providing false information to police.

‘Inmate Martin has demonstrated repeatedly that he cannot follow the laws, or conditions the court places on him,’ the letter states.

‘His history indicates that he will pursue his own personal agenda regardless of the consequences and regulatory restraints placed upon him.

‘If he is released early, he will continue to break the law.’

Despite this request, Smiley Martin was released in February, California corrections spokeswoman Dana Simas said, citing pre-sentencing credits for the early release.

‘Prior to reaching a CDCR facility, Martin had already received 508 days of pre-sentencing credits, and received a variety of additional post-sentencing credits,’ the spokesperson wrote in an email. 

‘He was released to Sacramento County probation in February 2022.’

According to the Sacramento County DA’s office, of the 4,070 inmates who were sentenced in Sacramento and released between January 2019 and May 2021, more than 1,300 served less than half of their sentence.

Police have thus far arrested three people in connection with the shooting – Smiley Martin, his younger brother Dandrae Martin, 26, and Daviyonne Dawson, 31.  

‘Detectives are continuing to investigate this crime and identify additional suspects,’ police said. 

Source: dailymail

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