In November 2016, voters in California opted to give some criminal offenders a second chance, voting in favor of Proposition 57. Individuals who’ve used their time behind bars wisely, i.e., good behavior and pursuing higher education, now have a better shot at achieving parole. Prop 57 is intended for nonviolent offenders, and by this law parole decisions no longer fall under the purview of prosecutors. The legislation aims to end the practice of prison ‘warehousing.’
Under the law, the state Board of Parole Hearings has more authority when it comes to determining which non-violent inmate may be eligible for parole, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Giving the parole board greater power is considered a good thing. However, there are still reasonable concerns about fast-tracking parole. After all, just because a crime is nonviolent, doesn’t mean it’s not heinous and should not call for punishment reflective of the severity of the act.
35 Years In Prison to Five
Proposition 57, approved by California voters in late 2016 was to reduce the state prison population and give nonviolent offenders an early second chance to mend their ways. One of the two men found guilty of a medical syringe scam could get out of prison in 5 years under the new law, the article reports. Five years in jail for a $3.3 million investment scam is likely to anger some and for good reasons. In November, a jury found Matthew Mazur guilty of 36 counts mainly tied to fraud and grand theft after duping those who invested in his companies SafeSnap syringe. The judge piled on one consequential sentence after another, totaling more than 35 years. Prop 57 could result in him serving only a seventh of his term.
“I personally will be arguing against it [early parole],” said Deputy District Attorney Hector Jimenez, who prosecuted Mazur and co-defendant Carlos Manjarrez.
It will be interesting to see how Mazur’s sentence plays out, especially when you consider that Proposition 57 takes parole decisions out of the hands of prosecutors. We will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a crime in California, please contact Attorney Ronald G. Brower. With more than three decades of experience, he can provide you with an effective legal defense and ensure you find the best outcome possible.