Crime Increases – The Democrats’ Response? Do the Crime but Not the Time
By Scott Wilk
August 24, 2021

When it comes to crime in California, Democrats talk a good game on how “important” their jobs are as lawmakers to ensure the public safety of residents of this state. But their actions over the last decade show that they have pushed the needs of criminals over the safety of communities, putting our families at risk. My colleagues and I believe in rehabilitation and second chances. We just don’t believe that serious crimes should come with a “get out of jail” free card that threatens public safety. For years, California Democrats have pushed soft-on-crime polices. Now, many of our neighborhoods are being overrun with crime and the statistics bear that out.

A recent report shows an alarming trend – homicides statewide jumped 31 percent last year and in the Bay Area homicides are up a stunning 36 percent. At the end of June 2021, there were 65 homicide victims in Oakland alone, year-to-date. One of those victims was 18-year-old Demetrious Fleming-Davis, a rising star, churchgoing high school student, who happened to be at the wrong place, wrong time, and was senselessly murdered.

The numbers are no better in Southern California as homicides are up 25 percent in Los Angeles. Days after the July 4th holiday weekend, this headline from the LA Times – “L.A Reels from Alarming Spike in Killings, Shootings Amid Fears of a Violent Summer” – says a lot and if the current pace continues, there could be 433 homicides in the city by the end of the year.

What makes these statistics all the more alarming is that several bills currently making their way through the legislature are counterintuitive to any sort of response to increasing crime reports. In fact, if several bills become law, felons will get lesser punishments despite news reports.

It’s easy to see Democrats have a “Criminals First” agenda when it comes to public safety. The Wall Street Journal editorial board points to a surge in crime cases as an example of Democrats’ progressive detachment’ with decriminalizing drug use and petty theft and released thousands of convicted felons from prisons.

The first dangerous piece of legislation is Assembly Bill 292 that would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to give 50 percent good conduct credits for violent felons and felons who have committed murder, rape, arson, rape by force, kidnapping, etc. as long as they don’t have a current disciplinary violation.

Also being pushed as part of the Democrats “Criminals First” agenda is AB 333 that would, if signed into law, limit the ability of prosecutors to charge individuals with sentence enhancements for committing serious crimes on behalf of a criminal street gang. In fact, it would entirely prohibit these enhancements where the crime was committed to further the reputation of the gang. As a reminder, gangs organize crime and often terrorize neighborhoods.

Then there is Senate Bill 300. This disastrous and dangerous Democrat bill would reduce sentences for criminals convicted of the most serious & heinous murders. Not only does this allow a judge to do away with life in prison or the death sentence for actual killers, it also prohibits a person who aides a killer in crimes which end in murder from being held accountable for that murder even when they act with “reckless indifference for human life.” Because when homicide rates increase, the natural response should be to let those who help murder others off the hook?! You can’t make this up.

This onslaught against public safety is on top of Gov. Gavin Newsom suspending the death penalty in California and the Democrats’ aspiration to create drug dens throughout the state where hard-core drug users would have a safe haven to shoot heroin.

California Republicans believe that California deserves better and instead of a “Criminals First” agenda, we should be passing legislation that creates a “Safer California.” Our message to law-abiding families and victims – we are fighting for you.


Scott Wilk
Senator Scott Wilk represents California’s 21st Senate District and is the current Senate Republican Leader.

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