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  1. #1
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Schwarzenegger wants to reduce auto theft crimes to a misdemeanor in CA.

    DA: Send car thieves to prison - Featured Stories - The Modesto Bee

    DA: Send car thieves to prison

    Fladager objects to state plan to reduce sentences

    By Susan Herendeen
    sherendeen@modbee.com

    Stanislaus County has been called "ground zero" for auto theft in recent years, so District Attorney Birgit Fladager is taking issue with the governor's plan to make auto theft a misdemeanor punishable by time in a local jail, rather than hard time in state prison.

    In a statement released Monday, Fladager joined a chorus of prosecutors who think Gov. Schwarzenegger should abandon his plan to save $180 million by commuting sentences of undocumented immigrants and reducing punishments for various forms of theft.


    Members of the California District Attorney's Association said they recognize the magnitude of California's budget crisis, but still think the public would be at risk if up to 19,000 offenders don't serve full sentences, particularly those who entered the country illegally and might return after deportation.





    Modesto Bee - Stanislaus County District Attorney, Birgit Fladager. (Brian Ramsay/The Modesto Bee)

    Stanislaus County has had the nation's highest auto theft rates in five of the past six years, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, so Fladager is most concerned with the plan to make auto theft a misdemeanor, taking away prosecutors' discretion to file felony or misdemeanor charges.

    "That would cripple law enforcement," she said.

    Under the governor's proposal, auto theft, identity theft, grand theft and some types of fraud could no longer be charged as felonies. The change would shift 23,000 inmates to county jails, according to published reports.

    Prosecutors would not be able to point to a string of prior offenses to demand stiffer consequences, as they do in felony cases, so thieves could steal cars over and over again without facing the threat of prison.

    Fladager said the governor should instead commute sentences after offenders serve one year in prison, so a thief would have a felony conviction and be subject to supervision on parole.

    The main thrust of Schwarzenegger's proposal is aimed at undocumented immigrants serving time behind bars. He recommends early release for up to 19,000 undocumented inmates who could be transferred to the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to published reports.

    Prosecutors beg to differ, saying offenders should be held accountable, even when times are tight.

    "It's not that much of a burden for them to come back," Fladager said. "If you've been sentenced to prison, you should do your prison time."


    Bee staff writer Susan Herendeen can be reached at sherendeen@modbee.com or 578-2338.





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  2. #2
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    pgg
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    That would probably increase vehicle thefts across the board. That would also eliminate the ability of most agencies to be able to pursue offenders. This is a bad idea all the way around.
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  3. #3
    Kimble's Avatar
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    If Ah-nold wants to do something to stave away overcrowding in CA state prisons, he should just institute a to-the-death game show for prisoners like in his movie The Running Man:





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  4. #4
    Cidp24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    That would probably increase vehicle thefts across the board. That would also eliminate the ability of most agencies to be able to pursue offenders. This is a bad idea all the way around.
    +1. Besides, it was not all that long ago that it was a hanging offense to steal someone's mode of transportation.
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  5. #5
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimble View Post
    The man has learned nothing from his own movies!
    He also has been listening to his liberal Kennedy wife, I'll bet.


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  6. #6
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    That's just dumb. Like pgg said, most of the agencies around here are not allowed to pursue suspects for misdemeanors. In Dallas it wouldn't make a difference though, because they can only pursue for violent felonies anyway.

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