Crimes the state classifies as misdemeanors often carry lighter sentences than those it classifies as felonies. California voters passed Proposition 47 in 2014, which according to CBS Sacramento, reduced some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. While the goal was to reduce crime, it seems that at least some groups believe it is doing the opposite.
One important aspect of Prop 47 was changing the value of merchandise stolen to a higher amount before it becomes a felony. There has been a lot of concern over the effects of this law as it pertains to theft crimes. The Keep California Safe initiative cites a rise in thefts with billions of dollars lost due to Prop 47, but not all statistics show this result. Keep California Safe claims this is because retailers do not report crimes that are not felonies which is throwing off the assessment of how Prop 47 is really working.
There is now a push for an amendment to Prop 47 that would help law enforcement better handle crime, especially theft. The requested change is an addition to the law for a felony charge for repeat offenders who steal merchandise of at least $250 three or more times.
There are additional changes this organization wants to make to the law. These would address situations with DNA collection, parole hearings and early release for certain violent crimes. The goal with the amendment is to help law enforcement better enforce crime and to lower the number of theft crimes. This information is for education only. It does not constitute legal advice.