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Stealth bill sneaks in radical changes to California’s criminal justice system

Stealth bill sneaks in radical changes to California’s criminal justice system

“The most irresponsible legislation our state has ever seen”.

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys is sounding the alarm over a measure that was signed into law in California after being hidden in an omnibus health spending bill.

In a startling abuse of the legislative process, a budget clean-up bill has just been used to sneak in radical and never-debated changes in the criminal justice system. It allows a defendant suffering from a mental disorder to be granted pre-trial diversion and the charges later dismissed for any crime if a judge finds the disorder played a significant role in the crime and if a defendant has “substantially complied” with mental health treatment during the diversion period. In short, this new law allows diversion and the dismissal of charges for any crime, including those where a victim was killed or seriously injured.

This massive change in law was slipped into AB 1810, the “Omnibus Health Trailer Budget Bill” for 2018. The purpose of trailer bills is supposed to be to implement provisions in the budget bill, not to write substantive new policy. However, as columnist George Skelton explainedlast year, these trailer bills are “created in the dark without much legislative or public scrutiny” and “mostly used now by Democrats for slipping through touchy new policy.”

Under AB 1810, a defendant charged with any crime can get those charges dismissed if they convince a judge the mental disorder they suffer from played a “major” role in the charged crime; if a mental health expert says the symptoms motivating the criminal behavior would respond to treatment; and if the defendant undergoes “treatment” during a diversion period with no minimum time period and a maximum of two years. Incredibly, only the defense gets to submit a psychiatric report; the prosecution has no opportunity to rebut that report with their own report or have their own expert examine the defendant. Finally, the mental health treatment shall be deemed “satisfactory” and dismissal granted should a defendant “substantially comply” with the diversion conditions and commit no “significant” new crimes while in diversion, although what constitutes “substantial completion” or a “significant” crime is not defined in the bill.

Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) President Michele Hanisee was on the John & Ken show on KFI radio discussing a budget clean-up bill that was used to sneak in radical and never-debated changes in the criminal justice system

It takes little imagination to project how this measure will be abused to excuse a wide array of crimes (e.g. arson, DUI, stealing MAGA hats) under the banner of “mental health disorder”. The normally supportive San Diego Union Tribune Editorial Boad blasted the legislative stunt.

…A case can be made that a defendant’s mental illness should be considered by prosecutors and judges — it’s certainly relevant. Senate Bill 215, now before the Legislature, would have allowed this in defined, limited circumstances. But instead of vetoing AB 1810 and letting this debate proceed, Brown short-circuited it. He did so despite being warned by San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan that this is “the most irresponsible legislation our state has ever seen” and that it would “wreak havoc in our criminal justice system.”

The Los Angeles County Association of Deputy District Attorneys blasted the maneuvering that led to the new law as a “scandalous abuse of the legislative process.” But that doesn’t go far enough. What Brown and state lawmakers have done is an outrageous simultaneous display of arrogance and incompetence — one that seems certain to haunt the criminal justice reform movement. Get ready for a signature-gathering push that seeks to overturn AB 1810…

To pass into law, by stealth, the “most irresponsible” law ever placed on California’s books is, indeed, quite an achievement. Paired with the high speed train boondoggle, it is quite a legacy Governor Jerry Brown is leaving behind.


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This ensures California democrat party black bloc militia psychos have the freedom to stamp on our faces – forever.

Jerry’s Kids.

    Tom Servo in reply to Tiki. | July 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    slight correction; they can only stamp on the faces of those who remain in California.

    Let California burn. I think Texas should put out a series of Public Service Announcements telling every criminal in Texas that they’ve got a real good chance of getting off easy of they will just go to California and commit their crimes there. Well, just like the homeless, I’ll bet they figure that out pretty quick on their own.

    I think it is politicians writing their own protection.

    randian in reply to Tiki. | July 7, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    I agree that enabling the brownshirts (Antifa and Black Lives Matter) is the real purpose of this law.

only the defense gets to submit a psychiatric report; the prosecution has no opportunity to rebut that report with their own report or have their own expert examine the defendant.

Now, what could possibly go wrong with this?

A person who is an alcoholic, a mental issue, who kills someone driving while impaired, will not be prosecuted as long as they get treatment?

Now, what could possibly go wrong with this?

This travesty should be on every news channel.

“It allows a defendant suffering from a mental disorder ”

Lacking the ability to control one’s deviant behavior is by definition a mental disorder – therefore every criminal fits that definition.

Being a progressive is also a mental disorder –

    Anonamom in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 8, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Spot on, Joe-dallas. Oppositional defiant disorder. It’s a diagnosis used in children (for which nearly every delinquent child qualifies.) It is used in practice with adults and discussed in the literature, particularly in adults with ADD. I suspect its use as an adult diagnosis is just around the corner. But, in the meantime, there are boatloads of psychological conditions that can be manipulated to cover criminality.

    Holy cow, am I glad to have fled California.

This won’t go through. It prevents a criminal record from being put onto a prospective gun owner.

Oregon Mike | July 7, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Well, as a guy who forty years ago was part of a legal defense team of a defendant who was found “not guilty” of murder “by reason of insanity” (the old statutory language, no longer politically correct) and placed under the supervision of the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board, I don’t find this to be a particularly good idea.

Just sayin’ ….

Help me understand the “thinking” here. California is insane to the core, so why hide this via the dark of night tactics?

    randian in reply to Andy. | July 7, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Dark of night tactics mean no responsibility for the legislators who wrote the law. If nobody knows who wrote and sponsored it there will be no consequences at election time.

SpaceInvader | July 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Fine as long as they are committed to a mental health facility for life.

Who are the people (names) who did this?

JohnSmith100 | July 7, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Well, if California had a Stand Your Ground law, perps. could be removed one at a time, unfortunately, they do not.

    txvet2 in reply to JohnSmith100. | July 7, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    But it does allow you to plead insanity after you shoot the perp.

    redc1c4 in reply to JohnSmith100. | July 7, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    #Failifornia has the Castle Doctrine.

    as long as i am on my land, since Lost Angels won’t let average people have a CCW, if i am in fear of my life, i’m good.

    i’ll still need a lawyer, because both the govt & the perp’s “family” will come after me, but i’ll be alive to deal with that.

    Milhouse in reply to JohnSmith100. | July 8, 2018 at 4:05 am

    Yes, it does. ““A defendant is not required to retreat. He or she is entitled to stand his or her ground and defend himself or herself and, if reasonably necessary, to pursue an assailant until the danger of (death/great bodily injury/ <insert forcible and atrocious crime>) has passed. This is so even if safety could have been achieved by retreating.”

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | July 9, 2018 at 11:42 am

      It really doesn’t matter if Kali is a full “stand your ground” state as most Kali citizens can never get a permit to carry. I don’t know of any large-city police chief or urban sheriff who will issue permits to ordinary citizens. His or her friends, yes, and anyone who is politically connected will get permits. But not your average citizen. They just won’t do it. It’s not a “shall issue” state but a “may issue” state. It’s entirely up the discretion of the police chief or sheriff. And in places like L.A., the SF bay area, and even the much more conservative San Diego metropolitan area and county it is in reality a “won’t issue” state.

      Californians used to be able to get around this quite legally, because the law didn’t specify what police or sheriff’s department had to issue the permit. So they’d go to a more gun-friendly rural PD or Sheriff’s department and get their permit. After all, it was good state wide including in their home cities and counties where they had been arbitrarily denied. But the Kali legislature stopped that by passing a bill, signed into law by Schwarzenegger I believe, that specified that Kali citizens could only apply to get a CCW permit issued by their city/county of residence.

      Kali wasn’t always this hostile to firearms and firearm owners. I haven’t checked the law, because it doesn’t matter to me anymore since I got disgusted and left, but in rural counties with a population below a certain number you could even carry openly without any sort of peTmit at all.

      Technically the way the law is written it’s actually illegal to own or possess a firearm at all in Kali unless you fall into one of several exemptions. You can own and a possess a firearm in your residence, including temporary residences such as a camp site. You can own and possess a firearm on property that you either own or control, including a business. Etc. But there is no self-defense exemption. It might be a perfectly clean shooting as far as self-defense law is concerned. But the local DA will gleefully prosecute you for illegal possession of the firearm. So it’s purely a matter of academic interest that Kali is a SYG state because that will do most Kali citizens no good at all.

      Kali has the castle doctrine, and if you shoot someone the law presumes self defense and it’s a protected act. You can’t be prosecuted or sued as long as it 1) happens at night 2) the person you shoot isn’t a member of your family or someone else who had permission to be there and 3) the individual broke in.

      This doesn’t constitute legal advice, as I’m not a lawyer. But I did get legal advice from lawyers about how to own a gun in Kali and stay out of prison. And you can lose the presumption of self-defense if the investigators and prosecutors can find evidence of some sort of aggravating circumstances. And believe me, most of them along the coast will leave no stone unturned looking for that evidence so they can prosecute you.

      I am so glad I no longer live in Kali.

The real danger of this is that it allows judges to blow off any semblance of law, as a matter of whim. But without the general decay of the judiciary across the US, the damage of this bill would be minimal.

    See my commentary below:

    Does it allow or does it require Pre-Trial Diversion?

    Arminius in reply to tom_swift. | July 9, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Actually the SCOTUS already invalidated all semblance of law in 505 U.S. 833 Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (Nos. 91-744, 91-902). It actually contained this tripe.

    “…These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State…”

    A close reading of all the rights the court said is protected by the Fourteenth Amemdment; one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life, goes far beyond abortion. If we actually took these words seriously then nothing would be illegal. After all, if we get to have our own concepts of these rights no legislature can define them for us. According to Justice Kennedy, who wrote the opinion for the majority, that is an intolerable intrusion on our Fourteenth Amendment rights.

    So why not allow a woman and a doctor who agree on their own concept of existence and the meaning of human life to commit infanticide if the baby is born alive? In a lot of cultures an infant less than a few months old hasn’t always been considered fully human. In some cultures they still aren’t. I include our own in that, BTW. Note how little press coverage the MSM gave the Gosnell case. It was perhaps the largest case of mass murder in the history of our country. But because it was connected to abortion the MSM refused to cover it. And after all, is it really a crime to kill an infant after it’s delivered when 30 seconds earlier had the doctor delivered the baby except for the head and stabbed in the skull with scissor, sucked out the brains and collapsed the skull it, then pulled it entirely out of the birth canal it would have been perfectly legal.

    In Japan an aborted fetus or stillborn infant is called a Mizuko, literally “water child.” But traditionally it also applied to infants that died shortly after birth. And this did cover infanticide through the Edo period when famine sometimes forced impoverished families to resort to infanticide. The Japanese didn’t think they had formed souls yet, and therefore wouldn’t be able to cross the river (much like the Styx) to get to the other world. So they would have a ceremony called a Mizuko Kuyo, which honored the Buddhist saint Jizo who would transport the infant to the other world.

    Most Muslims think honor killings are moral and just. I can cite verses of the Quran that support this view, and the ahadith contain Muhammad’s teachings on the subject. The death sentence must be carried out on close relatives as well as strangers if they “spread corruption in the land.” And no school of Sharia provides any punishment for a parent who kills their own child, or a grandparent who kills their grandchild. Why can’t they have their own concept of existence and the meaning of human life that supports honor killing?

    I have no idea what’s up with the Supremes, but every time they get an abortion case a majority of them become blithering idiots and their decisions are nonsensically awful.

addiction/alcoholism is considered a mental issue by many. so driver under influence kills someone can he/she get off per this law?

smalltownoklahoman | July 7, 2018 at 6:41 pm

WOOOOOOOW! As if California wasn’t crazy enough already!

This is just another sign that we are no longer one nation. It is foolish to assume that the people who will live under this type of law will be compatible with normal people.

We’ve got a full-blown Trotskyite on our southern border, California diving into the deep end of the septic tank, political violence everywhere. There is no good end to this.

If this is what’s happening when we’ve got a decent economy, a strong foreign policy, and the best president in thirty years, what happens when we get the next Obama?

I call this the “Harvey Weinstein Avoidance of Prosecution Act of 2018.” There’s little doubt in my mind that his lawyers will invoke this law if/when he’s indicted in LA.

    Mac45 in reply to JPL17. | July 7, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Fortunately, this won’t help Harvey, as he is facing serious criminal charges outside the state of California for his activities.

you can read the bill as passed here, as well as read the votes, and, if you look at the history, you can see they suspended all sorts of rules to shove this mess through.


“The most irresponsible legislation our state has ever seen”.

That’s a high bar.

If I were super rich and shot someone dead could I then bribe a Dr. to say I was crazy but would respond to treatment? Then be free with no charges filed against me?
Gonna be dangerous to live in California. Especially if someone rich doesn’t much like you.

RSConsulting | July 8, 2018 at 11:29 am

This is EXACTLY WHERE “Trump Derangement Syndrome” gets added to the DSM-V as a legitimate mental illness, and a justification for a finding of: “not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect”.

Thank you California. Trump should follow the popular meme, and give them to Chairman Kim, in exchange for his nukes.


Pause for a moment.

It allows a defendant suffering from a mental disorder to be granted pre-trial diversion and the charges later dismissed for any crime if a judge finds the disorder played a significant role in the crime and if a defendant has “substantially complied” with mental health treatment during the diversion period.

Does the California legislation allow or does it require the granting of Pre-Trial Diversion?

Maybe Texas does “Pre-Trial Diversion” differently than California, but here Pre-Trial Diversion is wholly and utterly a discretionary action on the part of the District Attorney.

A bill like this in Texas would make no substantive difference, as PTD is wholly at the discretion of the DA / ADA handling the cause of action, and that decision is not even reviewable by the Judge. Here, the ADA’s have a tendency not to give out PTD willy-nilly, because if somebody gets a PTD, and they go out and commit another crime, the elected DA gets whacked in the press during his next election campaign (and if sufficiently bad, gets DEFEATED for it).

Believe it or not, much of California is red/conservative. The big cities and coastal elites vote exclusively blue, and drive the leftist agenda. That’s why there is a real effort to split the state. If the state splits, the extreme left portion will degenerate at an accelerated pace. LA and SF will transform from decaying s-holes to anachro-dystopias in less than a decade. This might be the lawfare portion of secession we’re seeing. They are setting up leftist violence to be legal, with rigorous prosecution of conservative self defense.

Career prosecutor in NY State. This kind of thing is typical. In NY, there have been attempts to “reform” the criminal justice system by putting changes to the bail system and discovery in the budget bill. I am happy to say that unlike California, the attempt was thwarted.

In 2009, they did manage to change NY’s drug laws by putting the changes in the budget. I guess all legislatures fear honest debate.