California lawmakers, whose antics have included attempting to designate counseling against same-sex attractions “consumer fraud” requiring school children to celebrate gay activist Harvey Milk, are at it again.
The California Globe reports a proposed a law would grant immunity to residents from arrest if they are in the process of reporting a sex crime or other crime of violence.
The Globe noted the language of the proposed statute “appears to immunize a person from ANY crime so long as they are reporting a violation of a sex crime law.”
“And it appears the Legislative Counsel went along with this, based on the bill language.”
Senate Bill 233 states, “A person who is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime shall not be arrested for a crime.”
Behind the plan in the state that adopted more than 1,000 new laws last year alone are Democrats Scott Wiener of San Francisco, Bill Quirk of Hayward and Laura Friedman of Glendale.
The Democrats have the majority in both houses of the state legislature, as well as the governor’s office.
“Sen. Wiener and the San Francisco Chronicle reported that this legislation is all about protecting victimized sex workers,” the report said. “However, the truth in what is being said and reported about this bill is one thing and what the actual text of the legislation states is an entirely different matter. The actual language of SB 233 would enact something completely different.”
The reports suggests the plan would “prevent law enforcement from arresting and charging sex workers who come forward as victims or witnesses.”
But the bill specifies it would “prohibit the arrest of a person for a misdemeanor violation of the CUCSA or other specified sex work crimes, if that person is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime.”
“The bill would also state that possession of condoms in any amount, in and of itself, is not probable cause for arrest for specified sex work crimes.”
It would state: “A person who is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime shall not be arrested for a crime, including a misdemeanor violation of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code) or a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 647 or of Section 372 or 653.22.”
Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said in the Globe report, “As is typical, the legal drafting skills in the legislature are so poor that the end product rarely resembles what they claim they are trying to accomplish, leaving the courts to clean up the mess they made.”
The Globe said the question is “is this what they really wanted?”
“Was this drafting error, or is this another attempt to undermine the criminal justice system as is the case with Assembly Bill 109, and Propositions 47 and 57 – all claimed wholesome criminal justice reforms and intent, but the results were completely different.”
The analysis explained: “The intent of the bill may be to allow for sex crime whistleblowers, however, the bill language is entirely different. And as one commenter on the Chronicle article addressed, ‘There’s a fine line between protecting victimized sex workers and creating an environment in which human trafficking can thrive.’”