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What are some significant changes in law to the criminal justice and judiciary systems?


Proposition 184 (1994): Three Strikes Law. Required longer prison sentences for certain repeat offenders and also restricted individuals who have committed serious or violent felonies from earning credits that reduce time in prison. (LAO Reference: A Primer: Three Strikes - The Impact After More Than a Decade).

Chapter 850 of 1997 (AB 233, Escutia and Pringle): Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act. Shifted funding responsibility of the trial courts from the counties to the state. (LAO Reference: Completing the Goals of Trial Court Realignment.)

Proposition 21 (2000): Juvenile Crime. Expanded the types of cases for which juveniles can be tried in adult court and increased penalties for gang-related crimes.

Proposition 36 (2000): Drug Prevention and Treatment. Provided for offenders who are convicted of specific crimes designated as nonviolent drug possession offenses to be sentenced to probation and drug treatment, instead of prison or jail.

Proposition 69 (2004): DNA Samples. Required law enforcement agencies to collect samples of deoxyribonucleic acid, commonly known as DNA, from all convicted felons, some nonfelons, and certain arrestees for inclusion in the state’s DNA data bank. (LAO Reference: Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill, page D-26.)

Proposition 83 (2006): Jessica’s Law. Made several changes to the sentencing of sex offenses, including requiring global positioning system monitoring of felony sex offenders for life and restricting where sex offenders can live. (LAO Reference: Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill, page D-134.)

Chapter 175 of 2007 (SB3X 81, Ducheny): Juvenile Justice Realignment. Limited admission to state juvenile facilities to juveniles who are violent, serious, or sex offenders.

Proposition 9 (2008): Marcy’s Law. Expanded legal rights of crime victims, restricted capacity-driven early releases of inmates, and changed procedures for granting and revoking parole.

Chapter 608 of 2009 (SB 678, Leno): Community Corrections Incentives. Provided share of state correctional savings to counties that reduced rate of felony probationers that fail on probation and are sent to state prison.

Chapter 15 of 2011 (AB 109, Committee on Budget): 2011 Realignment. Limited who could be sent to state prison, instead requiring that certain lower-level felons serve their incarceration terms in county jail. Required that counties, rather than the state, supervise certain lower-level felons released from state prison. (LAO Reference: The 2012–13 Budget: The 2011 Realignment of Adult Offenders—An Update.)

Proposition 36 (2012): Changes to Three Strikes Law. Reduced prison sentences served under the three strikes law by certain third strikers whose current offenses are nonserious, non-violent felonies. Allowed resentencing of certain third strikers serving life sentences for specified nonserious, non-violent felonies.

Proposition 47 (2014): Sentencing for Nonserious, Non-violent Felons. Reduced penalties for certain offenders convicted of nonserious and non-violent property and drug crimes. Allowed certain offenders who had been previously convicted of such crimes to apply for reduced sentences. (LAO Reference: The 2015-16 Budget: Implementation of Proposition 47.)

Proposition 57 (2016): Parole Consideration, Credits, and Juveniles Charged as Adults. Expanded inmate eligibility for parole consideration, increased the state’s authority to reduce inmates’ sentences through credits, and mandated that judges determine whether youth be subject to adult sentences in criminal court.

Proposition 64 (2016): Legalization of Marijuana. Legalized adult nonmedical use of marijuana, created a system for regulating nonmedical marijuana businesses, imposed taxes on marijuana, and generally reduced penalties for marijuana-related crimes.

Proposition 66 (2016): Legal Challenges to Death Sentences. Required that legal challenges to death sentences first be heard in the trial courts, placed time limits on legal challenges to death sentences, changed the process for appointing attorneys to represent condemned inmates, and exempts the state’s execution procedures from various statutory requirements, such as the public review process.


Last Updated: December 2016