California is implementing a new three-strikes crime that applies to those who can be given a longer sentence, but advocates are worried about this expansion of the 30-year-old statute.
Gov. Gavin Newsom in late September signed Senate Bill 14 from Senator Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, which makes child sex trafficking a serious felony starting beginning January 1st, 2024.
This update of the three-strikes law would apply to those who have been previously convicted of a different crime that is defined as a serious or violent felony, and with this addition, regarding child sex trafficking that can lead them to be imprisoned 25 years to life.
Grove's bill marks the first time the state has added a crime to the list of strikable offenses in more than 20 years. Republicans and moderate Democrats have repeatedly tried to expand the list, but the deep-blue Legislature has typically shut down these efforts.
Grove's bill had first failed in the Assembly earlier this year but eventually vamped up by Newsom and Assembly Speaker Rober Rivas.
The main concern is if SB 14 will bring in more expansions of the three-strikes law.
“The real concern is whether or not new lawmakers who are looking to make a stand for themselves, to make a name for themselves are going to fall victim to this kind of approach that is great for sound bites, horrible for communities,” said Carmen-Nicole Cox, director of government affairs for ACLU California Action.
More updates to come from this new expansion set to be initiated soon.