May 9, 2013
The Honorable Jerry Brown
Governor, State of California
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Brown,
As we’re sure you know, we have formed a committee to stop the early release of dangerous criminals from our state prisons. We have begun the process of drafting language to be placed on the ballot in 2014 and will begin the petition process across the state soon.
Legislative initiative AB 109, which you have called “realignment,” seemingly was in response to a Federal court order to reduce overcrowding in our state prison system. As you know, at least from media coverage, it has had catastrophic consequences for the safety of our children, our families, and our local communities.
As reported by the Contra Costa Times in July 2012, the release of 3,054 state prisoners to date has resulted in dramatic increases in crime throughout California. Of the criminals released from prison under early release, 606 have already been arrested for new offenses, 487 of which were felonies. And, sadly, we have already seen violent acts committed against our citizens by these newly released criminals, including murders, assaults, torture and rape.
It is for these reasons that we, the co-chairmen of this initiative, ask you to join our efforts in ending the early release of criminals. It is clear the legislature, controlled completely by your party, will not act to end this horrific policy. Please join us a co-chairman of our effort to make the cities and towns of our great state safe again. The passage and advocacy of early release was clearly a mistake, one though the people of California will rectify at the ballot box. Governor, you still have time to be part of the solution by joining with the citizens of California in this initiative effort.
Families are just now learning of the serious defaults in the legislation, including the complete disregard of an offender’s criminal history when determining whether or not that individual is a threat to the public safety. For example, David Mulder, 43, stabbed and killed 49-year-old Elisa Van Cleve at a Park-and-Ride in Fontana just 8 days after being released under AB 109. Mulder had a long history of drug-related convictions. If his criminal record been a factor in determining Mulder’s release, Elisa would still be alive today.
This is a statewide problem, but we are going to give you just two examples of the dramatic and frightening increase in crime. According to the San Francisco Chronicle in July of 2012, in San Francisco alone there have been 406 criminals released early under your plan. On average each of them has been previously convicted of eight felonies. San Francisco has also seen a 16% increase in burglaries and 12% increase in stolen vehicles.
According to the Daily Press in July of 2012, 88 of the burglaries committed since 2011 in Hesperia were perpetrated by only four people, two of whom were released under this early release scheme and nearly 30 can be linked back to one of these individuals. There is no hiding the fact that there is a direct correlation between an increase in crime and the passing of this failed policy.
This legislation is irresponsible and it threatens the safety of all Californians. As the Governor, it should be your number one priority to ensure public safety. Join with the people of California and put an end to your policy.
We will obtain the signatures necessary to put this on the ballot and the people of California – asserting their judgment – will end early release of criminals into the neighborhoods of our state. Certainly, it would be mystifying if the Governor opposed this effort, but regardless, we are proceeding. As you know, we are in Fontana this morning, at the site of the horrible murder referenced above, and will not stop until California is safe again.