I Stand Against Mandatory Sentencing & for Victim Rights (video)

Mandatory sentencing

Prison and sentencing reform have been major bipartisan issues in the Arizona House for the past few years. Although there has been much bipartisan effort and many bills proposed, pretty much everything was stopped at the committee level by former Legislators and Judiciary Chairs John Allen and Eddie Farnsworth.

Those two are both gone. Rep. Walt Blackman’s Criminal Justice Committee has passed several good bills on prison reform, sentencing reform, and prison oversight. Several of them have passed the full house.

Unfortunately, the House is passing mandatory sentencing bills at the same time as we are advancing reform. I was the only person who voted against HB2889.

Rep. Leo Biasiucci’s HB2889 is all about punishment. It ignores the fact that most people in prison were abused children. Focusing on punishment — while ignoring prevention, rehabilitation, and expansion of victims’ rights to report past abuse — won’t solve this problem. In fact, Senator Paul Boyer’s child abuse reporting bill from 2019 — which Republicans fought vehemently against — would do a lot more to catch chronic abusers who roam amongst us. Even after passing a watered down version of Boyer’s bill, Arizona law still severely restricts reporting past abuse and protects pedophiles, not victims. I fully support adoption of Boyer’s original bill which gave past abused children to age 30 to report past abuse.

Continue reading I Stand Against Mandatory Sentencing & for Victim Rights (video)