Commentary: It’s time to reform sentencing enhancements

May 26, 2021

And we firmly support Senate Bill 81, by Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley, who is also a member of the Penal Code Revision Committee, because the legislation stems directly from the committee’s recommendation.

California needs clear guidelines for sentencing enhancements due to the fact that current law can lead to arbitrary use of enhancements. Judges technically have the ability to dismiss sentencing enhancements but only if the dismissal meets an undefined and unclarified concept. Even the state Supreme Court has noted that the question of when judges should dismiss enhancements is an “amorphous concept.”


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