41 DAs challenge early release of 76,000 prisoners

41 DAs challenge early release of 76,000 prisonersKern Co. District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer announced today that she has joined Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and 39 other elected District Attorneys across California in filing a petition with the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) requesting the repeal of temporary emergency regulations awarding additional credits to more than 76,000 state prison inmates.

The regulations were passed under a claim of an emergency and first made public on Friday April 30, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. These regulations would result in the early release of some of California’s most violent criminals. In adopting these regulations, and claiming an emergency, the CDCR Secretary stated these regulations were necessary to comply with “the direction outlined in the Governor’s Budget Summary” presented a year ago on May 14, 2020. By invoking an emergency, the traditional regulatory scheme and transparent public comment period was bypassed.

The administrative law petition is often the first step in seeking a formal court order declaring the regulations unlawful. If the emergency regulations are nullified by a court, CDCR would be forced to pass the regulations in the traditional manner, requiring the State’s Office of Administrative Law to provide greater transparency and public input.

District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer stated, “The early release of 76,000 of California’s most serious and violent offenders is an unprecedented assault on public safety. These regulations seek to shorten the sentences of violent and repeat offenders, and they were passed without public input or comment. If permitted to stand, these regulations would shorten the sentences of more than 80% of the current prison population. Californians are entitled to be advised of and give input on such drastic measures that have a profound impact upon public safety.”

Story First Published: 2021-05-21