Kern County DA discusses state of criminal and public safety propositions

Posted at 8:21 AM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 11:21:40-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — “Relating to public safety, we had a mixed bag last night. We had some victories and we had some losses,” said Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.

Those victories and losses that she is referring to are Propositions 17, 20, and 25.

Although the race isn't final for the three props, Zimmer says she is disappointed in the way it's going, especially for Prop 17 which restores voting rights upon completion of prison term. As of Wednesday afternoon, that prop is passing.

“I think it was important for somebody to stay on parole as something to work for, that their right to vote would be successfully restored if they were to complete parole."

Zimmer had higher hopes for prop 25, which attempts to repeal California's SB-10 law, eliminating the cash bail system. The majority of California voters have voted no for Prop 25.

“Cash bail, the system as we know it stays in place, so the cash bail system will not be replaced with what the alternative was, which is a computer algorithm which assessed a person's dangerousness."

But the most concerning results according to Zimmer is for Prop 20.

“Prop 20 was disappointing but not a surprise."

Prop 20 would have tightened requirements for those on parole and increase punishment for those who were repeatedly convicted of theft.

If Prop 20 doesn't pass, Zimmer believes it's a missed opportunity.

“For me, it is very disappointing because for me because some of these people who commit these serial thefts of a level between $250 and $950 very often have mental health issues, drug issues so this is a lost opportunity for law enforcement to have them get mandatory rehabilitation."