(KRON) – New Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price is stirring up some controversy with some proposed policy changes when it comes to sentencing. Specifically, she is looking to remove enhancements, which can add to the length of a sentence if someone is convicted of a crime or pleads guilty.
Michael Cardoza, a former prosecutor who is now a criminal defense attorney, is addressing this policy change and calling it dangerous for citizens. He broke down what an enhancement is.
“For example, if a gun was used in the commission of a crime, that’s considered an enhancement, or if the person was older, such as in elder abuse, that’s an enhancement. If added, it will make the sentence possibly longer,” he said.
Cardoza says prosecutors often use enhancements to get additional information from a suspect.
“I don’t think it makes any sense at all,” said Marc Klass, the president of the KlassKids organization. “I know based on my experience what cuts crime, and that is treating criminals seriously.”
Klass, whose 12-year-old daughter Polly was kidnapped and murdered in Petaluma, is speaking out against the policy changes. Polly’s murderer is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murder with four special circumstances.
“This policy change only rewards criminals and punishes victims. It is wrong,” he said.
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In a statement to KRON4 News, Price said the new guidelines are being circulated for feedback and may change on what is received.
“This directive reduces reliance on sentencing enhancements and allegations as an effort to bring balance back to sentencing and reduce recidivism. This is not a top-down directive. Our office is listening and working collectively to serve the people of Alameda County,” she said.
KRON4 News has asked for an interview with da price to expand on this policy change, but she declined our request.