California lawmakers recently proposed a law that critics say could have banned the sale of the Bible.
It would have designated any purchase of a book that opposes the homosexual and transgender campaigns “consumer fraud,” but its sponsor at the last hour withdrew it.
It’s just one of the many unusual laws considered or adopted by the state’s legislature.
Issues have included sanctuary cities, workplace conditions for illegal aliens, guns, vaccinations and sex education.
Columnist Barbara Simpson recalled in a WND column that the state required “micro-stamping” of bullets for handguns so they could be linked directly to a shooter. She explained that the state Supreme Court affirmed the law, even though the “technology to comply with the law does not exist.”
“The Associated Press summed it up: ‘The California Supreme Court says state laws cannot be invalidated on the grounds that complying with them is impossible,'” she wrote.
Now, California is considering another law stirring controversy, notes columnist Terry McLaughlin, who writes for The Union newspaper of Grass Valley, California.
AB 1810, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in June, will “imperil the safety of our very lives.”
“Buried deep in AB 1810 is a provision which allows a defendant claiming to suffer from a mental disorder to be granted pre-trial diversion for any crime, if a judge agrees the disorder played a significant role in the commission of the crime,” she explains, noting district attorneys already have been protesting the requirement.
“This means criminal proceedings are halted for up to two years, and if there is ‘substantial compliance’ by the defendant within that time, the bill would ‘require the court to dismiss the defendant’s criminal charges … and the arrest deemed never to have occurred, and would require the court to order access to the record of the arrest restricted.’ (Section 15, AB 1810).”
And there are no exceptions, she wrote, with its benefits applying to “murderers, rapists, robbers, child molesters and arsonists.”
“According to Michele Hanisee, a spokesperson for the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, ‘a defendant charged with any crime can get those charges dismissed if they convince a judge the mental disorder they suffer from played a ‘major’ role in the charged crime; if a mental health expert says the symptoms motivating the criminal behavior would respond to treatment; and if the defendant undergoes ‘treatment’ during a diversion period with no minimum time period and a maximum of two years,'” McLaughlin explained.
The law provides that only the defense is permitted to submit a psychiatric report, and prosecutors don’t even have an opportunity to rebut it.
And, she reports, the “mental health treatment shall be deemed ‘satisfactory’ and dismissal granted should a defendant ‘substantially comply’ with the diversion conditions and commit no ‘significant’ new crimes while in diversion.”
“In real terms, defendants such as David Berkowitz (‘Son of Sam’ who killed six people in the 1970s claiming his neighbors’ dog told him to do it) … and Jared Lee Loughner (convicted of killing six people and wounding 13 – including U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords — in 2011) were diagnosed with schizophrenia and could conceivably, have been diverted under AB 1810,” she explains.
“A defendant’s mental illness is certainly relevant and should be considered by prosecutors and judges, and Senate Bill 215, which is currently before the Legislature, would have allowed this in defined and limited circumstances.
“But rather than allowing for debate and review, Gov. Brown chose to sign AB 1810, despite warnings from San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan in the San Diego Union Tribune that this is ‘the most irresponsible legislation our state has ever seen, and it would wreak havoc in our criminal justice system,'” McLaughlin wrote.