California votes to keep criminal justice changes

Presidential Election 2020

First-time voter Berlyn Gonzalez votes as her mother, Claudia Gonzalez, holds the leash to her dog Nenengue, in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has upheld several criminal justice changes, endorsing recent efforts to ease mass incarceration by reducing penalties and allowing for earlier releases. They were also on pace to maintain the state’s current cash bail system.

Voters defeated Proposition 20, rejecting supporters’ pleas to address what they called the “unintended consequences” of two previously approved ballot measures. One lowered penalties for drug and property crimes in 2014, while the second two years later allowed the earlier parole of most felons.

Voters rejected proposals that would have barred criminals convicted of certain serious offenses from earlier release, increased penalties for repeated retail thefts, toughened parole standards and allowed for broader DNA collections.

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