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Three strikes measure fails in California Assembly Committee

Posted on in Criminal Defense

The Assembly proposal was introduced at the urging of the Riverside County district attorney's office after the November death of Riverside Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio. Prosecutors allege that a 45-year-old man killed the police officer after a foot chase through Riverside's Fairmont Park. The man accused of beating and shooting the Riverside officer to death has not yet been tried on charges, but could face the death penalty in the matter if convicted at trial.

The accused reportedly has a prior conviction for battery on a police officer relating to an incident dating back to 1990. The man's prior history reportedly provided the impetus to introduce the new measure in the Assembly. The proposed measure failed on a vote of 3-4 in its first committee test on Tuesday.

The chairman of the panel, Tom Ammiano says he has some "very serious concerns" about the measure. The main concerns center on the impact such a measure may have on the already overcrowded California prison system. The proposal is expected to be reconsidered at a future time.

Prosecutors can charge misdemeanor or felony charges under California law in matters involving allegations of battery on a peace officer. The measure would have expanded the application of felony convictions for battery on a police officer under the three strikes law.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "Bill inspired by Riverside killing fails in first committee," Jim Miller 13 Apr 2011

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