Point of View: Probation of Criminals

It makes no sense that released state prisoners can violate probation an endless number of times, but never get more than 10 days in county jail. Yet that is exactly what happened in the case of Michael Mejia, who murdered Whittier police officer Keith Boyer.

When Mejia got out of prison in April 2016, he was given county probation pursuant to Assembly Bill 109 (AB109). He then violated that probation an astounding five times but only got a ten-day jail sentence each time.

How could this happen? This is because Assembly Bill 109 (AB109) only requires jail time for most probation violations to be no more than ten days. The reason this bill was put into place was to reduce county jail overcrowding. Mejia had just ended his fifth 10 day probation violation in seven months when he murdered officer Boyer. Before Assembly Bill 109, Mejia would have been incarcerated for at least a year for his first probation violation. Had this happened he would have been behind bars not on the streets to murder Officer Boyer.

Sadly Mejia is not the only felon while under Assembly Bill 109 supervision who has recently murdered a police officer. According to Michael Rush of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation there have been three other such murders in the last six months. Assembly Bill 109 should be repealed or at the very least modified to require that felons with more than one probation violation be sent to jail for significantly more time than ten days. A year would be more like it. We must do everything within our power to protect our society from violent criminals.

Thanks for listening. I'd like to hear your Point of View. Email me at pov@fox11.com.

Bob Cook,

VP/General Manager FOX 11 News