Recently, producer Jefferson Drexler and I sat down with a friend of mine, Chris, who is a police officer here in Southern California. He offered a police officer’s perspective on the challenges Christians and other people of faith are facing and will be facing in the days and years to come. Part one of our discussion deals with Prop. 57: Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements.
Chris, Southern California Police Officer: From a Christian perspective, from a law enforcement perspective, and from an everyday citizen’s perspective, Prop. 57 is the worst legislation out there. And, I can sum it up with this… this is a point of fact, but do your due diligence and your own research, but it is a published fact: If Prop. 57 passes, the rape of an unconscious victim will be considered a non-violent felony offense.
We already have way too many people released from county jails and state prisons, and this will release more predators out on the streets.
Jefferson Drexler, e2 media network producer: Now, if at some point our legislators were to decide that there are simply enough laws on the books – we’re good – then all those legislators and lobbyists would be out of a job. So, in order to justify their careers, new propositions and legislations must be perpetually brought to the table, right?
Joel Fieri, Big Picture Podcast host: Yeah, and if that piece of legislation fails, so what… that’s just fodder for more legislation down the line. It is a Big Government versus Small Government issue. It’s a Power issue. Also, it’s a Money issue. I don’t even want to know who is behind it.
Chris: Governor Jerry Brown is a big proponent of it.
Joel: Yeah, but I mean underlying… there’s usually some citizen’s group or something…
Jefferson: Who is paying for it.
Joel: Yeah. Who is funding it.
Chris: Follow the money.
Joel: Yeah. In one sense, I don’t want to know, but in another sense, as a citizen I should know, especially in something as radical as this. Why in the world would that be one of the crimes in that proposition?
Chris: And the sad reality is that it stand a fairly decent shot at passing. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that it’s important for people to understand that law enforcement does not write the law. We merely enforce the laws enacted either by legislatures or the citizens who vote on ballot box initiatives.
Jefferson: So, as an enforcer of the law and as a Christian, how will this proposition affect you if it fails and if it passes?
Chris: If it passes, it will affect virtually everyone in the state. It’s going to put predators, who belong in jails and prisons, out on the street where they will prey on innocent victims.
There’s a very solid Christian gentleman named Dave Grossman, Lt. Col. US Army Ret., and he has put forth a wonderful analogy regarding law enforcement and military. He sees law enforcement and military similar to sheep dogs – protectors of the flock (It’s very Biblical, I think). The flock represents the general public – sheep going about their daily business, somewhat unaware of the danger that lurks around them. And then you have the wolf – the predator. The predator is constantly looking for the weak that they can prey upon. They may be looking for the lost sheep that has gone astray from the flock and is easy pickings, or the sheep that is isolated. The role of law enforcement and military in our society is to protect the flock, and the weak, and the isolated from the predators out there.
So, whether it’s from a law enforcement perspective, a Christian perspective, a father’s perspective, a husband’s perspective, a friend’s perspective, or a neighbor’s perspective… we have people in our society who have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, convicted – some even admitted their guilt – of their crimes; and now we are going to put more of these people out on the street, where the recidivism – especially for sex offenses – is astronomically high? It just doesn’t make sense. It’s illogical.
As Chris said, do your own due diligence, don’t take the word of political ads, politicians, or your relatives around the dinner table. Don’t even take our word for it. Look into what Proposition 57 says and vote your conscience.
And, also be sure to tune into our next episode where we discuss Proposition 64 and the legalization of marijuana.