Name and description:
Proposition 35-Increased Penalties for Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery
-Increases criminal penalties for human trafficking, including prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000.
-Fines collected to be used for victim services and law enforcement.
-Requires person convicted of trafficking to register as sex offender.
-Requires sex offenders to provide information regarding Internet access and identities they use in online activities.
-Prohibits evidence that victim engaged in sexual conduct from being used against victim in court proceedings.
-Requires human trafficking training for police officers
On October 26th, 2011, Daphne Phung, Founder of Californians Against Slavery, filed the language for “The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act” or “CASE Act”. Needing 504,760 citizen signatures, supporters collected around 800,000 signatures and were approved for the November ballot on May 9th of this year.
Those in favor and their arguments:
Supporters of Prop 34 include the California Police Chief’s Association, Both major political parties, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Chris Kelly the former chief of privacy at Facebook, who helped write the law.
Their arguments stem from California receiving a “F” grade on child sex trafficking laws from a national advocacy org. Supporters feel that human traffickers face light penalties compared to the severity of their crimes and want to make tougher laws to protect women, children, and the poor from exploitation.
Those against and their arguments:
No campaign committees have been set up to oppose this measure. The arguments against it in the official voters guide state that the measure will have a detrimental effect on the state budget, and that it relies on too broad of a definition of pimping that they say could label people who receive financial benefit from prostitutes (such as their children) as sex offenders.
Where it gets kinda dumb:
There really isn’t anything dumb nor funny about the severity of human trafficking or the exploitation of women and children. What is dumb in this instance is who submitted arguments against this measure. These include the President of the “Exotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project” (yes, that exists), former prostitutes, and someone by the name of “Starchild.”
Although I don’t believe a ballot measure is the best way to write crime laws, California’s “F” grade on this topic is downright despicable. Passing this measure would force the legislature to look at this issue, if only to clean up the law as it is currently written. I’m voting yes on prop 35.