FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2016
CONTACT: Bill Bird (Huff) @ 916-651-4029, Kendra Kruckenberg (Runner) @ 916.651.4021, Runner,
Huff Introduces a Measure to Keep Dangerous Felons Off the Streets
SACRAMENTO: Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley) and Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) announced today they introduced legislation to close a loophole that allows dangerous felons back on to our streets. Senate Bill 1077 will stop a local law enforcement agency from taking custody of a convicted felon who is scheduled for deportation unless the offender will be prosecuted for a new felony.
SB 1077 was introduced in light of the events surrounding Katherine Steinle’s death last year and is identical to SB 57 (Runner, Huff) of 2015. Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) is a co-author of SB 1077 giving the measure bi-partisan support.
In July 2015, 32 year-old Kathryn Steinle was walking with her father on Pier 14 in San Francisco when she was shot and killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a career criminal with seven felony convictions. Three months earlier, the San Francisco Sheriff had requested custody of Lopez-Sanchez, because of an outstanding 20 year old warrant for sale of marijuana. The Sheriff’s Department arranged to have Lopez-Sanchez transported to San Francisco at public expense before considering whether the case would actually be tried. He was released when the San Francisco District Attorney declined to prosecute the decades old charge.
“Senseless killings are always difficult to accept, but Katherine Steinle’s death is particularly appalling because it was so easily avoidable,” said Senator Runner. “The State of California and our local jurisdictions should not be in the business of rescuing convicted felons from the Federal Government. The State Legislature needs to act before more innocent lives are lost.”
“It’s critically important that dangerous and violent felons held in federal custody should not be set free under any circumstance,” said Senator Huff. “Our legislation is a thoughtful and common sense procedure that will apply uniformly to all law enforcement jurisdictions in California, preventing the kind of error in judgment that has already cost innocent lives.”
“Public safety needs to continue to be our number one priority,” said Senator Galgiani. “I am happy to support common sense legislation that will keep dangerous felons off of our streets until law enforcement can check whether there are outstanding warrants for that individual.”
SB 1077 would prevent this situation from happening again by requiring a local law enforcement agency to verify the District Attorney’s intent to prosecute before moving an inmate from federal custody, not after. It would apply uniformly to all local jurisdictions in California.
Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.