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Proposed CA Legislation Allows Judges to Determine Sentencing

Judges would have more power to determine the severity of prison sentences under legislation proposed Tuesday in Sacramento. It's an attempt to fix what the U.S. Supreme Court has said is California's

Proposed CA Legislation Allows Judges to Determine Sentencing

Judges would have more power to determine the severity of prison sentences under legislation proposed Tuesday in Sacramento. It's an attempt to fix what the U.S. Supreme Court has said is California's unconstitutional sentencing system. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

Just last week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of California's sentencing law. It allowed judges to impose stricter prison sentences based on information not presented to the jury. Now State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero has introduced a bill that will allow judges to use their own discretion. She says they could give longer-or shorter prison terms based on their own determinations.

Romero: The legislature must act quickly to facilitate that these courts are allowed to operate and trials can go forward without the confusion that has undoubtedly has been the result of the decision.”

Critics say it would only be a temporary fix-that does not address what should be consistent sentencing practices. Senator Romero has said her bill would sunset in two years-giving time for another proposal of hers-a sentencing commission-- to form and determine sentencing strategy.