Suspect served less jail time with California law

by Don Thompson | The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — A suspect arrested in connection with last weekend’s mass shooting outside bars near the California state capitol has served less than half of his 10-year sentence due to voter-approved changes to state law, which made his felony count. Committed the punishment and provided a chance. pre release.

This February 6, 2022, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows smiley Alan Martin, two days before he was released to Sacramento County probation for his sentence on bodily injury and assault charges, Which can cause major bodily injury. Martin was arrested on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in connection with a mass shooting in Sacramento, Calif., that left six people dead. Martin is the brother of Dandre Martin, the first suspect taken into custody in the investigation. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

Smiley Allen Martin was freed in February after serving time for punching a girlfriend, dragging her by her hair and beating her with a belt, according to court and prison records. They count as nonviolent crimes under California law, which considers only about two dozen offenses to be violent crimes—things like murder, rape, arson, and kidnapping.

Martin, 27, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of gun possession and machine gun possession by a banned man. He is among 12 people injured during Sunday’s shooting, in which six others were killed. Police say the violence was a shootout between rival gangs in which at least five people opened fire with weapons, including Martin’s brother Dandre Martin, who was arrested.

Smiley Martin would normally have been behind bars until at least May after serving at least half the time for his previous arrest in 2017, but prison officials apparently took a lot of time to apply the time credit to his sentence. Used the same detailed approach, said Gregory Totten, chief executive officer of the California District Attorneys Association and former district attorney for Ventura County.

“They have been given a very wide range of powers to give them additional credit and all kinds of considerations for the purposes of releasing people early and reducing the term of punishment,” Totten said.

Correctional officials did not dispute that Martin was among thousands of inmates receiving the additional credit, which has accelerated his release under state law. But he said his policy prohibits disclosing what credits Martin received.

He cited the credit via ballot measure of Proposition 57, 2016, which was intended to give most hooligans a chance to be released earlier. The credit was also widely authorized for reducing the prison population during the pandemic.

Good behavior is included in the Proposition 57 credits, although corrections officers will not issue Martin’s disciplinary report. Good conduct credits are considered to be reserved for prisoners who comply with all rules and perform their assigned duties.

Reform spokesperson Vicky Waters said in a statement, “The state has implemented a variety of credit-earning opportunities to encourage good behavior and program participation, including those created in advancing Proposition 57 – which is highly regarded by voters as was approved.”

Supporters, including former governor Jerry Brown, who pushed for Proposition 57, say it is important to give prisoners a second chance. The opportunity for earlier release encourages prisoners to participate in education and other rehabilitation programs, while helping to reduce mass incarceration.

“The most recent reforms in California are seeking to change a culture that has been churning out problems of recurrence for generations,” said Will Matthews, a spokesman for California’s security and justice. “The question we need to ask ourselves is how are we going to change behavior?”

Under Proposition 57, there are credits for completing rehabilitation or educational programs, carrying out self-help and volunteer public service activities, earning a high school diploma or higher education degree, and performing a gallant act. Officials added credits during the coronavirus pandemic, which include the 12-week credit that applies to most prisoners.

Following a letter from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, Martin was denied parole in May 2021 under California’s process for nonviolent offenders receiving first parole. Prosecutors objected on the basis of his long criminal record and insisted Martin “clearly has little respect for human life and the law.”

Prosecutors said Martin was caught with an assault rifle and two fully loaded 25-bullet magazines in January 2013, six months after turning 18. Months later, he pushed a Walmart clerk aside for stealing a computer worth $2,800, he said. In 2016, he was arrested on parole on a large scale. And less than six months after that happened the attack that sent him back to prison.

It is unclear whether Martin has an attorney who can comment on his behalf.

Martin pleaded no contest and was jailed in January 2018 on charges of bodily injury and assault likely to cause major bodily injury under a plea deal, including charges of kidnapping – considered a violent felony – And intimidation of a witness or victim was ruled out.

The sentencing judge awarded Martin 508 days of credit for the time he spent in the Sacramento County Jail before his sentence, based on a California law that allows judges to double the actual time in prison, Which was 254 days in Martin’s case.

Martin also had “a variety of additional post-centring credits” that Department of Corrections spokeswoman Dana Simas said was awarded for serving time while awaiting transfer from county jail to state prison.

Prior to Proposition 57, he would have been eligible for a 20% “good time” credit – meaning he could reduce his time by one-fifth – but corrections officials used his right under the ballot to give him 50%. extended to The pending rule, opposed by most of the state’s district attorneys, would increase the credit of good time to two-thirds of the sentence for such repeat offenders.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, a progressive Democrat who formerly headed the state Senate, was upset when he learned of Martin’s record.

“If people have a history of committing violent acts, and they haven’t shown a tendency or desire to change, then I don’t think they should take to the streets,” he said at an event where officials asked him more than $3 billion. had requested. States to expand crime prevention programmes.

Republican State Sen. Jim Nielsen, who once headed the state parole board, said that while “good time” credits are usually given automatically, inmates are not required to do anything to earn them.

“It gives them a huge opportunity to clear the bed,” said Nielsen, who was opposed to earlier releases.

The state has relied on such efforts, specifically its powers under Proposition 57, to keep the prison population below the level required by a panel of federal judges, who ruled that the inmates were unconstitutional. created a bad situation.

Martin was released in February under the supervision of the Sacramento County Probation Department. County probation officers will not provide conditions stating that their records are not public documents.

Without discussing Martin’s case, Karen Punk, executive director of California’s Chief Probation Officers, said that typically dealing with someone coming out of prison on post release community supervision with an extensive and violent criminal history is “high-risk.” Risk” will be treated on caseload. ,

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