What could an attorney general do to help make California a more free and prosperous place to live and work? Many things.
Protect citizens from enforcement of unjust laws. Defend responsible cannabis farmers and cooperatives, raw milk suppliers, nutritional supplement producers, midwives, organic and heirloom farmers, family farmers, and similar hard working Californians who provide healthy products and services demanded by our residents against illegitimate and unconstitutional harassment and repression by government officials.
Shift police resources to protecting citizens from violent crime and fraud. By reducing police resources spent on victimless crimes, more resources can be spent on making our communities safer and free of predatory behavior.
Stop facilitating organized crime and human trafficking by not enforcing charges against harmless people charged only with victimless crimes. Organized criminals are the greatest beneficiaries of laws against victimless conduct. Focus law enforcement on violent crimes, invasions of privacy, fraud and crimes against property, whether committed by individuals or powerful corporations.
Reduce prison populations by facilitating early release of any serving time for victimless crimes. Early release and parole should be investigated and enabled for those who are clearly no longer a danger to society, on a case-by-case basis. Those convicted under antiquated and unjust anti-cannabis laws should have their criminal records expunged.
Restore jury nullification. Jurors should be instructed that they have the right and the civic responsibility to judge both the facts of a case, and the justice of the law applied, in all cases. Prisoners willing to work and pay restitution to their victims should be given an opportunity to do so.
Remove incentives for stacking of excessive criminal charges by prosecutors who seek to obtain plea bargains and avoid trials in minor cases. Instead, prosecutors should be incentivized to exercise sound discretion and resolve minor cases without threatening to press charges that are unjustified and unfair. Conviction rates cannot be used as a basis for evaluating prosecutors’ performance.
Push for greater privacy protection for California residents, against collection and use of personal data and warrantless surveillance by anyone, including state and local governments, private corporations, and agents of the federal government. Develop and enforce more protective privacy laws based in natural and Constitutional rights.
Investigate and prosecute police and prison guard misconduct. Protect ethical police and guards from unethical colleagues. Foster community policing. This includes prosecuting police who abuse or harm anyone unnecessarily. It also includes reviewing and reforming police and prison guard training and procedures to reduce the risk of unnecessary harm in all police or guard interactions with the general public or prisoners.
Protect citizen’s Constitutional right to self-defense, including Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. Foster cooperation and mutual understanding between armed, responsible citizens and police. An armed, trained, and sympathetic citizenry can be an ethical police force’s best asset and friend.
Stop civil asset forfeiture, especially in cases of victimless crimes. In all cases, the accused must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Police must not be permitted to benefit from civil forfeiture, or to act as virtual judges and juries under civil forfeiture laws. Provide leadership to repeal or reform such laws.
Stop seeking the death penalty. Some acts may be deserving of death, but the State of California should not pretend to be an angel of revenge. Convictions are often erroneous, and executions cannot be undone. Murderers should spend the rest of their lives working to pay restitution to the victims’ families — or lose all protection of the law.
Investigate radiation pollution of the California coastline from Fukushima. An unknown, and very likely unprecedented amount of radioactive strontium and cesium have been released into the ocean East of Japan, from whence currents flow directly to our shores. This invisible threat cannot be overcome by ignorance. Californians should know the truth, no matter how painful or devastating. Conversely, if there is no problem, the evidence of safety must be thorough, impeccably objective, and well-documented, so that those around the world who buy our agricultural and other products can be assured of their safety.
Investigate releases of artificial genes into the environment. Preservation of natural genomes against willful or reckless adulteration deserves a high priority. The introduction of naturally impossible gene modifications into the environment is pollution of the gravest sort, and should be treated accordingly. Genetic engineering should not be banned, but those who release naturally impossible gene modifications into the ambient gene pool must be held accountable for their behavior. Consumers have a right to know whether food or other products are intentionally and knowingly made with genetically modified ingredients. GMO labeling should not be mandatory, but should be encouraged and defended, if reasonably and truthfully done.
Open up police work to more private sector alternatives. Provide leadership directed towards gradually transitioning state police and enforcement resources away from monopolistic, compulsory taxpayer-funded models to more collaborative, innovative user-fee supported models. This will be a long road, and it’s time to get started.