Conrad Murray Sentencing: County Jail for Murray, Time to Re-think the Realignment Act of 2011

This is it! Time to re-think a new law.

Conrad Murray was just sentenced by Judge Pastor to 4 years imprisonment but, “lucky” for Dr. Murray he goes to county jail and not state prison. Why? The Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011 (AB 109) signed by the California Governor in October 2011. Why the new law? To comply with the California Supreme Court order to reduce prison overcrowding.

Had Murray been sentenced before the new law, he would serve his sentence in state prison.  Now, the LA Sheriffs Department needs to figure out what the new law means. According to Penal Code Section 1170(h) which governs the sentence for involuntary manslaughter, it appears that, unlike Lindsay Lohan’s 4 hour cameo appearance in County jail, Dr. Murray may serve out the entire sentence of 4 years in county jail, and may not get such a brief stay. Lets see how LA Sheriff’s Department calculates the sentence.

But, shouldn’t the judge determine the actual time to serve? Maybe, the legislature needs to draft a new law which defines how the sentence is to be calculated, and who does the calculation, rather than leave it up to discretion of each county’s sheriff’s department who may have different formulas and a different number of beds available.

Frankly, the legislature may want to re-think who goes to county jail. Do we want a defendant that the judge found as a “danger to society” and “remains dangerous…had umbridge, lack of remorse and took offense to Michael’s death” to go to county jail and possibly get an early release? Isn’t prison where we put the “dangers to society”. Even Dr. Murray claims, “I didn’t do anything wrong”. How is this in the best interest of public safety? After all, isn’t the bill called the Public Safety Realignment Act.

Time to re-think who goes to prison and who goes to county jail. And, how long a prison defendant actually serves in county jail.

Simply my opinion, what say you?

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