LA
10/23/2012 01:38 am ET Updated Oct 23, 2012

Prop 35: Increasing Penalties For Human Trafficking Convicts

Prop 35 would increase fines and prison sentences for convicted human traffickers. It would also require them to register as sex offenders and disclose internet activities and identities.

Opponents say that while Prop 35 is well-intentioned, California already has strong laws in place to combat human trafficking. The Los Angeles Times points out that the sex offender database, currently a useful tool for law enforcement, would be expanded and diluted with the addition of human traffickers whose crimes may not have a sexual element. Finally, the wording of the ballot may prove to be inflexible over time. As with the Three Strikes law, initiatives that mandate a minimum number of sentencing years may prove to be a costly proposition for California.

Supporters say that Prop 35 will make California's human trafficking penalties match federal laws. The maximum sentence would go from five years to 12 years. Convicted human traffickers could also get up to life in prison for crimes involving children. The heavier penalties, say supporters, would also give prosecutors greater incentive to convict adults who pimp child prostitutes.

For: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, LA City Council, South San Francisco City Council, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and San Francisco Chronicle. See more at caseact.org.

Against: Los Angeles Times, Bay View Voters Guide, Fresno Bee, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and California Association for Criminal Justice. See more at esplerp.org.

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