Felons caught in possession of firearms may need to hire better lawyers if the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office takes heed of a resolution passed by the on May 7.
The council unanimously approved a motion to send a resolution to the DA requesting that their office takes "no leniency" when prosecuting crimes by felons in possession of firearms.
City Administrator Tom Haglund said the resolution was born during the council’s most recent goal-setting retreat, and is meant to reflect the recognition of felons with firearms as a distinct public safety issue.
The request, he said, asks the DA to not allow firearm-possession charges to be pled away during the course of prosecution.
Councilman Bob Dillon expressed his exacerbation with the criminal justice system for dropping firearm possession charges against convicted felons during plea agreements.
“I simply get tired of seeing in the paper felons time after time being arrested in possession of firearms when they have been barred for life from owning firearms,” he said. “To me, that should be the most serious crime they’ve committed that they should be arrested for.”
The initial language of the resolution included the term “when prosecuting firearms crimes,” a phrase that was struck after councilmen Perry Woodward and Peter Leroe-Muñoz pointed out that sentencing is carried out at the discretion of a judge and it would be inappropriate for the council to suggest how the courts sentence criminals.
The resolution is now on its way to the DA's office.
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