Assembly Member Ari Espinal introduced three new bill designed to solidify hate crime laws and end private prisons and probation. // Photo courtesy of Ari Espinal

Espinal Moves to Ban Private Prisons

Assembly Member Ari Espinal introduced a slate of bills designed to solidify hate crime laws and erode privatization in the criminal justice system this week.

One bill, known as the Michael Sandy Act, would prevent defendants charged with a hate crime from arguing that they themselves are members of the same protected class as the victim.

The bill is named for Michael Sandy, an black gay man who was killed in 2006 by four white men who attempted to rob him. One of the defendants said he was also gay and thus immune to charges of committing a hate crime against another gay man.

The Private Prison Elimination Act would prohibit the state from leasing or granting state-owned property to be used for the operation of private correctional facilities.

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