Proposition 35, an effort to increase prison sentences and fines for human traffickers, has passed, according to the Associated Press.
A long list of prosecutors, law enforcement officials and politicians endorsed the measure.
More than $2 million from Chris Kelly, Facebook’s former privacy chief and an unsuccessful candidate for California attorney general in 2010, helped put Proposition 35 on the ballot.
Proponents drafted it to make sex trafficking of a minor with force or fraud punishable with up to a life term in prison. They wanted to increase the fine for the offense to as much as $1.5 million from a maximum of $100,000, and to expand the definition of human trafficking to include creation and distribution of child pornography.
Known as the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, the measure was also drafted to prevent re-victimization, prohibiting evidence of commercial sex acts by those were trafficked from being used against the victims in court.
Opponents, including some veteran advocates and academics, said that while the measure brought much-needed attention to the issue, it was misguided and could harm victims.
They expressed concern that the hefty criminal fines under the proposition would hurt victims’ chances to be compensated in civil court. The measure was written to direct revenue from those fines to law enforcement and victim service organizations.
Via: Los Angeles Times