Sacramento, CA…The California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) expressed outrage today that the suspect accused of the horrific sexual assault and brutal murder of a 61-year-old Sacramento woman on September 3, 3021, was released from prison following felony convictions in 2017 and 2018 for assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, committed more crimes in June, and then was released again because of “zero bail” policies.
The suspect, Troy Davis, 51, was charged Tuesday by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office with sexually assaulting and murdering the victim, killing her two dogs, and setting fire to her home in the Land Park neighborhood of Sacramento.
“None of these appalling crimes would likely have occurred had this person been behind bars where he belonged,” said Vern Pierson, president of CDAA. Pierson said the shocking murder was just the most recent example why the Legislature should reject Senate Bill 262, an overhaul of the state’s bail system, scheduled for a vote on the Assembly floor later this week.
“While CDAA remains committed to sensible bail reform, SB 262 is a fatally flawed measure. We had worked with Senator Hertzberg in the hopes of crafting a measure that would not sacrifice public safety in trying to create a better bail system. Unfortunately, this bill utterly fails to achieve that goal,” Pierson said.
Among the many deficiencies CDAA identified in SB 262 is language creating an “ability to pay” provision that would allow those with substantial financial resources to be eligible for “zero bail” simply by claiming that bail would be a hardship—without any verification of their finances. Worse, the bill would allow an offender with one or more prior convictions for felony offenses, no matter how recent those convictions, to be eligible for zero bail.
“You could drive a semi-truck through the loopholes in SB 262—all of which will put more dangerous criminals back on our streets. It’s past time for our elected representatives to put the rights and protection of law-abiding Californians ahead of reckless, so-called reforms like those contained in this bill,” Pierson said.
The California District Attorneys Association is a statewide training and advocacy organization representing elected district attorneys, city attorneys with criminal divisions, and more than 3,500 prosecutors.