September 10, 2012
Halting Traffic With Prop 35
Proposition 35 has five different key effects against human trafficking in the state of California. First off this new proposition expands on what we consider the definition of human trafficking to be. This measure expands on the list of criminal acts considered to be a part of human trafficking, specifically making creation and distribution of crude material depicting minors a form of human trafficking. For example, making duplications or selling these crude materials could be placed under the category of human trafficking even if the offender had absolutely no contact with the minor depicted. Second, this measure makes criminal penalties for human trafficking far more severe. The proposition increases the prison sentence for labor trafficking crimes to a maximum of 12 years per offense, and for sex trafficking of adults to up to 20 years per offense. The proposition would expand on time served for sex trafficking of minors that involved force or fraud would be punishable by serving up to a life term in prison. In addition, the measure states that offenders convicted of human trafficking with previous convictions for human trafficking receive additional five-year prison terms for each of those prior convictions. Under the measure, offenders convicted of human trafficking that resulted in any body injuries to the victim could be punished with additional terms of up to ten years. Third, new fines would be created to help fund services victims of human trafficking. Fourth, changes would be made to how evidence can be used in court. Specifically, the measure prohibits the use of evidence that a person was involved in criminal sexual conduct (such as prostitution) to prosecute that person for that crime if the conduct was a result of being a victim of human trafficking. Finally, training would be given to law enforcement officers on how to handle human trafficking complaints.