Prop 35: Increased Penalties for Human Trafficking
Prop 35: The Basics
Prop. 35 will expand the definition of human trafficking to encompass certain crimes related to the creation and distribution of obscene material depicting minors and would remove the requirement that, with respect to minors, force or coercion was involved. The proposition also includes more rigid penalties for sex traffickers ranging from 12 years for labor trafficking up to a life term for forced sex trafficking of a minor. Lastly, Prop. 35 includes a schedule of fines that may be imposed, the proceeds from which would go to fund programs for victims of human trafficking.
Prop. 35 also has legal implications that makes evidence of the victim’s past sexual conduct inadmissible at trial for the purpose of attacking the victim’s credibility or character in court. This provision brings human trafficking in line with protections that are standard for victims of rape under state rape shield laws.
Prop 35’s Fiscal Impact
The fiscal impact depends largely on whether or not Prop. 35’s expanded definition leads to greater incarceration rates. As it currently stands, most human traffickers are charged under federal statutes because of the fact that trafficking often involves taking victims across state or international boundaries. Some impact would be felt by the need to retrain law enforcement officials.
Proposition 35 seeks to expand the definition and consequences of human trafficking so that they align more closely with federal statutory guidelines. Under current state law, human trafficking is defined as violating the liberty of a person with intent to either 1) commit certain felony crimes or 2) obtain forced labor or services. Human Trafficking is punishable by up to 5 years (or 8 if the victim is a minor). As of March 2012 there were 18 offenders in state prison convicted of human trafficking.
Kristine Kil Maxine Doogan
Learn More about Prop 35 and Human Trafficking Penalties
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Fremont, CA 94537
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San Francisco, CA 94114
Prop 35 Full Text