It has been mentioned that if regional counsel was to be used for proposed Anti-Pet laws at least to review the “wording” and terms used, it would give everyone an idea of how to structure the defense and opposition. If there were only 4 regions (Eastern Western Northern Southern) and boundaries were applied, we would have an idea of how many attorneys were needed for those regions. This is not to interfere with federations already set up, but just to have counsel that might want to be involved.
We already help if people ask, and are working with Petpac and We the People USA. However, we do not have local counsel in areas outside of California. So if you can gather or recommend a few attorneys that are interested, it would be better than guessing at certain provisions and what effects they would have. Most attorneys that have an interest in animal law are all animal rights. We will not knowingly work with animal rights attorneys. You can email us.
We are especially interested in counsel from Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Florida or Illinois.
Analysis Prepared by : Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081
CA AB242, sponsored law by HSUS, wants to make :
Increases the penalty, from a misdemeanor, punishable by up to
six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, to a
wobbler, punishable by up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine
of up to $1,000, or 16 months, 2, or 3 years in state prison,
for being present as a spectator at a dogfight, as specified.
Increases the penalty for possessing or training a dog for
dogfighting, or for causing a dogfight, from 16 months, 2, or 3
years in state prison and/ or a fine of up to $50,000, to the
same prison term and a fine of up to $50,000.
1)Significant annual GF costs, potentially in excess of $1
million, for increased state prison commitments. Should two
dozen spectators, out of the alleged thousands of spectators,
be committed to state prison, annual costs would exceed $1
2)This bill, by creating a new felony, would also create
additional – and costly – third strike exposure, triggering a
life term for persons with two prior violent or serious felonies, or a double term for a person with one prior serious
or violent felony. If one person per year received a third
strike as a result of a felony conviction under this bill, the
annual cost in 10 years would exceed $400,000.
3)Significant nonreimbursable local law enforcement and
incarceration costs for increased county jail commitments
depending upon how many persons are jailed for watching
4)Unknown potential state and local revenue increase to the
extent making a mandatory fine of up to $50,000 increases the
amount of fines levied and collected
Rationale . The author contends dog fighting is a sadistic
sport and that increasing the penalties for spectatorship will
deter attendance and thus incidence. The author and the Humane
Society of the United States contends that tens of thousands
of people are involved in dog fighting and that punishing
spectatorship as a misdemeanor makes it more difficult for law
enforcement officials to effectively prosecute dog fighters.
Often, organized dog fights occur with several matches held
one after the other. When police raid a dog fight it is
difficult to differentiate between spectators and participants
who were going to fight their dog in the next match.
a) Should the penalty for being a spectator at a dogfight
be the same as the penalty for actually training and
fighting the dogs ? Is the current six-month county jail
penalty inadequate? Should the penalty for spectatorship at
a dogfight be greater than the penalty for spectatorship at
a cockfight (six months and/or a fine of up to $1,000)? b) This bill would make spectatorship at a dogfight a
potential third strike.
c) Given current fiscal conditions and prison overcrowding,
increasing the prison population for this offense may be
problematic . The state is in the throes of a 2009-10 budget
deficit that may exceed $15 billion. Current prison
overcrowding is under review by federal courts. Plaintiffs
are requesting emergency inmate releases, perhaps on a
scale of tens of thousands of inmates. The governor is
proposing increased credits for inmates and summary parole
release. The federal prison receiver is ordering the state
to spend billions for inmate health care facilities in
addition to the current $6 billion prison construction
3)Opposition . According to CA Attorneys for Criminal Justice
(CACJ), “… there is no sound policy basis to punish someone
in the spectator status equally with the organizers and
perpetrators of the crime of dog fighting. The organizers and
persons engaging in raising dogs for dog fights are already
punishable on the felony level. The crime of being a spectator
is also already punished, and is punished on a level
commensurate with the individual’s involvement, as a
misdemeanor. To increase punishment to allow state prison
sentences for this activity without any basis to show this
would either deter or prevent illegal activity, we believe
would be a senseless escalation of penalty.”
4)Prior legislation , AB 2281 (Nava), 2008, was identical to this
bill’s proposed increased in penalties for being a spectator
at a dogfight. AB 2281 was held on this committee’s Suspense
Very unlikely to ever pass while CA recession still going. This is a law that most people might support, but that most CA criminal defense counsel would not support.