The California Assembly Committee on Public Safety blocked a bill that would have increased the charges of child trafficking to life in prison.
The bill would have made child trafficking of children a “serious felony” that would carry the same life in prison or the death penalty, similar to murder, rape, or other crimes.
However, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee blocked the measure on Tuesday, prompting a victim to scream out “horrible” through sobs of tears.
Fox News reports:
“No Democrats on the committee voted for the bill. Only one Republican assemblyman — Assemblyman Tom Lackey — voted yes on the bill while the GOP vice chair of the committee, Assemblyman Juan Alanis, was out of the committee room at the time of the vote.”
The report adds that “S.B. 14 was given reconsideration, meaning it could be taken up again by the California Assembly next year.”
The bill was supported by former kidnapping victim, Elizabeth Smart.
“This bill should be passed into law without hesitation. Too many victims fear coming forward and speaking out for fear of their trafficker’s repercussions,” Smart had said of the bill prior to Tuesday’s vote.
“Too often we are restricted in our efforts to serve justice, and far too often victims and survivors never even glimpse justice.”
“Trafficking is heinous and brutal – a crime thankfully many of us will never experience. This is a small step we can take to begin protecting our survivors and procure some small modicum of justice.”
“You know you’re on the wrong side of an issue when you deliver a win for human traffickers,” California GOP chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said.
“Democrats on the Public Safety Committee proved they have no intention of protecting the lives of Californians, let alone protecting innocent children from the horrors of human trafficking.”
What we saw today from California Democrats was heartless and disgusting,” Patterson continued.
“Once again, Democrats are looking out for the most vicious criminals at the expense of victims,” California Assembly Republican leader James Gallagher said.
“Any normal person would tell you that human trafficking a minor is a serious crime, but Democrats would rather enable these monsters than hold them accountable,” Gallagher added.