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Criminal defense attorney Jonathan Rooker discusses Prop. 47

When asked about Prop. 47 on Chuck Leonard’s show Central Valley Buzz, Law Offices of Nuttall & Coleman associate Jonathan Rooker said that he “can’t say that it’s been good for society” even though the judicial system’s treatment of some crimes does come away with fairer results.

“A 20-year-old kid with a quarter gram of meth shouldn’t be a death sentence to ever working in a quality job,” Rooker said.

However, the law, which allows for the reclassification of some felonies as misdemeanors, “takes away some of the incentives that a person has,” according to Rooker.

“I like that it’s a misdemeanor, but I don’t like it as much as if they would go through the work to go through rehab to clean it up and get it off their record, and we’ve taken that incentive away from them,” Rooker said.

“A 22-year-old kid’s decision that ‘Eh. It’s just a misdemeanor’ might reflect very badly on that 40-year-old down the road, and we’ve got to look out for that. Rehab’s way more work that getting probation.”

Rooker, who is currently working on his fifth higher education degree, also discussed his open-door policy with public defense attorneys in Fresno, a nod to his own past as a public defense attorney and an acknowledgment of their huge caseloads.

According to Rooker, several public defense attorneys have sought his expertise and help on their cases, and he’s often put in hours on the weekends to help prepare their cases for trial.


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