The California Experiment

Read an L.A.-area gang member’s confession to police after the killing of a Whittier police officer

Mi­chael Mejia, an ad­mit­ted East Los Angeles gang mem­ber, men­tioned one of Cali­for­nia’s key justice re­forms in his state­ment to hom­icide de­tect­ives ex­plain­ing why he killed a Whit­ti­er po­lice of­ficer last year. In the state­ment, he com­plained that As­sembly Bill 109 — known as AB109 — had res­ul­ted in au­thor­it­ies re­peatedly try­ing to lock up gang mem­bers like him. The 2011 law, which is one of sev­er­al key justice re­forms passed re­cently in Cali­for­nia, downs­ized the pris­on pop­u­la­tion and shif­ted the bur­den for hous­ing and su­per­vising thou­sands of in­mates from the state to the counties.

Sources: Los Angeles County Superior Court