For Immediate Release
Contact: Greg Butler
August 25, 1994


Assemblyman Chuck Quackenbush charged Art Torres of playing politics with the safety of Californians when Torres used a "parliamentary trick" to kill Quackenbush's legislation punishing juvenile murders as adults.

"Senator Torres has been working all month to shelve our legislation, and today he succeeded," said Quackenbush.

This morning in the Senate Appropriations Committee, AB 136 was moved to the non-existent "Suspense Committee" with Senator Torres supporting the
motion--effectively killing the bill. Prior to today's vote, there had been numerous reports of Senator Torres asking colleagues to kill the bill rather than give Quackenbush a major victory in the last week of session.

"For this bill to get hung up in partisan politics is unconscionable," said Dennis Brown, whose son, Chris was the victim of a gang murder. "Senator Torres traded the lives of our children for his own political gain. Do you think my son cared if his murderer was a Republican or a Democrat?"

AB 136 was approved by the Appropriations Committee in May on a vote of 7-1, when Senator Torres abstained. At the request of Senator Torres, the bill was referred back to the Appropriations Committee's suspense file where it had languished before being addressed today. Since the first of year, at least 30 Californians have died at the hands of 14 and 15-year old killers.

Added Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy who's office sponsored the bill, "Necessary crime bills should not be shelved for partisan political reasons. Regrettably, this happened in the Senate Appropriations Committee with AB 136, apparently at the behest of Senator Torres. That bill would have given judges greater power to deal with 14 and 15 year-old killers who are removed from society for an average of only seven years."

Quackenbush vowed to "pull out every stop" during the last week of session to revive AB 136 "in one form or another".


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