Anne Marie Schubert
Sacramento County District Attorney
Anne Marie Schubert became a prosecutor fresh out of law school and joined the Sacramento County’s District Attorney’s office in 1996. She never left. Though recent headlines have been abuzz about progressive D.A.s in Los Angeles and San Francisco who want to make the criminal justice system less punitive, Schubert is a career prosecutor of the older school: Tight with law enforcement, vocal about the rights of crime victims and critical of self-proclaimed reformers. Insisting that she’s “not a politician,” she left the Republican Party in 2018 and is running as an independent.
If Schubert is known outside of Sacramento, it’s for her work dredging up grisly, unsolved murder cases and bringing them to trial. Remember the Golden State Killer, the serial murderer who stalked northern California in the 1970s and ‘80s and was finally caught in 2018 with the help of an online genealogical database? Schubert helped lead the investigation and prosecution.
Sacramento County District Attorney
Led a cold case prosecution unit to investigate unsolved murders with the use of DNA forensics, which led to the arrest of the “Golden State Killer.”
Declined to charge two Sacramento police officers after they killed Stephon Clark, an unarmed Black man, in his grandmother’s backyard in 2018.
Served as treasurer of the California District Attorneys Association at a time when the organization was investigated for misappropriating funds.
Led statewide tough-on-crime ballot measure campaigns
Campaigned to preserve the death penalty in California by co-chairing the “No” campaign against Proposition 34 in 2012.
Co-authored Proposition 20 in 2020, an unsuccessful measure to stiffen penalties on property crimes and make it more difficult for some inmates to qualify for early parole.
In 2021, joined 43 other California prosecutors in suing the state to block rules allowing more prison inmates to qualify for early release.
Sacramento County deputy district attorney
Formed the department’s Cold Case Prosecution Unit in 2002, using what was then DNA forensic technology to investigate unsolved murders and other violent crimes.
Charged the “second story rapist” by using a novel approach, identifying suspects only with their genetic profile, to charge a 6-year-old cold case.
“Here is the truth: California’s criminal justice system is in chaos.”
Here’s where Anne Marie Schubert, applicant for attorney general, stands on the big questions about California crime, justice and law. Answers are from a telephone interview and written responses her campaign provided:
Californians are increasingly concerned about crime, though the numbers paint a more complicated picture. Republicans blame voter-approved Proposition 47, which eight years ago lowered some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. While Democrats are talking tough, they’re not proposing a return to longer prison sentences. After several high-profile cases of police killings of Black men and the George Floyd case, the California attorney general’s office now investigates all killings of unarmed civilians by law enforcement officers.
First, she said she would push to repeal Proposition 47, “so that people can be held accountable and addicts can get treatment they desperately need.” Second, she vows to “fix the failures of Proposition 57” — “to classify violent crimes appropriately, limit early releases for these inmates and will aggressively prosecute violent criminals.”
“Prop. 47 was the biggest con job in California history, and I would support a repeal. The correlation between Prop. 47 and the rise in crime is undeniable and as data shows, ‘non-violent’ theft and drug crimes often lead to violent crimes.”
“Yes, I supported the law when it was proposed in the Legislature.”
California voters have repeatedly supported keeping capital punishment, but Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed a moratorium in 2019. Now, legislators and advocates are trying to pare back the death penalty with more piecemeal proposals.
Yes. “The death penalty is reserved for less than 2% of all murders, including serial killers, mass murderers, baby killers and those who murder police officers…The families of murder victims are entitled to justice. Instituting a moratorium on the death penalty ignores not only the will of the voters, but abandons the rights of the murder victim families.”
California has some of the country’s strictest gun laws. But Gov. Newsom and others want to pass more, namely to allow private citizens to sue gun manufacturers over illegal assault weapons and “ghost guns” — a proposal patterned after the Texas abortion law. A law already on the books — banning felons and domestic abusers from having weapons — is under scrutiny for its deadly failures.
“Possibly but not without knowing if the proposed law is constitutional and the details of the proposal.” But she added that while California has the “strictest gun laws in the country,” the bigger problem in the state is not gun control, but a lack of “crime control.”
Advocate for more resources for police departments and collaborate with them to enforce these bans and “seek to amend the early release policies that allow violent felons who use guns out of prison early.”
The state is building a new agency to regulate Google, Facebook and other internet giants. A bill before the Legislature would hold social media companies liable for promoting apps and features that addict and damage kids’ mental health.
She said she would push for more community outreach and would provide assistance to local law enforcement and prosecutors where necessary. She added that she would “seek to investigate the harmful impact” that social media companies may have on children.
California’s Democratic leaders are positioning the state as a sanctuary for people seeking abortions should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade later this year. Hate crimes against Asian Americans jumped during the pandemic, with reported incidents doubling in 2020. Several California cities are rebelling against laws meant to boost affordable housing. And Native American tribes and national betting giants are gearing up for a high-stakes ballot measure fight over online sports gambling.
“I support a woman’s right to choose…If a woman from another state wishes to come to California to exercise that right, I support that. But I don’t think California should be paying for it.”
She pointed to recent state laws that reduced criminal enhancements and made it easier for prison inmates to earn an early release from prison as evidence that “as much as politicians talk tough on hate crimes, they have failed to actually hold those who commit these crimes accountable and only further erode victims’ rights.” She said she supported reversing those policies “to better protect hate crimes victims.”
“I would hold cities and counties accountable that shirk their responsibility to allow the development of affordable housing.”
She opposes the legalization of online sports betting. “If sports betting is legalized, it should be operated by California’s tribes honoring the sovereign right granted them by the voters.”