Proposition 13

by Jacqueline Sit
NewsWest 9

"We seen a lot of extremely violent crimes that have escalated from domestic violence," Bobby Bland, Ector County District Attorney, said.

As in the case of Leo Luna who plead guilty to killing his pregnant girlfriend, and her mother back in 2005 after a history of domestic violence.  More recently, the deaths of three Odessa officers all started from a domestic dispute.

"We've seen cases where family violence escalated to murder, and if this helps prevent one murder then it's worth it," Bland said.

If passed, Proposition 13 states anyone who violates court orders commits a felony or family violence can be denied bond and locked up until it's time for trial.

Of course, it varies on a case by case basis.  Right now, the law states that person has the right to bail out after 72 hours.

"Once someone commits a family violence or once they're arrested for that, they're going to get out they're going to bond," Bland said.

But not for long if they break the rules and it's a move advocates at the crisis center are also applauding.  Keeping offenders behind bars could give victims what they need, more time.

"It's not always easy to exit a home in 72 hours get everything moved out that you need, I know I've never done that, moved from one place to another in 72 hours, to get up and go and all of that," Valerie Reyna, an advocate with The Crisis Center, said.

Opponents say Proposition 13 could push the envelope with our already overcrowded jails.  But Ector County D. A. Bobby Bland says that won't be the case.

"If someone commits family violence, we need to make room in the jail for them," Bland said.

Bland goes on to say this amendment won't be a cure for all, and it could be a challenge.

"These cases are difficult to prosecute, because often the victim wants to drop charges they love the person that did this, and this may be a way for them to protect them from themselves," Bland said.