Patterico's Pontifications

10/30/2004

Yet Another Challenge for the Supporters of Proposition 66

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 11:15 pm

I am issuing a lot of challenges to supporters of Proposition 66 these days, and previous few supporters are stepping up to the plate. I am nevertheless undaunted, and issue this new challenge to people like Joe Klaas, who maintain that it’s dishonest to claim that the proposition might resentence 22,000 second-strike inmates (along with the 4,000 third-strike inmates that everyone agrees will be resentenced).

Here is my question to you, Joe Klaas, and everyone making the same claim:

The language of the proposition says that the resentencing provisions apply to everyone sentenced under the strike law, “including, but not limited to” third strikers who received life sentences under the law.

So, all you folks who so glibly accuse others of being liars: answer me this — just what the hell does the “not limited to” language refer to, if not second-strikers???

Don’t hide behind the skirts of the state Legislative Counsel, or some dumb-ass Superior Court judge in Sacramento. You want to call people liars, then you give me your own legal analysis. What does the “not limited to” language mean?

What do you want to bet I don’t get one damned reasoned response to this question?

Not-So-Hypothetical Proposition 66 Question

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 10:39 pm

I would like to present the following question to Proposition 66 supporters. Our not-so-hypothetical defendant is a gang member who earns two strike convictions in the late ’80s and early ’90s for arson and robbery. In the late 1990s, he picks up two new felony convictions, for domestic violence and drug sales.

Should this man receive a 25-to-life sentence for either offense? (Hint: under Proposition 66, he cannot.)

If you answered “no,” then congratulations. You just freed the man who killed LAPD officer Ricardo Lizarraga earlier this year.

Don’t Lose Heart! Proposition 66 May Lose Yet!

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 10:08 pm

Tonight, I sent out a chain-letter e-mail containing the text of my op-ed opposing Proposition 66. In reply, Three Strikes supporter Mike Reynolds sent me an e-mail this evening with some very good news. Hold on to your hats:

Pat, the Field Poll (http://www.field.com/index.html) has prop 66 down by one point (as of Oct. 27), a big decrease from the 53% approval they enjoyed just last week. Still it is not time to relax our efforts. I’ll forward your chain email on to some friends and hopefully they know some undecideds.

I was shocked by this. The last polls I saw showed 3-1 support for the measure.

Spurred by Mike’s e-mail, I hopped on the internet and searched for proof of his statement. Sure enough, it’s true:

SACRAMENTO — Proposition 66, which would restrict the “three strikes” sentencing law, is in jeopardy after enjoying strong support throughout most of the campaign, according to a new Field Poll.

The trend against the initiative on Tuesday’s ballot comes as opponents, led by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, have geared up a late campaign blitz to defeat it.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, where it’s moving so much within the final week,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the nonpartisan Field Poll.

During the first part of the survey, from Oct. 21 through Oct. 24, likely voters who had heard of the measure strongly supported it, 58 percent to 34 percent. But between Monday and Wednesday, support among voters who had heard of the measure dropped dramatically, with 46 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing the measure.

In the past week, the opposition campaign, which had been nearly invisible, sprang into action by running an ad featuring Schwarzenegger urging voters to reject the measure because it would let dangerous criminals out of prison.

The ad was part of a last-minute drive by prison guards, the governor and wealthy businessman Henry Nicholas to defeat the measure. Schwarzenegger plans to highlight his opposition today on a bus tour that begins in Del Mar.

“The opposition campaign suddenly emerged,” DiCamillo said.

Backers have also increased funding for their own ads this week. They argue that Proposition 66 will fix three strikes by preventing criminals who commit relatively minor crimes for their third strike, including petty thieves who steal golf clubs, from getting a sentence of 25 years to life.

In contrast to the latest poll an early October Field Poll showed Proposition 66 with strong support, 65 percent to 18 percent.

All of a sudden, I feel less like I am tilting at a giant windmill of ignorance.

The fight continues throughout the weekend. Don’t lose heart. Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. Send chain-mails. Get the word out! We still have a chance.

L.A. Times Hypocrisy on Proposition 69

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:22 pm

The Los Angeles Times has run several pieces (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) praising LAPD’s use of a DNA database to catch a serial killer — and to exonerate a wrongly convicted man.

So why does the Times oppose Proposition 69, which would expand the DNA database in California, and make it more effective — both in seeking the guilty, and also in exonerating the innocent?

The paper’s attempt to explain its opposition to Proposition 69 comes in this editorial. The editors’ arguments against the proposition are factually flawed, inconsistent with their positions on other propositions, and otherwise unconvincing. The editorial is a prime example of limousine liberals moaning about problems while rejecting the solutions to those problems.
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I Hope You’re F**king Happy, President Bush

Filed under: Morons — AMac @ 5:34 pm

Senator Arlen Specter, the man who made “Bork” a verb rather than a name, will be chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee when he wins re-election.

He also barely beat a primary challenge from Representative Pat Toomey, a conservative favorite.

Many observers credit campaigning by President Bush and Senator Rick Santorum for Specter’s survival.

And then Arlen goes and does this:
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Proposition 66 Debate

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 2:58 pm

Following are excerpts from a debate on Proposition 66, between an Orange County deputy district attorney named Brian Gurwitz, and the man who wrote the original draft of the proposition, Sam Clauder.

You have to laugh to keep from crying.

In order to fully appreciate these excerpts, you need to understand two very important points.

First, Proposition 66 will indeed result in the release of thousands of criminals with histories of serious and violent crime. Thousands of third-strike defendants will have their sentences cut drastically. In most cases, their new sentences will be 3-5 years — of which they must serve only half. By the time they have their sentencing hearings in early 2005, most of these convicts will already have served their entire sentence — and they will be released immediately.

Second, judges have absolutely no discretion to keep these criminals in prison. Resentencing is mandatory.

What is utterly bizarre about this debate is that Sam Clauder, the Proposition 66 supporter, doesn’t seem to understand either of these points. Clauder seems like a very nice and well-intentioned man, but he just has no idea of the damage that his law is going to cause. What is especially amusing (in a tragic sort of way) is that the deputy district attorney seems to come close to having a stroke, as he tries to explain to Clauder what his own law is going to do.

The best part is when Clauder seems to have a real “oh, shit!” moment as he studies the mug shot of Steven Matthews, a convicted murderer who will be released by Proposition 66. For a fleeting moment, you can see that Clauder is actually disturbed by the prospect that this dangerous man is going to be released. Then the mask goes back up, and Clauder reverts to his implausible arguments that Matthews may have turned his life around and found Christ — notwithstanding his possession of a machete and a rock hammer inscribed with the words “fag finder reminder.”

Here are the excerpts:
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Anti-66 Piece in WSJ

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 2:39 pm

All supporters of Proposition 66 should read this piece in the Wall Street Journal. (Thanks to Cobb for the pointer.)

A Question for Proposition 66 Supporters

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 2:38 pm

I have a very important question for supporters of Proposition 66.

You believe that few if any violent criminals will be released by the proposition. Here is my question: if you turn out to be wrong, how many violent crimes will have to be committed before you will admit that you were wrong?

How many murders would have to be committed by people released by this initiative before you would conclude that it was a mistake to vote for it?

1?

10?

50?

100?

Are you willing to speak to the family of a murder victim killed by a Proposition 66 beneficiary, to explain to them why it made sense to free their loved one’s killer?

How many additional residential burglaries will it take before you agree that it was a mistake to release these criminals? How many children will have to be molested? How many women will have to be raped?

If District Attorneys across the state do their job, we will know how many extra violent crimes were committed because of Prop. 66. I have already suggested to my administration that our office (the L.A. County D.A.) should keep track of the crimes committed by people released by this initiative. If my suggestion is accepted, and if District Attorneys across the state do the same, then after 2-5 years, we will have accurate statistics on the number of additional crimes committed by the people released.

I am quite certain that the list will include murders, shootings, rapes, child molestations, and numerous other violent crimes.

So tell me: how many violent crimes are you willing to accept?

This is a serious, non-rhetorical question, and I want straightforward answers, not clever debating tactics. I already understand that we could stop all crime by locking everyone up, so I don’t need to hear that answer. I want to know your real opinion. Let’s see if a single supporter is willing to step up to the plate and answer this question.

A Challenge to Proposition 66 Supporters

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 2:21 pm

If you support Proposition 66, I want to hear your reasons in the comments. I will answer any reasonable argument.

UPDATE: Helllllooooo?!?!?!? Anybody out there?????

One Mind Changed on Proposition 66

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 1:52 pm

If you are for Proposition 66, I have two posts for you to read. Both are by our friend and fellow Bear Flagger Cobb.

For what it’s worth, Cobb is a black man from Los Angeles. He is a conservative, but one clearly in tune with the fact that racism is alive and well in the country. His posts on 66 reflect a concern, which I believe has some validity, that Three Strikes has resulted in overly harsh life sentences for some non-violent people.

The first one is titled Yes On 66. In this post, Cobb sets forth his reasons for supporting Proposition 66. Those reasons are founded on misconceptions held by a large section of the voting public.

If you read the comments to that post, you’ll see Xrlq and myself attempting to set Cobb straight on these points. And guess what? Instead of keeping his mind closed (like most people would), Cobb listened to us, and did some more research.

And then he wrote the second post I want you to read, titled Swayed. It ends with these beautiful words:

NO ON 66

My thoughts on what this means are in the extended entry.
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