Patterico's Pontifications


Survey on Proposition 66

Filed under: No on 66 — Patterico @ 10:55 am

I have a question for the readers. Has my coverage of Proposition 66 had any influence on how you (or anyone close to you) will vote on the initiative? Is there anyone whose mind was changed by reading my posts? If so, what was the most significant factor in your decision?

I would truly appreciate any feedback on this.

25 Responses to “Survey on Proposition 66”

  1. Your first major post convinced me, and were the deciding factor for me. Before that I hadn’t read much more than the title. Given only that, I probably would have voted yes, on a knee-jerk anti-drug-war basis.

    I have related some of what you wrote to 2 others who are also voting against.

    It is entirely possible that your crusade may have got Nichols and others off the dime.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  2. Both my wife and I voted No on 66, based in part on your op-ed. (We voted early via mail.) Thanks for your blog.

    Green Garden (52a089)

  3. No, your coverage hasn’t changed my thoughts on it. I appreciate your opinions, and have enjoyed reading your thoughts on it very much, but I’m still in favor of 66. Basically because I’m against three strikes laws in general. I’ve written more about it here:

    Sean Bonner (d9c1ed)

  4. Sean,

    I read your post, and I’m afraid you fall into the category of those who will never be persuaded. Whether you mean it or not, you argue in your post that sending people to prison for life, given the current state of our prison system, is “f–king stupid.” No qualifiers; just an argument that we should not send people to prison for life, period.

    Taking your post seriously, your argument would free Charlie Manson and Richard Ramirez. That’s not an argument I can reason with.

    Patterico (756436)

  5. Btw, you cite some guy named “Busblog” in your post who is totally clueless. He argues that a guy could get a first strike for punching a guy in a bar (wrong: simple battery is a misdemeanor; only assault with a deadly weapon is a strike), a second for doing a line of coke (wrong: neither possession of cocaine nor being under the influence of cocaine is a strike, and the latter is a misdemeanor), and a third for a DUI (wrong: a standard first-time DUI is a misdemeanor).

    Guys like that shouldn’t be allowed near a computer to opine on serious issues like this. Nor should they be allowed anywhere near a voting booth.

    I’m kidding — but only sort of.

    He also admits to acting improperly as a juror, paying attention to possible punishment when the instructions say not to — for good reason: jurors assume it’s a third strike when there is no goddamn basis to do so, and they’re wrong about it all the time. Sometimes people go to trial just because.

    Patterico (756436)

  6. You can take your arguements with Tony Pierce up with him as I’m not interested in defending other peoples statements. I will defend mine however and your misquoting me. Your statement:

    “you argue in your post that sending people to prison for life, given the current state of our prison system, is “f–king stupid.””

    is misquted through and through, check my post, I said:

    “I think that sending more people there FOR FUCKING LIFE while it’s messed up is just plain stupid.”

    I’m saying sending MORE people to prison is “Just plain stupid” I’m not talking about people that are there already, like Charles Manson or Richard Ramirez, I’m saying that there serious problems that need to be addressed before adding more to them.

    I’m not sure why you think it’s “unfortunate” that I’m one of those people who won’t be persuaded, I have an opinion and so do you. that’s one of the great things about this country, everyone has the right to look at the issues and come to their own conclutions about them. That’s not unfortunate at all.

    Sean Bonner (d9c1ed)

  7. So we should keep serial killers in prison if they are already locked up — but any new serial killers who pop up now should not be sent to prison for life?

    So what should be done with today’s serial killers?

    Nobody’s saying you don’t have a right to your opinions, but I consider it unfortunate that I can’t possibly persuade you that you’re wrong on this very important issue.

    Patterico (756436)

  8. Sorry if I misrepresented your position, btw. I don’t do that intentionally. However, I think your actual position makes no more sense than the way I portrayed it — unless I have misunderstood you again.

    Patterico (756436)

  9. Boys, boys, here, now…

    I would probably have voted against it anyway. Your advocacy and your professional credibility convinced me it was important enough to e-mail some friends about.

    See-Dubya (85b967)

  10. I’m not talking about serial killers, I’m talking about three strikes laws, that’s what the post is about, that’s why my position is about. Not that it makes any difference, but I also think you are wrong, but I appreciate you opinion and your right to make that decision. I’m a big fan of your site, i just happen to disagree on this topic.

    Sean Bonner (d9c1ed)

  11. Sean,

    Like I said, I wondered whether your post really meant what it said. If it’s limited to strikers, then it makes much more sense. I still don’t get the sense that I could persuade you.

    In any event, keep reading, and thanks for the kind words.

    See Dubya,

    Thanks for e-mailing people about this. I think such activity is very important in these final days.

    Patterico (756436)

  12. Your early posts converted me from a casual opponent to a firebrand. When it first came out, I assumed Prop 66 was what its proponents claimed it was, an initiative to require the third strike to meet the same criteria as the first two. I still would have voted no, but I wouldn’t have spent much time or energy attempting to persuade others.

    Xrlq (6d213c)

  13. While I found your discussions of the topic to be enlightening and informative, I had already decided prior to reading your missives to vote against Proposition 66. My opinion on the matter is, much to the chagrin and dismay of many of my co-workers and friends, very, very simple. Crime should beget punishment, and people who choose to commit crimes should be forced to be accountable for their actions.

    There are probably very few, if any, people in California who do not know about the “Three-Strikes and You’re Out” law. For convicted criminals, they no doubt know that what they did was a crime and should be well aware that they may or may not be racking up strikes against themselves each time they face a judge or jury. If they then choose to commit [yet] ANOTHER crime, knowing that if caught they could get put away for life, then that’s their own choice to make and their own damn fault for being so stupid. I’ll be damned if they should not be held accountable for their own actions because someone cries out that a criminal was put away for life in prison just for stealing a pizza or robbing someone. Remember that even if the pizza incident was the criminal’s third strike, he still had TWO OTHER STRIKES BEFORE THE PIZZA INCIDENT. It’s not like it was a first time offense, or anything. He knew that he was already a convicted criminal, and he therefore should have known better before stealing the pizza.

    Sorry folks, but I have no sympathy for criminals. If they do the crime, then they should be prepared to do the time. I have always been in support of the Three Strikes law. Any lessening of the severity only indicates that we are not serious in being tough on crime.

    Kasey (7be584)

  14. Kasey- Just one question for you. Don’t you think that someone who kills a person should be punished more than someone who robs someone at knife point? If a criminal already has two strikes, and he wants to rob me and knows he’s facing the same jail time if he gets caught if he just takes my money and runs as if he kills me, rapes my wife, then kills her, and then takes the money and runs, what is going to stop him from taking the latter route? Personally I’d rather just be robbed than killed, but if the punishment is the same, I don’t thinkg there’s much standing in the way.

    Sean Bonner (d9c1ed)

  15. Personally I’d rather just be robbed than killed, but if the punishment is the same, I don’t thinkg there’s much standing in the way.

    Well, just the statistics. In the 1980s, the penalties for sex crimes were greatly increased. A study conducted showed that perpetrators were NOT more likely to kill their victims as a result of the increase in punishment. I know of no findings that the imposition of the three strikes laws has lead to an increase in murder. In fact, there has been a steady decline in violent crime.

    julie (9154e0)

  16. Your view have made me much more confident in much discussions of this matter — esp. with my lawyer wife.

    PrestoPundit (cd3f73)

  17. Patterico,

    I was against Prop. 66 from the start, but I was impressed with your work when I saw some of your anti 66 posts.

    For fun I did a “Prop. 66″ search on your site, and found you written literally scores and scores of posts highlighting the perils and pitfalls of 66. Then I was REALLY impressed; more like blown away.

    You are doing a great work against a truly wretched Proposition. I think it’s fantastic.

    If Prop 66 goes down I hope you have a BIG party, and I hope I get an invite.

    clark (866957)

  18. I appreciate all the compliments, but I was really most interested in knowing what the *issues* were that turned people around — so I could stress such issues in the last day before the election.

    Patterico (756436)

  19. Sorry..

    But as the father of a 15 yr old who now has one strike against him for igniting the feathery plume of a pampas grass plant and getting convicted for felony arson because of the strong feelings of the judge and DA as a result of the big California fires last year (and (probably in part because being long-term unemployed I couldn’t afford the $5,000 for a decent lawyer), I will vote for Prop 66.

    Although he will apply to get the strike removed when he turns 18, I’ve heard that less than 50% of those seeking removal get it approved, leaving teens to face adulthood with one/two strikes against them.

    You may be in favor of the 3 strikes concept, but I can attest that the Orange County DA’s office takes a hard-line stance on it’s cases. I have heard from a Public Defender that the assistant DA’s are evaluated on the number of convictions they get with more credit for felony convictions, and there is no incentive for them to reduce the charges to lesser counts. Therefore, they will seek a felony conviction even if a lesser charge may be more appropriate to the situation.

    When you combine the current 3-Strikes law with an overzealous DA’s office, you have a recipe for the types of situations that many of those who voted for the original 3-stikes law would not agree with today.

    The most troubling thing I see in the current law is that 3 strikes can be given in one trial. If, for example, someone steals a car (1), tries to run from the police (2), and happens to have drugs in his possession, doesn’t getting convicted on the three counts result in 3 strikes? Since the commission of most any crime results in multiple infractions of the criminal code, this seems fundamentally unfair. (By the way, check out the California criminal code sometime and pray that the police don’t arbitrarily decide to pursue many of the “crimes” listed. I suspect that a whole bunch of so-called “law-abiding citizens” break one of the statuates at least once a month. Be especially careful of the sex-related “laws”! The criminal code needs a major overhaul!!)

    I have read that the state legislature has done zero to fine tune the flawed 3 strikes law currently in effect and has no incentive to take the political risk to address any changes. I believe that by passing Prop 66, potentially the legislature will act to make changes in the revised law.

    This law is flawed and no one will fix it unless we vote for this proposition. I am saddened that so many have come out against it. I guess until they experience the problems first-hand, they will not understand it’s need to be reformed.

    Also, seeing that all the ads calling for a “No” vote are funded in part by Prison guards union, makes me extremely suspect of their motives.

    Cz (494d1f)

  20. Oh, the issues?

    I would have to say dog-beheading would be the issue. I am against it. Yep, that whole pruning shears to the pooch’s neck thing– very, very persuasive.

    I have a kid. I don’t want that creep out breathing the same air. That’s THE issue.

    See-Dubya (85b967)

  21. Cz,

    Like most supporters of 66, you misunderstand the strike law.

    But as the father of a 15 yr old who now has one strike against him . . .

    Impossible. There is not a single 15-year-old in the state with a strike against him — because juvenile adjudications don’t count as strikes unless the offense was committed at age 16 or older. That’s Penal Code section 1170.12(b)(3).

    (I have to add that I am not giving you legal advice; I am prohibited from doing so by my job. I am just commenting on an issue of public interest. But you can go read section 1170.12(b)(3) for yourself. Your kid does not have a strike.)

    If, for example, someone steals a car (1), tries to run from the police (2), and happens to have drugs in his possession, doesn’t getting convicted on the three counts result in 3 strikes?

    Nope. It results in zero strikes — because car theft, evading the police, and drug possession are not strikes.

    Patterico (756436)

  22. Thanks, Pat, your analysis moved me to strongly against.

    Although I routinely vote against propositions because of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    What I would vote for is a truth-in-labeling proposition for propositions.

    Prop 66 is The Three Strikes and Child Protection Act of 2004? Give me a break.

    tvd (71b784)

  23. Patterico…

    I can only hope that you are correct. Unfortunately, the Public Defender’s Office, the DA, and the presiding Commissioner in the Juvenile case against my 15 yr old were quite clear in their statements that my son needed to be aware that he would have one strike by being found guilty of felony arson. Their understanding may be incorrect, but they deal with the court system on a day-to-day basis and you would believe that if they are simply trying to scare a juvenile, they would be less blatant in their overall complicity.

    As far as the Three-Strikes proposition, much of my view is based on looking through the 100+ cases that are detailed in the website:

    You can argue a number of issues, but when I read through these cases, I cannot help but find that the current implementation of the 3-Strikes provision is not what the residents of California wanted to see.

    As the legislature refuses to correct the inequities in the provision, I will vote in favor of Proposition 66, in spite of the ridiculous charges that 26,000 prisoners will immediately be released onto the public.

    It looks like the Proposition will lose, but I will remain a strong proponent of getting rid of the 3-Strikes provisions.

    Cz (494d1f)

  24. I was pre-disposed against 66, being a one-strike-and-you’re-outer for a whole range of crimes, but your details confirmed my expectations about this particular measure. Thanks.

    Alec (d39988)

  25. Cz:
    Patterico is correct. For a prior conviction to be a strike, your son must have been 16 at the time the offense occurred. He even referred you to the specific code section to read for yourself. I suggest you check page 114 of your Voter’s pamphlet under 1170.12(b)(3)(A). I don’t know what you were told, but your belief is incorrect. And frankly, Patterico probably has had more criminal experience and better qualifications then the people you say you dealt with. Furthermore, the website you refer to is deliberately misleading.

    Frankly, I won’t waste my time trying to change your mind. I just wanted to set the record straight for others who might read your post and get the wrong idea.

    julie (bf2f5e)

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