State of CA Proposition 66.

Essay by jasmin284University, Bachelor's January 2006

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As crime rises, government officials and citizens find ways to fight crime, such as passing laws to punish the offenders. The laws that are proposed and voted upon by citizens may bring a sense of peace knowing the offenders of the law will be punished accordingly. However, in some cases, the lack of understanding of the law may create confusion and wrongly harm those who were not the target of the law. A prime example may be the "Three Strikes Law", which was passed by California voters in 1994.

Brief background of Proposition 66.

Many Californians support the law, but they believe it targets violent and serious felons. However, the ACLU reports that more than half of the people punished under Three Strikes laws are convicted of non-violent offenses ( Among several notable propositions appearing on the November 2004 California ballot was Proposition 66, which would limit California's "Three-Strikes" law dealing with sentencing for felony crimes.

Proposition 66, an initiative statute, made it to the ballot in a climate of concern over problems inside the California prison system and alarm over record state budget deficits. It was leaded by Citizens Against Violent Crime, a California political action committee whose chairman, Joe Klaas is the grandfather of Polly Klass, whose murder helped ignite the support for Proposition 184 in 1994. Proposition 66 is also backed by Sacramento businessman Jerry Keenan whose son Richard is serving time for manslaughter after crashing his car while driving drunk and killing two passengers.

Proposition 66 would require that a felony triggering the second and third "strike" be a violent or serious crime instead of any felony, as the current "Three-Strikes" law provides. The "Three-Strikes" law, itself an initiative measure, appeared on the November 1994 ballot as Proposition 184 and was approved with 72...