Vote no on Proposition 36

October 9, 2012

Leslie Halls

OPINION By LESLIE HALLS

Proposition 36 would revise the current Three Strikes law and would allow current convicted felons serving 25-life under Three Strikes to petition for a reduced sentence.

The Three Strikes law was passed in 1994 and shortly after its passage, crime in California dropped significantly and has remained at lower levels. Violent crimes have decreased by 18 percent and homicide decreased by 31 percent since Three Strikes’ inception. Prop 36 would modify the three strikes law to impose life sentence only when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent.”

Proponents of Prop 36 say that this would “make room for dangerous felons,” but the truth is only 6.6 percent of all prisoners in California are these “third strikers.” These are criminals so dangerous they are serving 25 to life sentences as charged by a District Attorney, as convicted by a jury, as imposed by a judge, and whose legal appeals have been denied.

As the widow of a former district attorney in Plumas County, I know it is very difficult to get felony convictions for murder. There is a tendency to plea bargain to a lesser crime and this automatically becomes a “conviction” for the district attorney’s office. It is regrettably an efficiency measure, because the courts are so clogged with cases.

There are some people who should never ever be let out. If the threat of punishment under Three Strikes has not been a deterrent, then perhaps keeping this 6.6 percent of the prison population incarcerated is a factor in reducing violent crime so substantially.

“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Vote no on Proposition 36.

Leslie Halls is a San Luis Obispo resident and the director of the San Luis Obispo County Builders Exchange.


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23 Comments

  1. justme says:

    Oh no, you mean my private prisons stocks will drop?? No fair, that’s why we have the 3 strikes law.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. WiseGuy says:

    It’s been several days now and Leslie Halls is STILL not willing to defend her misleading article against all the attacks and criticism. Not surprised.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  3. malovato says:

    I work as a Correctional Officer at CMC. I can tell you the 3 strikes law can be very unfair. There is an inmate that is on my tier in A Quad @ 45 years old doing 26 years to life. You know what his Third Strike was? He was arrested for receiving stolen property, A riding mower. Some other guy stole it. Told my inmate he’d give him $100 if he sold it. Being a drug addict at the time my inmate attempted to sell the mower and was arrested. Being his “third strike” he was sentenced to LIFE.

    I swear to God I am NOT making this up. I’ve seen murderers get released doing less time!! Citizens think Third Strike Laws apply to only violent offenders. NOT TRUE. There are many drug related offenders doing heavy long time under 3 Strikes. I’m a Correctional Officer. I normally don’t have empathy for these criminals but when I see downright injustice I get angry at our justice system. I’m not saying this inmate was a saint on the street and of course anybody would be angry at having property stolen from them. But to sentence a person 26 to Life is WAY overboard. Vote YES on 36

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • WiseGuy says:

      Thank you for you information and common sense! Yes on Prop 36!

      (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
  4. WiseGuy says:

    Is it too much to ask that Leslie Halls herself respond to the many legitimate challenges to her opinion, and particularly the many facts that readers have contributed here that challenge the very logic of her wasteful, misanthropic, fear-based viewpoint?

    Should we consider silence on Halls’ part to be a sign of white flag surrender to the truth, fairness and compassion?

    (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
    • r0y says:

      Who’s this “we” you speak of? Do you have a mouse in your pocket? You’re better to phrase your question into a statement such as “I will take her silence as…”

      Also, should there not be a more flattering picture of the author? That one looks a bit… unhinged. I know it was probably the camera catching her at the wrong moment, but it feels very “tabloidy” of an image.

      (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
      • WiseGuy says:

        When I say “we”, I am referring to critical-thinking CCN readers who don’t appreciate misleading articles that threaten the well- being of our community.

        (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down

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