EGP Nov. 2012 Ballot Recommendation
By EGP Editorial
Yes on Proposition 36—Three Strikes Law for Repeat Felony Offenders, Penalties
We believe that when voters passed the three strikes law they intended to keep repeat offenders of serious felonies in jail for life.
Unfortunately, the three strikes law has had some unintended consequences. Many of those sentenced under the Three Strikes Law and now in jail for life did not commit a serious or violent crime that would merit this substantial penalty.
But by sentencing them under Three Strikes, not only has the spirit of the law been violated, we have also added to the strain on our courts, over-crowding in our jails and prisons, all the while costing the public millions of more dollars.
Prop 36 will not allow for the re-sentencing of those convicted of selling, furnishing, giving or administering any methamphetamine or related drug if charged with a minor offense.
But murderers, rapists and child molesters will serve life sentences even if the new offense is a minor offense.
These are among the crimes the public intended to stop with three strikes.
As for the possibility of crime going up in California, states that do not have three strikes laws have not seen crime rise, in fact in New York, which does not have a three strikes law, crime has declined at higher rate than in California.
These facts along with the savings of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue get our endorsement of Prop. 36.
Yes on Proposition 35—Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative.
The fact that children and teens are prey for those who use human beings for sexual crimes, ruining their lives by subjecting them to inhumane treatment, degrading their existence and our society, is reason enough for us to issue a forceful Yes on measure 35.
But just as important as the penalty enhancements that will be added to the sentencing of anyone convicted of trafficking in child sexual abuse, is the cultural shift in our understanding of human trafficking that will be brought about by the relabeling and stigmatizing of those found guilty of these crimes. A 12-14 year-old girl or boy caught up in a prostitution sting will no longer be seen as criminal, instead they will treated as victims and provided with wrap around services to help them try and get their life back together. Pimps, who these days are more likely to ply their trade on the Internet then on a street corner, will be forced to register as sex offenders if convicted of forcing a juvenile to have sex. They will also be required to turn over email addresses to authorities for monitoring.
Human trafficking is not just a criminal bringing in child sex slaves from other countries, on the contrary, most of the children who fall into this category were born right here in the U.S. And a large number of them have been in our foster care system.
As far as we are concerned these punishments are justified, so let’s not quibble with inane arguments against Prop. 35. Vote Yes.
Yes on Prop 37 – Genetically Engineered Food Labeling, Initiative.
This newspaper has always stressed and fought for the public’s right to know, and as a result strongly endorses Californian’s right to know what’s in their food, and how its been processed and to know whether its been genetically altered and how.
The argument that it will cost the consumer hundreds of millions of dollars just does not make sense. The public should not have to guess whether their food is free from disease, carcinogenic substances and contamination or is adulterated, so why should genetic alteration be omitted from this list. Yes on Prop 37.
October 11, 2012 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.