|Title and Summary||Analysis||Arguments and Rebuttals||Text of Proposed Law|
|SEX OFFENDERS. SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS. PUNISHMENT, RESIDENCE RESTRICTIONS AND MONITORING. INITIATIVE STATUTE.|
|ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION 83||ARGUMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 83|
Proposition 83—JESSICA’S LAW—will protect our
children by keeping child molesters in prison longer; keeping
them away from schools and parks; and monitoring their
movements after they are released.
The argument in favor of Proposition 83 ignores the sad lessons learned by other states. For example, the leading prosecutors’ association in Iowa, which once urged the adoption of laws similar to Proposition 83, now argues that those laws be repealed because they have proven to be ineffective, a drain on crucial law enforcement resources, and far too costly to taxpayers. California cannot afford to repeat that mistake.
The Proponents claim that the law is directed at “child molesters” and “dangerous sex offenders,” but its most punitive and restrictive measures would apply far more broadly: even to those convicted of misdemeanor, nonviolent offenses. They would also apply to people who have long led law-abiding lives for years after completing their sentences. More specifically, the Proposition would:
— Prohibit thousands of misdemeanor offenders from living near a school or park for the rest of their lives.
— Impose lifetime GPS monitoring on first-time offenders convicted of nonviolent offenses. For example, a 19-year-old boy could be subjected to lifetime monitoring after a conviction for having sexual contact with his 17-year-old girlfriend.
— Impose both lifetime residence restrictions and lifetime GPS monitoring on thousands of people who have lived law abiding lives for years or even decades.
These results are simply wrong.
Here’s the bottom line. California has laws that protect us from Sexually Violent Predators, and this Initiative could have focused on such dangerous persons. But, it does not! Don’t be fooled. VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 83.
CARLEEN R. ARLIDGE, President
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
|Proposition 83 would cost taxpayers an estimated $500
million but would not increase our children’s safety. Instead,
by diluting law enforcement resources, the initiative would
actually reduce most children’s security while increasing the
danger for those most at risk:
—First, the initiative proposes to “monitor” every registered sex offender, on the misguided theory that each is likely to reoffend against “strangers.” But law enforcement experience shows that when sex registrants reoffend, their targets are usually members of their own household. This Proposition would do nothing to safeguard children in their own homes, even though they are most at risk.
—Second, the Proposition would not focus on the real problem—dangerous sex offenders—but would instead waste limited resources tracking persons who pose no risk. The new law would create an expensive tracking system for thousands of registrants who were convicted of minor, nonviolent offenses, perhaps years or decades ago. Law enforcement’s resources should be directed toward high risk individuals living in our neighborhoods.
Proposition 83 would have other dangerous, unintended consequences. The Proposition’s monitoring provisions would be least effective against those posing the greatest danger. Obviously, dangerous offenders would be the least likely to comply, so the proposed law would push the more serious offenders underground, where they would be less effectively monitored by police. In addition, by prohibiting sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school, the initiative would force many offenders from urban to rural areas with smaller police forces. A high concentration of sex offenders in rural neighborhoods will not serve public safety.
Prosecutors in the State of Iowa know from sad experience that this type of residency restriction does not work. In 2001, Iowa adopted a similar law, but the association of county prosecutors that once advocated for that law now say that it “does not provide the protection that was originally intended and that the cost of enforcing the requirement and unintended effects on families of offenders warrant replacing the restriction with more effective protective measures.” (February 14, 2006, “Statement on Sex Offender Residency Restrictions in Iowa,” Iowa County Attorneys Association.) (To see the full Statement, go to: www.iowa-icaa.com/index.htm or www.cacj.org.)
A summary of the Iowa prosecutors’ findings shows why the Iowa law was a disaster and why Proposition 83 must be rejected:
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
Don’t be fooled by the false arguments the group of lawyers against Proposition 83 is making. They represent criminal defense attorneys who make their living defending criminals. Of course they don’t want tougher laws!
Let’s consider the FACTS:
The man who confessed to murdering nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford was a convicted sex offender who failed to register with local police. He took Jessica from her bedroom window, assaulted her for three days, and buried her alive only a few doors from her home.
GPS MONITORING COULD HAVE SAVED JESSICA’S LIFE! Tragically, it’s too late to save Jessica Lunsford. But it’s not too late to prevent countless other children from being attacked and murdered by sexual predators.
Vote YES on 83—Jessica’s Law.
MONTY HOLDEN, Executive Director
California Organization of Police and Sheriffs (COPS)
STEVE IPSEN, President
California Deputy District Attorneys Association
SHERIFF GARY PENROD, President
California State Sheriffs Association
Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.
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