California General Election - Official Voter Information Guide
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Title and Summary Analysis Arguments and Rebuttals Text of Proposed Law

PROP 83

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.

A rape or sexual assault occurs every two minutes. A child is abused or neglected every 35 seconds.

Over 85,000 registered sex offenders live in California. Current law does not provide Law Enforcement with the tools they need to keep track of these dangerous criminals. Secrecy is the child molester’s biggest tool. How can we protect our children if we don’t even know where the sex offenders are?

Proposition 83 is named after Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped, assaulted, and buried alive by a convicted sex offender who had failed to report where he lived.

Proposition 83 will:

Electronically monitor, through GPS tracking, dangerous sex offenders for life once they finish their prison terms.

Require dangerous sex offenders to serve their entire sentence and not be released early for any reason.

Create PREDATOR FREE ZONES around schools and parks to prevent sex offenders from living near where our children learn and play.

Protect children from INTERNET PREDATORS by cracking down on people who use the Internet to sexually victimize children.

Require MANDATORY MINIMUM PRISON SENTENCES for dangerous child molesters and sex criminals.

Allow prosecutors to charge criminals who possess child pornography with a felony. (Current law treats child porn like trespassing or driving on a suspended license!)

Crime Victims and Law Enforcement leaders urge you to pass this much needed reform. Jessica’s Law is supported by:

• California State Sheriffs Association
• California District Attorneys Association
• California Organization of Police and Sheriffs • California Police Chiefs Association  • Crime Victims United of California  • California Women’s Leadership Association  • California Sexual Assault Investigators Association  • Women Prosecutors of California  • Mothers Against Predators  • Mark Lunsford, father of Jessica Lunsford  • Numerous cities, counties, and local sheriffs, police chiefs, and elected officials.

Law enforcement professionals know there is a high risk that a sexual predator will commit additional sex crimes after being released from prison. Prop. 83 keeps these dangerous criminals in prison longer and keeps track of them once they are released.

Proposition 83 means safer schools, safer parks, and safer neighborhoods.

Proposition 83 means dangerous child molesters will be kept away from our children and monitored for life.

Proposition 83 means predatory sex criminals will be punished and serve their full sentence in every case.

Our families deserve the protection of a tough sex offender punishment and control law. The State Legislature has failed to pass Jessica’s Law time and time again. WE CANNOT WAIT ANOTHER DAY TO PROTECT OUR KIDS.

Vote YES on Proposition 83—JESSICA’S LAW—to protect our families and make California a safer place for all of us. For more information, please visit www.JessicasLaw2006.com.

GOVERNOR ARNOLD   SCHWARZENEGGER

DISTRICT ATTORNEY BONNIE   DUMANIS
San Diego County

HARRIET SALARNO, President
Crime Victims United of California


REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR
OF PROPOSITION 83

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:
  • Residency restrictions do not reduce sex offenses against children or improve children’s safety.

  • Residency restrictions will not be effective against 80 to 90% of sex crimes against children, because those crimes are committed by a relative or acquaintance of the child.

  • Residency restrictions cause sex registrants to disappear from the registration system, harming the interest of public safety.

  • Enforcing the residency restrictions is expensive and ineffective.

  • The law also caused unwarranted disruption to the innocent families of ex-offenders. For all of these reasons, vote “No” on Proposition 83!

CARLEEN R. ARLIDGE, President
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice


REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST
PROPOSITION 83

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:
  • EVERY major POLICE, SHERIFF, and DISTRICT ATTORNEY organization in California strongly supports Jessica’s Law.

  • EVERY major CRIME VICTIM organization in California strongly supports Jessica’s Law.

  • Thousands of dangerous sexual predators are living in our communities and neighborhoods, and police do not have the tools they need to track them down.

  • Jessica’s Law will KEEP TRACK OF FELONY SEX OFFENDERS after their release from prison by requiring them to wear a GPS tracking device at all times.

  • Jessica’s Law will STOP dangerous sex offenders from living near schools and parks where they can stalk and prey on our children.

Your YES vote on Proposition 83—Jessica’s Law—will give law enforcement the tools they need to stop sexual predators before they strike again.

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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