MEASURE 74


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

MEASURE 74 MEANS THAT SENTENCES

IMPOSED BY JUDGES

WILL ACTUALLY BE CARRIED OUT

Measure 74 reflects part of what was originally passed by the voters as Measure 40 in November 1996. Measure 40 was set aside by the Oregon Supreme Court because it amended more than one part of the Oregon Constitution, and the Court said each amendment must be voted on separately. So, the Legislature has split the original Measure 40 into separate amendments for consideration by the voters. This is one of those amendments.

This measure helps guarantee that sentencing laws will be enforced, and that sentences imposed by judges will be respected. It prevents the subsequent reduction of these sentences unless the reduction has occurred through judicial proceedings or the sentencing court has agreed to the reduction, or unless the reduction has occurred through the traditional power of the Governor to grant a reprieve, commutation, or pardon.

It is important for offenders to understand that the sentence imposed by the judge will be carried out. If the Legislature establishes more liberal sentencing policies, and tries to apply them retroactively, the sentencing court must agree to the liberalization of the sentence, or the original sentence will stay in place.

This measure helps preserve and protect the right of crime victims to justice, and to ensure that a fair balance is struck between the rights of crime victims and the rights of criminal defendants in the course and conduct of court proceedings.

Referral of this measure to the voters was sought by the three largest, longest established victims' organizations in Oregon (Parents of Murdered Children; Mothers Against Drunk Driving,; Crime Victims United) and by Oregon law enforcement organizations (Association Chiefs of Police; District Attorneys Association; State Sheriffs Association; State Police; Federation of Parole and Probation Officers).

Please vote yes on Measure 74 to ensure that "truth in sentencing" will really apply in Oregon.

Kevin L. Mannix
State Representative

(This information furnished by Kevin L. Mannix, Justice For All.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

In 1996, Oregonians overwhelmingly voted to give crime victims at least as many rights as criminals. But the politicians on the Oregon Supreme Court came up with a never-before used technicality to throw out the voters' wishes.

Measures 69 through 75 are virtually the same Crime Victims Bill of Rights.

Measure 74 amends the state constitution to guarantee that sentences imposed by trial judges in open court will be carried out. Except for the Governor's historic power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, Measure 74 prohibits a later reduction of a criminal defendant's sentence without the concurrence of the sentencing judge. This will prevent the parole board or other correctional agencies from releasing a convicted criminal early outside the scope of public scrutiny. Measure 74 also prohibits the Legislature from passing laws that limit that authority of the sentencing judge from imposing consecutive sentences from crimes committed against different people. In other words, there will be no "freebies" for criminals who go on a crime spree. Criminals will be subject to a more severe sentence for each victim they injure.

PLEASE VOTE YES ON MEASURES 69 THROUGH 75!

SHOULDN'T THE CRIME VICTIM HAVE AT LEAST AS MANY RIGHTS AS THE CRIMINAL?

(This information furnished by Steve Doell, Crime Victims United.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Measures 69 thru 75 are part of Ballot Measure 40 "The Victims Bill of Rights" passed by the people with nearly a 60% yes vote in 1996. This measure was part of that "Bill of Rights."

Oregon's Supreme Court overturned Measure 40 in its entirety using newly interpreted technical grounds. Consequently, the legislators divided Ballot Measure 40 into seven separate parts, which included most of Measure 40 and referred these seven measures to the people to be voted on again.

Measure 74 is a "Truth in Sentencing" proposal. It prohibits an administratively reduced sentence once that sentence has been pronounced in open court by the judge. The only exceptions are the Governor's power of reprieve, commutation and pardons along with Judicial authority to grant appellate and post conviction relief.

The measure requires the sentencing judge to explain in open court what programs, rules and procedures may alter the time to be served.

The intent here is that the victim, the press and the public are entitled to know the REALITY of the imposed sentence rather than believing some announced number of months that may have little connection to what is actually served.

In case after case we have seen criminals sentenced only to find later that through some mysterious, little understood procedure, the criminal was back out far short of the announced sentence. Victims and families of victims of all type of crimes, particularly those of sexual assault are frequently stunned to find that their victimizer is not only out but back in their community. The psychological effect on victims and their families is devastating; communities become outraged and general respect for law and government suffer.

Please Vote YES on Measure 74.

Please Vote YES for "Truth in Sentencing".

Bob & Dee Dee Kouns
Founders of Crime Victims United
Chief Petitioners of Ballot Measure 40
(This information furnished by Bob & Dee Dee Kouns, Crime Victims United.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

    Over the last few years Oregonians have made it clear they want "Truth in Sentencing" in criminal cases. For too many years convicted felons who were sentenced to terms of 20 years were routinely after serving less than half their original sentence. Judges had no control over when a felon would be released. Measure 11 now makes sure that murderers would actually serve 25 years for a "life" sentence" instead of the 8 years that many murderers actually served.

    But the shortage of prison beds and financial pressures on the Corrections system has resulted in many criminals convicted of lesser, but still-serious felonies, getting out much sooner than the sentence imposed by the judge. Felons convicted of attempting to seriously injure their victims with a weapon have found loopholes that permit their release after they have served half, or even less of their sentence.

    Measure 74 would mandate real "Truth in Sentencing" in Oregon's criminal courts. It is only fair to ALL concerned that the sentence a judge hands down in open court be the actual sentence served by the convicted criminal. Everyone in the system, victims and defendants alike should be able to know what a sentence actually means when they are in court.

    Judges are the people we trust to make the decision about what sentence a convict should receive. The sentencing hearing is often the ONLY time the victim or their family can even speak to the court.

    Measure 74 makes it clear that unless a judge specifically approves a reduction in sentence or an appeals court alters a sentence that the term of imprisonment could not be altered. Measure 74 would NOT interfere with the wide-ranging power of the Governor to grant pardons (completely wipe out a conviction) or commutations (reductions in prison sentences).

    Vote YES on Measure 74 to insure when a judge says 3 years in prison it really MEANS 3 years.

(This information furnished by Joshua Marquis.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.


Arguments In Opposition

Measure 74 Text

November 2, 1999 Special Election Voters' Pamphlet Table of Contents