Measure 57

Argument in Opposition

The politicians and bureaucrats are trying to pull a fast one.

Every 3.2 minutes, criminals commit "property" crime in Oregon.

They steal your cars, your identity, burglarize your homes and businesses, and sell drugs to your children.

Then...most of them get probation.

In 2007:

57% convicted of motor vehicle theft got…probation!

62% convicted of identity theft got…probation!

53% convicted of residential burglary got…probation!

70% convicted of burglary of a business got…probation!

69% convicted for felony drug dealing got…probation!

80% convicted for selling cocaine within 1000 feet of a school got…probation!

In 1995, citizen sponsored Measure 11 went into effect requiring mandatory prison sentences for violent criminals. Oregon had the highest violent crime rate of all the western states. We now have the lowest violent crime rate of all the western states. They said it would cost too much. They overestimated the cost by nearly 50%!

What have we learned?

When you put criminals in jail, the crime rate goes down.

Way down.

Costs too much?

These are the same politicians who just provided themselves with luxurious $4400 desks, $6700 credenzas, $2500 leather sofas, $1800 chairs, and new flat screen tv's!

The politicians are trying to confuse the voters.

Here's how:

There are TWO crime measures on the ballot: Politician sponsored 57 and Citizen sponsored 61. Whichever one has the most votes wins.

Measure 57 is the first crime measure on the ballot. It's the politicians' measure. VOTE NO!

The second crime measure on the ballot is Measure 61. Mandatory prison time for criminals! You do the crime. you do the time. VOTE YES!

Politician measure 57 puts 3000 less criminals in jail.

Citizen measure 61 puts 3000 more criminals in jail.

Here's how to remember it:

Citizen measure 61 is more than politician measure 57.

3000 more!

Vote yes on 61no on 57…because 61 is more than 57!

Steve Doell

(This information furnished by Steve Doell.)

Argument in Opposition



Before you vote on politician Measure 57, please take a good look at citizen MEASURE 61. In citizen MEASURE 61, 149,000 Oregon voters signed petitions to demand that we all be safe from meth dealers, auto thieves, burglars, and identity thieves. Citizen MEASURE 61 establishes mandatory minimum prison sentences for these crimes.

Politicians in the legislature polled citizen MEASURE 61 and realized they could not defeat it by asking voters to vote no. They designed politician Measure 57 to mislead the voters by pretending to be tough on crime, but by actually providing weaker sentences than citizen MEASURE 61.

Politician Measure 57 has a Killer Clause which cancels the mandatory minimum prison sentences established in citizen MEASURE 61. This Killer Clause is contained in Section 6 of Measure 57. Because of this Killer Clause, a vote in favor of politician Measure 57 is a vote against mandatory minimum prison sentences for convicted meth dealers, auto thieves, burglars (home invasions), and identity thieves.

A vote for politician Measure 57 also maintains probation on a first conviction for these crimes. This is a catch and release clause.

Take a look at citizen MEASURE 61, also on this ballot. If you like the simple and effective mandatory minimum prison sentences of citizen MEASURE 61, vote NO on politician Measure 57 and YES ON CITIZEN MEASURE 61. You can't have it both ways.

Steve Doell

Kevin Mannix

(This information furnished by Steve Doell and Kevin Mannix.)

Argument in Opposition


Politician Measure 57 has a ballot title that makes it sound like it is going to go after meth dealers, cocaine dealers, and heroin dealers. But the ballot title is misleading. If you want to go after these drug dealers, you need to vote No on politician Measure 57 and vote Yes on citizen Measure 61, put on the ballot by citizen initiative.

Why? Politician Measure 57 is a legislative referral which pretends to go after drug dealers but actually leaves the vast majority of drug dealers on probation. This is because politician Measure 57 specifies that a drug dealer has to deal a tremendous volume of drugs - over $40,000 worth - in order to be subject to its sentences.

The typical back-alley or street corner meth, crack, or cocaine dealer never carries more than $1000 to $2000 worth of drugs. This is because the dealer might be killed by his customers if he carries that much valuable property.

Under politician Measure 57, these typical drug dealers, who are dealing drugs near schools, in our communities, and even in our backyards, will get - probation! That is right; the typical drug dealer will get probation. But not just for the first conviction. The typical drug dealer will get probation for the first, second, third, and fourth convictions.

Fortunately, we have a strong alternative, citizen Measure 61. Measure 61 will send meth, crack, cocaine, and heroin dealers to prison on their first convictions.

But, we cannot have both politician Measure 57 and citizen Measure 61. The politicians who put Measure 57 on the ballot included a clause which says that Measure 57 kills Measure 61.

So, to really fight crime, vote No on politician Measure 57 and vote Yes on citizen Measure 61.

Steve Beck
Oregon State Police Trooper, retired

Duane Fletchall
Sheriff's Sergeant, retired

(This information furnished by Steve Beck and Duane Fletchall.)

Argument in Opposition

Measure 57 Sets Criminals Free. Is that what you want?

Vote No on the politicians' Measure 57 if you want real punishment for criminals.

Citizen Measure 61, also on this ballot, provides mandatory minimum sentences for meth dealers, auto thieves, burglars, identity thieves, and other criminals. It is "son of 11" in the sense that it follows the example of Measure 11 (mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes).

But politician Measure 57 was put on the ballot by politicians in the legislature as a cheap and weak alternative to citizen Measure 61. They also put in a killer clause. The killer clause in Measure 57 says that Measure 61 is canceled if Measure 57 gets one more vote than Measure 61.

The politicians know that citizens want strong action against these crimes, so they wrote their own ballot title for Measure 57 to make it sound tough. But here is the reality: over the next 6 years, 3000 convicted criminals will be in a "catch and release" system, if Measure 57 passes.

This catch and release system is all about probation. Over the next 6 years, citizen Measure 61 will actually put nearly 5000 meth dealers, burglars, auto thieves, and identity thieves behind bars. But politician Measure 57 cancels Measure 61 and gives 3000 of these criminals probation.

Citizen Measure 61 is tougher than politician Measure 57 - 3000 more criminals behind bars! Vote Yes on 61, and No on 57, because 61 is tougher than 57.

Steve Beck
Oregon State Police Trooper, retired

(This information furnished by Steve Beck, Oregon State Police Trooper, Retired.)

Argument in Opposition


Politician Measure 57 is a sheep in wolf's clothing. For truth in sentencing, vote No on Measure 57, which comes from the legislature, and vote Yes on the citizen measure which is also on this ballot, Measure 61.

Why is politician Measure 57 a sheep in wolf's clothing? Because it pretends to be tough on crime, but it is actually gentle as a lamb in dealing with meth dealers, burglars, auto thieves, and identity thieves.

Under politician Measure 57, your typical meth dealer will get probation - and gets to demand treatment for his drug addiction, getting in line in front of innocent citizens who cannot afford such treatment.

Under politician Measure 57, the professional identity thief will know that Oregon is the place to go because he will have to be caught and convicted at least 5 times before he faces a prison term.

A June 2008 report by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission pointed out that 3000 convicted meth dealers, auto thieves, burglars, and identity thieves, over the next 6 years, will get probation rather than prison time under politician Measure 57.

Fortunately, citizens have an alternative on this same ballot. That is citizen Measure 61. It provides mandatory minimum prison terms for these criminals. But you cannot have both citizen Measure 61 and politician Measure 57. This is because the politicians in the legislature put a killer clause in Measure 57, which cancels Measure 61.

So, those of us who want real accountability for serious crime need to vote no on politician Measure 57 and vote yes on citizen Measure 61.

Duane Fletchall
Sheriff's Sergeant, retired

(This information furnished by Duane Fletchall, Sheriff's Sergeant, Retired.)

Argument in Opposition

Vote NO on More Prisons

Mandatory prison sentences divert public money from education. Oregon spends less on education per student than 30 other states, while we spend more per capita than any other state on prisons. Oregon spends more on corrections than higher education. Is this the future we want for Oregon's children?

Rural communities face serious fiscal crises and are unable to pay for basic government programs. Our dilapidated roads, bridges, sewers, and ports require new financial commitment. And yet we have two Measures on the ballot, 57 and 61, to increase spending on incarceration, and none to improve schools or bridges.

Increased prison sentences will worsen our already racially imbalanced criminal justice system. Oregon incarcerates African-Americans six times more often than Whites. Before mandating any increase in prison sentences, we must address the disproportionate impact our criminal justice system has on racial and ethnic minorities.

Mandatory minimum sentences have no measurable effect on reducing crime. Oregon's crime rate began decreasing in the 1990s. The proponents of mandatory minimum laws claim this trend was caused by mandatory sentencing laws. However, in a convenient omission, they fail to mention that during this same period, crime rates decreased throughout the Nation. New York experienced the same violent crime reduction as Oregon yet managed to decrease its prison population by 8.4%. Increasing prison time is not the best path to decreasing crime.

Neither Measure 57 nor 61 is smart on crime. We understand that the Legislature was trying to avert the disaster of Measure 61 by offering the lesser evil, Measure 57. But we believe Oregonians are smarter than that.

The Portland National Lawyers Guild sees both Measure 57 and 61 as flawed and wrong-headed. No doubt, Measure 61 would be far worse than Measure 57. For this reason, the Portland National Lawyers Guild urges you to reject both Measures, but if you choose to vote for either, vote Yes on 57 and No on 61.

(This information furnished by Kenneth A. Kreuscher, Co-Chair of Portland National Lawyers Guild.)