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Candidate Calls for 1-Strike Sentencing

Trying to draw a sharp distinction between himself and his opponent on crime issues, state Assembly candidate Brooks Firestone on Thursday called for “one strike” sentencing for rapists, mandatory inmate labor and further restrictions of inmates’ rights.

“We’ve become too permissive” when it comes to crime, said the Republican candidate. “And if there is the certainty of sure and swift justice and penalties, the ultimate result will be less crime and less people in jail.”

Flanked by Ventura County Sheriff Larry Carpenter and other law enforcement officials, Firestone announced his plans for tougher penalties for criminals during a press conference at the County Government Center.

Firestone, a Santa Barbara County winery owner, is running against Democrat Mindy Lorenz in the 35th District Assembly, representing Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula and most of Santa Barbara County.

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Firestone, who has been endorsed by top law enforcement officials in both counties, also called Thursday for the death penalty to be used in cases involving rapists and child molesters.

Lorenz said some of Firestone’s proposals, such as tougher sentencing for first-time rapists, truth in sentencing laws and the restriction of inmates’ rights, have either been signed into law already or have been proposed by others.

Lorenz, an art history professor, said she does not support the death penalty because she does not believe it deters crime, nor does she believe it is fairly and justly administered.

“I’m in favor of life in prison without the possibility of parole,” she said.

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