This otherwise informative article contains this misleading statement about California's three-strikes law: "The law targets offenders who have previous convictions for at least two serious or violent crimes, such as rape or robbery."
I served on a jury years ago dealing with a man who tried to steal a pair of pants. The jurors were not allowed to consider the possibility that the defendant might go to prison for 25 years to life.
After we convicted him, I asked the prosecutor about prior convictions. I was informed that his first offense involved walking into a store, picking up a small item up and walking out while making no effort to conceal or pay for the item. The second offense was similar to the first. When I was told that the man would be spending at least 25 years in prison, I felt sick to my stomach.
The subheadline, "But bid to replace the state's death penalty with life without parole is trailing," is misleading. The article buries the fact that 11% of surveyed voters in the poll discussed are undecided, leaving the issue so far a veritable dead heat. Voters are gathering the facts, so this isn't over.
Proposition 34 keeps killers behind bars forever, saves our cash-strapped state millions of dollars, diverts the money to the public and requires inmates to work and pay into a victims' fund. With plans like this, I'll frankly be surprised if the measure doesn't pass with flying colors, once people know the details.