Juvenile Crime. Initiative Statute.|
|Argument in Favor of Proposition 21|
Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.
As a parent, Maggie Elvey refused to believe teenagers were capable of extreme violence, until a 15 year-old and an accomplice bludgeoned her husband to death with a steel pipe. Ross Elvey is gone forever, but his KILLER WILL BE FREE ON HIS 25TH BIRTHDAY, WITHOUT A CRIMINAL RECORD. Her husband's killer will be released in three years, but she will spend the rest of her life in fear that he will make good on his threats to her. Frighteningly, Maggie's tragedy because of the current juvenile justice system could be repeated today.
Proposition 21--the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act--will toughen the law to safeguard you and your family.
Despite great strides made recently in the war against adult crime, California Department of Justice records indicate violent juvenile crime arrests--murders, rapes, robberies, attempted murders and aggravated assaults--rose an astounding 60.6% between 1983 and 1998. The FBI estimates the California juvenile population will increase by more than 33% over the next fifteen years, leading to predictions of a juvenile crime wave.
Although we strongly support preventive mentoring and education, the law must be strengthened to require serious consequences, protecting you from the most violent juvenile criminals and gang offenders.
Proposition 21 doesn't incarcerate kids for minor offenses--it protects Californians from violent criminals who have no respect for human life.
- Prescribes LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR GANG MEMBERS convicted of HOME-INVASION ROBBERIES, CARJACKINGS OR DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS.
- Makes ASSAULT WITH A FIREARM AGAINST POLICE, SCHOOL EMPLOYEES OR FIREFIGHTERS a serious felony.
- STRENGTHENS ANTI-GANG LAWS making violent gang-related felonies "strikes" under the Three Strikes law.
- Requires ADULT TRIAL FOR juveniles 14 or older charged with MURDER OR VIOLENT SEX OFFENSES.
- Requires GANG MEMBERS CONVICTED OF GANG FELONIES TO REGISTER WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.
Ask yourself, if a violent gang member believes the worst punishment he might receive for a gang-ordered murder is incarceration at the California Youth Authority until age 25, will that stop him from taking a life? Of course not, and THAT'S WHY CALIFORNIA POLICE OFFICERS AND PROSECUTORS OVERWHELMINGLY ENDORSE PROPOSITION 21.
Proposition 21 ends the "slap on the wrist" of current law by imposing real consequences for GANG MEMBERS, RAPISTS AND MURDERERS who cannot be reached through prevention or education.
Californians must send a clear message that violent juvenile criminals will be held accountable for their actions and that the punishment will fit the crime. YOUTH SHOULD NOT BE AN EXCUSE FOR MURDER, RAPE OR ANY VIOLENT ACT--BUT IT IS UNDER CALIFORNIA'S DANGEROUSLY LENIENT EXISTING LAW.
We represent the California District Attorneys Association, California State Sheriffs Association, California Police Chiefs Association, crime victims, business leaders, educators and over 650,000 law-abiding citizens that placed Proposition 21 on the ballot.
Our quality of life depends on making California as safe as possible. Let's give all kids every opportunity to succeed and protect our families against the most dangerous few.
Please vote YES on PROPOSITION 21.Maggie Elvey
Assistant Director, Crime Victims United
President, California District Attorneys Association
Chief Richard Tefank
President, California Police Chiefs Association
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