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Juvenile Crime. Initiative Statute.
Rebuttal to 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.

Proponents have GROSSLY MISREPRESENTED HOW THE LAW WORKS. The 15 year old in the Elvey case was sentenced in 1993. The next year lawmakers lowered the age for adult court to 14. UNDER CURRENT LAW, MINORS 14 AND OLDER CHARGED WITH MURDER ARE NORMALLY TRIED AS ADULTS. UPON CONVICTION, THESE MINORS RECEIVE THE ADULT SENTENCE UP TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE. The proponents should know better, and they probably do. They are using scare tactics to sell a massive legal overhaul, filled with self-interest items, and loaded with HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN COSTS that could raise your taxes.

PRESIDING JUDGE James Milliken (San Diego Juvenile Court) says: "I can already send 14 year olds with violent offenses to adult court. Proposition 21 would let prosecutors move kids like mentally impaired children to adult court where they don't belong, without judicial review. These important decisions must be reviewed by an impartial judge."

Proposition 21 is NOT LIMITED TO VIOLENT CRIME. It turns low-level vandalism into a felony. It requires gang offenders with misdemeanors (like stealing candy) to serve six months in jail. SHERIFF Mike Hennessey (S.F.) says, "I support tough laws against gangs and crime, but Proposition 21 is the WRONG APPROACH."

Join the respected professional, citizen and victim organizations AGAINST PROPOSITION 21--including Marc Klaas/KlaasKids Foundation, California Chief Probation Officers, California Council of Churches, League of Women Voters, California Catholic Conference, Children's Defense Fund, California State PTA and California Tax Reform Association. Vote NO on 21.

Former Director, California Youth Authority

Chief Probation Officer, Fresno County

Member, California State Commission on Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention
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