Monday, March 6, 2006
CDAA Takes Stance Against Cooley Three-Strikes Initiative
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The California District Attorneys Association has overwhelmingly voted to oppose a ballot initiative that it said would weaken the state’s voter-approved “Three Strikes Law,” association officials said Friday.
The “Three Strikes Reform Act of 2006,” co-sponsored by District Attorney Steve Cooley and criminal defense lawyer Brian Dunn, was submitted to the attorney general for title and summary in January and would appear on the November ballot if it obtains enough signatures.
The CDAA said in a release that the law has reduced crime and increased public safety without increasing the state’s prison population. The initiative would make 4,400 repeat felons eligible for re-sentencing and release, the CDAA said.
“California’s Three Strikes law has been one of the most effective public safety tools in state history,’’ CDAA President Jan Scully, the Sacramento district attorney, said in a statement. “Enacted by the people, the law is an effective deterrent while at the same time flexible giving judges and district attorney’s the ability to ensure the law is applied fairly.”
Scully said reform is unnecessary because the law already allows prosecutors and judges to determine if a repeat felon accused of a third felony should be facing a life sentence under “Three Strikes.”
CDAA says just 4.5 percent of the prison population in the state faces three-strikes sentencing.
“There are no petty criminals — nobody that steals a pizza — serving life sentences under ‘Three Strikes,’” San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a release. “Prosecutors throughout California know that ‘Three Strikes’ works and don’t want it to be destroyed. Victims and Californians who value safe streets and trust law enforcement officials have voted time and again to keep a successful law.”
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company