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Smart Voter
State of California March 7, 2000 Election
Proposition 21
Juvenile Crime

Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute

4,455,530 / 62.0% Yes votes ...... 2,728,078 / 38.0% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Yes/No Meaning | Official Information | Arguments |
Summary Prepared by the State Attorney General:
Increases punishment for gang-related felonies, home-invasion robbery, carjacking, witness intimidation and drive-by shootings; and creates crime of gang recruitment activities. Fiscal Impact: State costs of more than $330 million annually; one-time costs of $750 million. Potential local costs of up to more than $100 million annually, and one-time costs of $200 million to $300 million.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote of this measure means:
Various changes will be made to juvenile and adult criminal law. Among the more significant changes, it (1) requires more juvenile offenders to be tried in adult court, (2) requires that certain juvenile offenders be held in local or state correctional facilities, (3) increases penalties for gang-related crimes, and (4) expands the list of violent and serious offenses for which longer prison sentences are given.

A NO vote of this measure means:
Current juvenile and adult criminal laws would remain unchanged. For instance, (1) juvenile courts would retain primary discretion to determine which juveniles should be transferred into adult court, (2) probation departments and courts would retain their general discretion to determine when secure detention or placement for juvenile offenders is necessary, (3) penalties for gang-related crimes would not increase, and (4) the existing list of violent and serious offenses would remain the same.

Official Sources of Information
Arguments Submitted to the Secretary of State

Summary of Arguments FOR Proposition 21:
Proposition 21 protects Californians from criminals who don't respect human life. It prescribes life imprisonment for gang members who commit home-invasion robberies, carjackings or drive-by shootings; allows tougher sentences for teenage murderers and rapists; and requires gang members to register with police. Prosecutors, police, victims and parents say vote yes!

Full Text of Argument In Favor, Rebuttal

Summary of Arguments AGAINST Proposition 21:
Proposition 21 will cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Your taxes could go up. In California, 14 year olds can already be tried and sentenced as adults with life imprisonment. Proponents, financed by Pete Wilson, use scare tactics to push their costly agenda of self-interest reforms. Vote No.

Full Text of Argument Against, Rebuttal

Contact FOR Proposition 21:
Matt Ross
Californians to End Gang Violence
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 600
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 446-6667

Contact AGAINST Proposition 21:
Californians For Community Safety
P. O. Box 475268
San Francisco, CA 94147-5268
(415) 437-4009

  Official Information

Secretary of State

Nonpartisan Information

Easy Reading Voter Guide

League of Women Voters California Voter Foundation Secretary of State News and Analysis

Los Angeles Times

News Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS) Palm Springs Desert Sun San Francisco Chronicle Sacramento Bee
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Created: April 13, 2000 02:35
Smart Voter 2000 <>
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