Should Oregonians Slash Sentences For The Most Serious Crimes?

Oregonians will be asked to decide this question in the November, 2000 election, when Measure 94, an initiative to repeal Measure 11 will appear on the ballot. Here are some facts that every voter should understand.

What Crimes Are Covered By Measure 11?

Measure 11 covers only the most serious crimes, including violent assaults and robberies, kidnappings, rapes in the first and second degree, manslaughters in the first and second degree, attempted murders and murders. People convicted of committing these crimes on or after April 1, 1995 have been sentenced under Measure 11.

What Effect Would Repeal Have On Sentences For Violent Crimes?

If the voters of Oregon repeal Measure 11, minimum sentences for the most serious violent crimes would be dramatically reduced. For example, the minimum sentence for murder would drop from 25 years to 10 years, and 10 years would actually be 8 years because of "good-time". Minimum sentences are important because in many cases judges have no choice but to give the minimum sentence.

What Effect Would Repeal Have On Criminals Already Sentenced?

If the voters of Oregon repeal Measure 11, within 90 days over 3000 violent criminals sentenced under Measure 11 will be resentenced, as required by the repeal initiative. Most will receive dramatically reduced sentences. Many hundreds will be released shortly after repeal. Youth who were age 15 to 17 at the time of their crime, even the crime of murder, could be remanded to juvenile court for retrial and resentencing under quite lenient standards.

Is It True That You Can Fall Under Measure 11 For A Minor Crime?

No. Measure 11 covers only the most serious crimes. It does not cover drug crimes, theft, burglary, vandalism, or minor fights. The proponents of Measure 94 have told stories about supposed Measure 11 abuses. Some of their stories state that people are being sentenced under Measure 11 for theft or for minor altercations. These stories can be seen as misrepresentations by anyone who knows what crimes Measure 11 covers.

Shouldn't Criminals Receive A Break On Their First Conviction?

Perhaps, if it's their first conviction for shoplifting or using drugs or stealing a car. Measure 11 does not cover these crimes. But not if the crime inflicts irrevocable harm on the victim and the victim's family, as is the case in the violent robberies, serious assaults, kidnappings, rapes, manslaughters, attempted murders and murders that Measure 11 covers. The fact that the offender has no previous convictions is no solace whatsoever to a father whose daughter has been raped or to a mother whose son has been murdered.

Isn't Measure 11 Spending Out Of Control?

No. When voters approved Measure 11 in 1994, by a nearly two-thirds majority, they were told in the voters pamphlet that Measure 11 would require the creation of an additional 6,085 new prison beds and cost $200 million per year by the year 2001. Now the state forecast for 2001 is 2,571 beds, of which only 1,710 are directly attributable to Measure 11 and the cost of Measure 11 for 2001 is estimated at $41 million.

How Can I Learn More About Measure 11 And Measure 94?

Crime Victims United has created a web page on Measure 11 with the aim of providing accurate information that people can use to separate fact from the fiction. To see the Measure 11 web page, direct your web browser to and click the Measure 11 link.

CVU Urgently Needs Your Contribution To Fight Measure 94