Letter To CVU Supporters

CRIME VICTIMS UNITED


On October 15, 2002, Crime Victims United President Steve Doell wrote the following letter to Crime Victims United members and supporters throughout the state.


Dear Crime Victims United Supporter:

I'm sending you the enclosed letter, which I sent to candidates for elective office throughout the state, to let you know about developments in criminal justice in Oregon. This year there have been several highly-publicized, horrific violent crimes in our state. But over the last 6 years, the violent crime rate has been steadily decreasing. That is good news! Equally important, tolerance for violent crime is down, as reflected by the vote of the Oregon electorate.

The pendulum has thankfully swung toward protection of society, personal responsibility and accountability. We feel that, if Oregonians stay the course, we can continue the significant shift in attitudes from resignation about violent crime to clear and consistent rejection of it. This will send an unambiguous message that violent crime is not an option. Fewer innocent people will be victims.

But, as you will see from the enclosed letter, there are people in the state who are unhappy with these developments and are working to turn the clock back. We must not allow them to do this. The cost is just too high.

Having failed in their effort to repeal Measure 11 in 2000, criminals, relatives of criminals, and criminal defense attorneys, are now attempting to achieve their goal by pitting public safety against education. In doing so, they often grossly exaggerate the cost of public safety and refuse to acknowledge the danger from cuts to the public safety budget.

On another front, several groups throughout the state are aggressively promoting a philosophy called "restorative justice", which would replace incarceration with feel-good programs such as "victim-offender dialog". Although we support victim-offender dialog in cases of low-level juvenile crime, these groups want to extend it to serious violent crime, even rapes and murders. We believe that this is a first step toward the stated goal of a national restorative justice group:

"Our goal is to have restorative justice become the ONLY option for settling disputes by the year 2010." (www.restorativejustice.org)

Their idea of a "dispute" extends to violent criminal acts. Another restorative justice group writes "Every crime has at least one victim - the offender." (www.fcrjquaker.org)

In every legislative session since 1995, we have had to fight off initiatives from the Governor, from a small but determined group of legislators, and from the anti-prison lobby to overturn the will of the voters by gutting Measure 11. This would return us to the failed policies of the past and guarantee increased violent crime.

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us. To continue our efforts, Crime Victims United needs your financial support. Contributions to CVU are not deductible from federal taxes as charitable donations, but you may be able to receive an Oregon tax credit of $50 for an individual or $100 for a couple. To contribute, please visit www.crimevictimsunited.org or send a check made out to CVUPAC to the address listed above. (State law requires us to report your occupation so please include that information.)

Thank you for your continued support and concern for Oregon's crime victims and for the future safety of all law-abiding Oregonians.

Sincerely,

Steve Doell


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