Position Statements on Measure 94


Measure 94 is the ballot measure to repeal Measure 11 and slash minimum sentences for violent criminals. It is retroactive and would result in the resentencing of over 3000 violent criminals. Most would receive reduced sentences. Many would be reduced by one-third to one-half.

Here are some of the organizations and elected officials that ask you to VOTE NO ON 94.

Steve Doell, President
Crime Victims United

Steve Doell:

On August 9, 2000, the Executive Board of the Portland Police Commanding Officer's Association met to consider your request for an endorsement for a "No on Measure 94." We voted unanimously to support your group, and we believe the vast majority of Oregonians, in opposing Measure 94.

The effort to throw out Measure 11, the mandatory sentencing law which was passed by a large majority of Oregon voters a few years back, is an attempt to set law enforcement back to the days when we would send a violent criminal to prison, only to find the criminal out after a short period of incarceration preying on other innocent victims here in Oregon. As a "blue shirt" police officer for more than 30 years in Oregon, I can tell you Measure 11 works. The "one man crime waves" are stopped with longer prison terms for violent criminals.

The same people that today are decrying mandatory sentences for violent criminals complained about the old system too. Before, when a judge would sentence two people for the same violent crime, and would take into consideration facts such as the criminal's past record, and family support, often the sentences would be different. This would sometimes lead to accusations of a "racist" justice system that treated people differently for the same crime. One of the reasons we must keep Measure 11 is because it is color blind to the violent criminal; do the crime, do the time. While the proponents of Measure 94 claim that it is somehow wrong for the elected District Attorney to be allowed to "set the time for a violent criminal" to serve in the Oregon justice system, they are only partially correct. The violent criminal is actually the one who gets to choose how much time he or she will serve in prison when they choose their violent and illegal conduct.

A few short years ago a young woman I knew, Yolanda Panek, was brutally murdered by her estranged husband. She was killed in front of her young son. Her body was cut up and never found. The young son suffers from nightmares to this day, and he will forever. The murderer was convicted and sentenced to a true 25 years in prison. If Measure 94 passes this violent murderer will have to be resentenced and could be released in 2003! Voters need to remember the Yolanda Panek's before they even consider voting for Measure 94. And her murderer would be only one of thousands of violent criminals that would be released to prey on the public.

We join you in opposing this group of people who support soft sentences for violent criminals. Their attitude that a child rapist who has only been caught once should be let off easily for the first offence is crazy. Violent criminals should be made to pay for their crimes, not the innocent citizen. If Measure 94 were to pass in November, it will be my brothers and sisters in law enforcement who will have a front row seat to view the carnage as thousands of violent criminals are released. We will face great personal danger, we will see the violently injured victims, and we will have to deliver the terrible news to the victim's families. We say NO to Measure 94! Violent criminals who commit violent crimes belong in a secure place, and prison is that place.

Lt. Jeffrey H. Barker, President
Portland Police Commanding Officer's Association



Dear Fellow Oregonians:

I urge you to join me in opposing Ballot Measure 94. While I opposed Measure 11 in 1994 and continue to support reforms, I cannot support Measure 94.

Measure 94 would require re-sentencing more than 3,000 criminals within four months. This would clog our judicial system, crowd our jails and cause countless crime victims and their families to re-live painful experiences and losses.

It would also remove appropriate punishments for some of Oregon's most serious crimes. While some Measure 11 punishments do not fit the crime, we need to selectively review those instead of eliminating them wholesale.

I believe we can fix what is wrong with Measure 11 without the negative consequences of Measure 94 as it is drafted. If the measure fails, I will introduce legislation to strengthen the role of judges in determining appropriate sentences - including longer sentences where needed - and offer an opportunity and incentive to juvenile offenders who have demonstrated that they have turned their lives around.

While Measure 11 generally has been used responsibly, I believe we should rebalance our sentencing laws and return more power for determining sentences to judges. I have spoken with many district attorneys about this, and I believe many of them will support the responsible changes that I will be proposing.

I want to thank those people who worked so hard to put Measure 94 on the ballot, and ask that all Oregonians remain committed to creating a fair and balanced justice system for our state. I believe it is possible for the legislature to address this issue in a responsible manner when it meets next year.

Please join me in voting against Ballot Measure 94.


John Kitzhaber, M.D.
Governor of Oregon


More to come . . .

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