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Essay on Measure 11

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Measure 11. This is the law that gives people a mandatory minimum sentence starting at 5 years 10 months, and going up all the way to 25 years in prison. The law gives a list of about 21 crimes that, if committed by a person, come with a set amount of time that must be served day for day by the offender, without any chance of good-time, work-time, or the possibility of a second look. Applying to ages 15 and up, this law takes the power out of the judge’s hands when it comes to sentencing someone, and forces the judge to give a mandatory minimum sentence regardless of the specific circumstances involving the case at hand. The Measure 11 laws, which range from Arson to Murder, carry a heavy minimum sentence starting at 5 years 10 months to 25 years in prison. This law, though having good intentions, was written poorly and has had some serious side effects on our state budget, and more importantly, today’s youth.
In 1994, when Measure 11 was placed on the ballot for vote, there were many spoken pros and cons that would come with the passing of the bill. They told us that Measure 11 would keep our communities safe and would even lower our states violent crime rate. But the most important pro about Measure 11, however, was the fact that it would give serious time to repeat offenders. Time and time again, the victims of heinous crimes were tired of the offender getting off with a slap on the wrist. So, with what the victims said in mind, congress decided to make a bill that would give offenders a mandatory minimum prison sentence if they committed specific crimes.
On the other hand, though, there were many cons that came along with bill as well. Some of these cons were the obvious facts that the prison population would rise over th...


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...sed for all the right reasons. The bill, in itself, was meant to protect our communities, keep our kids safe, and be a cheap solution to crime. But due to how ambiguous the bill was written, a large number of Oregonians, especially juveniles, have been affected in ways that were not anticipated. Personally, I believe that the bill should be amended in such a way that it puts the power back into the judge’s hands when dealing with specific cases. This could prove helpful in avoiding injustices when it comes to the sentencing of juveniles by giving judges a chance to evaluate each case’s circumstances before giving mandatory minimum sentences.



Works Cited

-http://www.repealmeasure11.org/
-http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/03/report_on_oregons_measure_11_incites_fierce_debate.html
-http://www.crimevictimsunited.org/measure11/index.htm


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