Measures 57 and 61: Crime and Punishment

OPB | Oct. 24, 2008 midnight | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 8:45 p.m.

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What is the best approach to curbing property and drug-related crimes in Oregon?

Oregon’s property crime rate is currently the 18th highest in the nation. Proponents of two measures on Oregon’s November ballot say they have the plan to bring the state’s property and drug crime rates down even lower.

Measure 61 creates mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug trafficking, certain property crimes and identity theft. The measure’s author, attorney Kevin Mannix, also created Measure 11, which passed in 1994, creating mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes. Measure 57 is a legislative referral to increase prison sentences for drug trafficking and for repeat offenders who commit property crimes or identity theft. It also requires addiction treatment for some criminals. One measure essentially cancels out the other; if both measures pass, the one with more votes will go into effect. Most people who oppose one support the other, but some Oregonians oppose both (pdf), arguing that either measure would cost the state too much money in jail beds and other prison resources.

Have you or someone you know been the victim of burglary or identity theft? What do you see as the best approach to curbing these kinds of crimes? Will you vote for 57, 61 or neither?

Photo credit: Txspiked / Flickr / Creative Commons

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