Oregon Governor calls for public safety review including previously approved measures

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December 10, 2010

SALEM, Oregon: Earlier this week outgoing Gov. Ted Kulongoski approved the creation a Commission on Public Safety. The commission will be responsible for reviewing the state's current public safety practices including the effectiveness of mandatory minimum sentences and recommending future reforms. Governor-elect John Kitzhaber reportedly supports the new commission.[1]

Just last month, in November, voters approved a ballot measure that called for requiring an increased minimum sentence for some sex crimes and repeat DUIs. More specifically, the initiative set a 25-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for repeat offenders of any four felony sex crimes. Additionally, it required a 90-day jail term for a third drunk-driving conviction. The conviction would also be considered a Class C felony if the previous convictions were within the past 10 years.

"You cannot have these measures on the ballots every two years that add more and more costs to the system. It is not a smart way to spend the state's resources and it doesn't create a smart criminal justice system," said Kulongoski.[2]

The commission will review policies implemented by voter approval, including Measure 73 and Measure 11, a 1994 initiative that increased violent crime sentences. According to the governor, it is too early to tell if the commission would recommend overturning the approved measures.[1]

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