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California Proposition 66, Changes in the "Three Strikes" Law (2004)
The campaign opposing Proposition 66 made a near-miraculous comeback in the three weeks leading up to the November election, growing by nearly 30 points in the last two weeks. The anti-campaign was led by Arnold Schwarzenegger and communications-billionaire Henry Nicholas. $71,335 was spent to defeat Proposition 66, while about $5 million was spent to pass it.
Proposition 66 would have amended the Three Strikes Law to allow a life sentence only if a person is convicted of a third felony that is violent or serious. It would have removed eight crimes from the violent or serious category and toughened sentences for some crimes against children.
Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The question on the ballot was:
- "Should the "Three Strikes" law be limited to violent and/or serious felonies? Permits limited re-sentencing under new definitions. Increases punishment for specified sex crimes against children."
- Amends "Three Strikes" law to require increased sentences only when current conviction is for specified violent and/or serious felony.
- Redefines violent and serious felonies. Only prior convictions for specified violent and/or serious felonies, brought and tried separately, would qualify for second and third "strike" sentence increases.
- Allows conditional re-sentencing of persons with sentences increased under "Three Strikes" law if previous sentencing offenses, resulting in the currently charged felony/felonies, would no longer qualify as violent and/or serious felonies.
- Increases punishment for specified sex crimes against children.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The estimated fiscal impact of the measure, provided by the state government, was:
- Net state savings of potentially several tens of millions of dollars initially, increasing to several hundred million dollars annually, primarily to the prison system.
- Increased county costs of potentially more than ten million dollars annually for jail and court-related costs.
Donors to pass Proposition 66
Campaign spending on Proposition 66 was lopsided, with the "Yes on 66" committee spending a little over $5 million and the "No on 66" committee spending $71,000, a ratio of 71 to 1.
- Official Voter Guide to Proposition 66
- Election results for Proposition 66
- Was "No on 66" campaign fueled by illegal substances?
- Expenditures on Proposition 66
- November 2004 election results from the California Secretary of State
- LAO analysis of Proposition 66
- Guide to Proposition 66 from the California Voter Foundation
- Analysis of Proposition 66 from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Archived copy of the "Yes on 66" campaign website
- Archived copy of the "No on 66" campaign website
- PDF of the mailed November 2, 2004 voter guide for Propositions 59, 60, 60A, 61-64, 66-72