Large Majorities Oppose Legislative Proposals to Weaken Measure 11 and Measure 57 Sentences


April 18, 2013

CRIME VICTIMS UNITED

NEWS RELEASE: April 16, 2013

CONTACT: Steve Doell 503.502.7572

According to a recent statewide poll, 72% of Oregon voters oppose reducing prison sentences for violent criminals and 65% oppose reducing prison sentences for repeat criminals convicted of property crimes.

Portland – The poll released today by Crime Victims United of Oregon shows that legislative proposals aimed at reducing state spending on prisons by reducing sentences established by the passage of Measure 11 (1994) and Measure 57 (2008) are met with widespread opposition from Oregon voters.

Fully 72% of Oregon voters oppose reducing sentences for the Measure 11 crimes of Assault II, Robbery II and Sex Abuse I, by half.  Only 23% are in favor of these sentence reductions and 5% have no opinion.  Voters in every region of the state and across party lines oppose weakening Measure 11 sentencing laws.  There is majority opposition among Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated/other voters and among all demographic voter subgroups.

In addition, 65% of Oregon voters are opposed to reductions in sentences for repeat property criminals provided by Measure 57 in 2008.  The proposal would reduce 24-month sentences for crimes such as aggravated theft, burglary, and identity theft, to as little as 13.3 months, and would reduce an 18-month sentence to as little as 9.1 months.  Again, opposition is shared by majorities in every region of the state, and among Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated/other voters, alike.

“Oregonians have made public safety a top priority and they want it to remain a top priority,” said Steve Doell, President of Crime Victims United of Oregon.

“Legislators should turn their attention to other ways to reduce spending on prisons such as stricter, rigorously-evaluated community corrections programs that address the over 2000 probationers and parolees each year who are revoked to prison because they have committed new crimes or violated conditions of supervision.  They accounted for 46% of prison admissions in 2011.  The legislature also needs to address the cost per day for prisoners which is one of the highest in the country,” he said.

“Reducing sentences will undermine accountability and create new crime victims,” Doell stated.

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Oregon Voters and the reduction of Measure 11 Sentences

Survey Methodology: 500 live telephone interviews among a representative sample of registered voters in Oregon, conducted by Moore Information, Inc. April 10-11, 2013.  Sampling error: +/-4% at the 95% confidence level.  Both landline and cell phone interviews were conducted.

Question: As you may remember, in 1994 Oregon voters passed Measure 11 requiring mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes, including murder, first and second degree manslaughter, assault, kidnapping, robbery, rape, and first degree sex abuse, by a two-to-one margin. In 2000, the voters defeated a measure to repeal Measure 11, by a three-to-one margin.

With some exceptions for offenders without a serious criminal record, prisoners convicted of second degree assault and robbery serve a minimum sentence of 70 months and those convicted of first degree sex abuse serve a minimum sentence of 75 months.  In order to reduce state spending on prisons, would you favor or oppose reducing the voter-approved minimum sentences for these violent crimes, by half?”

Results:

All

Favor

23%

Oppose

72%

Don’t know

5%

Gender Breakdown:

Men

Women

Favor

27%

20%

Oppose

69%

75%

Don’t know

4%

6%

Party Registration Breakdown:

Republicans

Democrats

NAV/others

Favor

15%

31%

21%

Oppose

83%

64%

71%

Don’t know

2%

6%

7%

Political Philosophy Breakdown:

Conservatives

Moderates

Liberals

Favor

11%

21%

39%

Oppose

88%

74%

55%

Don’t know

1%

5%

6%

Geographic Breakdown:

Multnomah Co.

Wash./Clack. Cos.

Willamette              Valley

Elsewhere

Favor

37%

26%

18%

16%

Oppose

60%

70%

75%

79%

Don’t know

3%

5%

6%

5%

Age Breakdown:

18-34

35-44

45-64

65+

Favor

26%

18%

21%

26%

Oppose

72%

77%

74%

67%

Don’t know

2%

6%

5%

6%

Oregon Voters and the reduction of Measure 57 Sentences

Survey Methodology: 500 live telephone interviews among a representative sample of registered voters in Oregon, conducted by Moore Information, Inc. April 10-11, 2013.  Sampling error: +/-4% at the 95% confidence level.  Both landline and cell phone interviews were conducted.

Question: “As you may know, in 2008 Oregon voters passed Measure 57 which provides 24-month prison sentences for repeat criminals convicted of aggravated theft, burglary, robbery and identity theft. It also provides 18-month prison sentences for repeat criminals convicted of felony crimes including car theft, mail theft, and felony damage to property. These offenders may receive up to 20% off their sentence for good behavior. In order to reduce state spending on prisons, would you favor or oppose reducing the 24-month sentence to as little as 13.3 months, and reducing the 18-month sentence to as little as 9.1 months?”


Results:

All

Favor

32%

Oppose

65%

Don’t know

3%

Gender Breakdown:

Men

Women

Favor

31%

33%

Oppose

66%

63%

Don’t know

3%

4%

Party Registration Breakdown:

Republicans

Democrats

NAV/others

Favor

21%

39%

35%

Oppose

77%

58%

59%

Don’t know

2%

4%

5%

Political Philosophy Breakdown:

Conservatives

Moderates

Liberals

Favor

20%

26%

51%

Oppose

80%

70%

44%

Don’t know

*

4%

5%

Geographic Breakdown:

Multnomah Co.

Wash./Clack. Cos.

Willamette              Valley

Elsewhere

Favor

38%

34%

37%

22%

Oppose

59%

62%

61%

73%

Don’t know

3%

4%

2%

4%

Age Breakdown:

18-34

35-44

45-64

65+

Favor

50%

34%

27%

27%

Oppose

49%

60%

70%

68%

Don’t know

1%

5%

2%

5%

*Less than one-half of one percent


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