Measure 73: Tougher sentences for repeat sex offenders & DUII drivers

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by Teresa Blackman, kgw.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on October 26, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 26 at 12:52 PM

SALEM -- Ballot Measure 73, also known as the Oregon Crimefighting Act, would set mandatory minimum sentences for certain repeat sex offenders and people repeatedly arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants.

As part of the measure, any person convicted of a major felony sex crime would get 25 years in prison if they have a previous conviction for a major felony sex crime. Under current law, a person convicted of a single major felony sex crime must serve a minimum sentence ranging from six years to 25 years, depending on the circumstances.

Straight Talk: Measure 73 debate

The measure defines “major felony sex crime” to mean rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree and using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct.

As for repeat DUII offenders, the measure classifies driving while under the influence of intoxicants as a felony when a person is convicted of committing the crime for a third time in a 10-year period and anytime thereafter. The measure would require a minimum term of 90 days in jail for these offenders, who, under current law would only face misdemeanor charges.

Supporters of Measure 73 cite studies which claim that, on average, an intoxicated driver will drive drunk 80 times before he or she is caught. They argue that the Oregon Crimefighting Act would finally impose jail time on a third conviction and send a strong message to DUII offenders.

However, opponents argue instead of protecting Oregonians, Measure 73 would force an already overpopulated and over-burdened prison system to take on more offenders without any solutions on how the state would pay for it.

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