Voter polling also released today shows voters still support mandatory minimum sentencing
Crime Victims United of Oregon today released a new commercial in opposition to Senate Bill 1008 , a measure that if enacted, would undo Measure 11 sentencing for juvenile offenders who commit violent crimes including murder, forcible rape and kidnapping.
The video, entitled Never Again, features Adam Walker. Adam’s 16-year old brother Benjamin Walker was one of the two student-victims murdered by Kip Kinkel in the Thurston High School shooting. Kinkel murdered his parents in their family home, then proceeded to the high school where his shooting rampage killed two students and injured 25 others. The judge sentenced Kinkel to over 100 years in prison under voter-approved Measure 11, much to the relief of members of the Thurston community.
Doell referenced a recent poll Crime Victims United released today that shows a majority of Oregonians still support mandatory minimum sentences for violent youth offenders and would be opposed to early release for criminals like Kinkel. Moreover, voters are opposed to the idea that out-of-state billionaires, the Koch Brothers, are lobbying to overturn the law.
“Before Measure 11, the door to the prison system was like a revolving door, with violent offenders committing new crimes upon release,” Doell stated. The proclivity to commit violent crimes isn’t based on age, it’s a lack of conscience and an indifference to the humanity of others.”
Doell said SB 1008 as written will water down public safety and put the community at risk. “The fact is, Measure 11 sentencing keeps violent offenders off the street. By the time they’ve committed a Measure 11-level crime, the safety of the public should be the first priority of lawmakers.
Doell noted that even if the bill was amended to make it clear current offenders like Kinkel would not get early release, it’s not good enough. “The voters have spoken, and if lawmakers believe any different, then they should send SB 1008 to the voters and let them decide. Just because politicians have the ability to overturn a voter-approved measure, failing to allow voters direct input at the ballot shows how tone-deaf lawmakers have become. The next time there’s a Kip Kinkel type killer in our state or a violent rapist-murderer like Jaime Tinoco, it would be dangerous to all citizens to allow them an early release. Every victims deserve the same level of justice and surety now, and in the future, that a violent offender will remain behind bars.”