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Our View: 3 strikes yes; food labels, condoms no

Posted: September 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.

In the weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 election, The Signal is taking a stand on several propositions that are being put before voters.

Proposition 36, Three Strikes Law: YES

Proposition 36 would revise the three strikes law to impose a life sentence only when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent.”

It also would continue to impose a life sentence for felons with nonserious “third strikes” if prior convictions were for rape, murder, or child molestation.

It also enforces a life sentence if the third strike was imposed for sex or drug offenses or involved firearm possession.

Re-sentencing is authorized for those deemed not to pose an unreasonable risk to public safety.

Opponents say that once someone has been convicted of two serious or violent offenses it is clear what they are capable of if released — and we would agree.

However, the proposition addresses this concern by making ineligible offenders engaged in prior crimes that likely indicate the person convicted will re-offend.

The proposition also prohibits automatic release of offenders from prison, and instead requires convicted felons petition the court to be released. And the courts are free to deny parole or re-sentencing.

The analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office projects savings would likely be around $70 million to $90 million annually over the next couple of decades in costs of housing prisoners.

The proposition restores the original intent of the third strike law. Locking up a nonviolent offender for life does little to ensure public safety.

Proposition 37, Food Labeling Law: NO

Proposition 37 would require the labeling in California of all foods with ingredients from genetically modified crops.

These crops are ones in which the DNA has been modified, such as in the case of making them more resistant to pesticides.

This proposition just adds another layer of complicated and burdensome bureaucracy to our already ridiculously cumbersome and harmful maze of regulations in this state.

We feel the law is not necessary and if our leaders and the populace eventually feel it is necessary, this is something that should be done at the federal level, not on a state-by-state basis.

In fact, most foods sold in grocery stores contain some genetically modified ingredients.

There is little research to document that genetically modified foods are harmful to humans, and this proposed law would lead to extremely costly lawsuits as well as adding more than $1 million in state-incurred costs of regulation.

In fact, anybody suing over this would not need to prove that any specific damage occurred from eating such food.

The bottom line is that passage of this proposition could increase costs for California farmers and food processors by $1.2 billion, in turn raising costs for consumers, according to a UC Davis study.

Proposition 37 is just unnecessary California regulation at its worst.

Measure B, Porn Actors Required to Wear Condoms Act: NO

If voters approve the measure, it will require porn actors to wear condoms during filming.

On the surface, this seems a reasonable and even humane proposed law.

Anyone who performs such reckless behavior as earning a living by engaging in sex, or pretending to engage in sex, should be compelled to wear protection. But consider this: A law requires enforcement to be effective.

If this passes, will law enforcement officers be required to inspect genitalia during pornography filming to ensure the law is being followed? Surely there are better things for them to do.

Or does this measure require the county to create a new bureaucracy for prophylactic enforcement on porn sets?

Either option is ridiculous, but passing a law with no means of enforcement is also ridiculous.


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