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Inside Criminal Justice

Elections 2012

Cuff the Vote

November 5, 2012 10:45:10 pm
Comments (1)

By Graham Kates

Photo by League of Women Voters of California, via Flickr

On Nov. 6, voters in 17 states considered ballot measures and referendums that could shape the future of criminal justice policy in America.

See map below.

Among the hot-button issues voters decided are: the legalization of marijuana in Washington, Oregon and Colorado; decriminalization of assisted suicide in certain circumstances in Massachusetts; the abolition of the death penalty in California; and new abortion regulations in Montana.

The Crime Report is tracking every criminal justice initiative, measure, amendment and question up for vote.

Scroll over the map to see what Americans voted on in each state and read more about the measures, below.

We’ll be updating the map with results as they come in.


Abortion 

Voters in Montana are considering LR-120, an act that would require “parental notification prior to abortion for a minor” at least 48 hours prior to the procedures. Exemptions include in the case of a medical emergency and if a parent or guardian has previously waived that right. LR-120 stipulates that any doctor who performs an abortion in violation of the act would be subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability.

Read the full text of LR-120 HERE.

Animal Cruelty

North Dakota’s Measure 5 would make it a felony to maliciously harm a dog, cat or horse, with exceptions for specific agriculture, hunting and scientific reasons. In addition to imprisonment, Measure 5 calls for mandatory psychological counseling for those convicted of animal cruelty, as well as five year ban from owning dogs, cats and horses.

Read the full text of Measure 5 HERE.

Assisted Suicide

In Massachusetts, voters are considering Question 2, which if passed would allow physicians to provide end-of-life medications to certain terminally ill patients.

Read the full text of Question 2 HERE.

Death Penalty

California’s Proposition 34 would repeal the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Abolition of the death penalty would apply retroactively to those currently on Death Row.

Read the full text of Proposition 34 HERE.

Human Trafficking/Sex Offenses

California’s Proposition 35 would increase prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions, as well as require convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders. Registered sex offenders would also be required to disclose Internet activities and identities.

Read the full text of Proposition 35 HERE.

Judiciary

In Arizona and Florida, voters are considering measures that would alter the structure of their judicial systems.

In Arizona, Proposition 115 would increase the governor’s options in choosing judges for the state Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the Superior Courts of Pima and Maricopa Counties. Currently, the governor of Arizona chooses from three finalists selected by a screening panel when choosing potential judges. This Proposition would allow for eight finalists.

Florida’s Amendment 5 would abolish the state’s Supreme Court and replace it with Supreme Civil and Criminal Appeals courts.

Read the full text of Proposition 115 HERE.

Read the full text of Amendment 5 HERE.

Law Enforcement

Measures up for vote in Missouri and West Virginia would change the way police departments are run in those states. In Missouri, Proposition A would require that all municipal police forces be controlled by a local governing body. West Virginia’s Amendment 1 would abolish term limits for county sheriffs.

Read the full text of Proposition A HERE.

Read the full text of Amendment 1 HERE.

Marijuana

Voters in six states are considering ballot measures concerning the use and sale of marijuana. Colorado’s Amendment 64, Washington’s Initiative 502 and Oregon’s Measure 80 would all legalize the use and sale marijuana, with certain regulations. Arkansas’ Issue 5 and Massachusetts’ Question 3 would legalize the use of medical marijuana. In Montana, IR-124 would strengthen regulations on the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Read the full text of Amendment 64 HERE.

Read the full text of Intiative 502 HERE.

Read the full text of Measure 80 HERE.

Read the full text of Issue 5 HERE.

Read the full text of Question 3 HERE.

Read the full text of IR-124 HERE.

Official Misconduct

Voters in Louisiana, Maryland and Nebraska are considering amendments and questions concerning repercussions for public officials convicted of crimes.

Louisiana’s Amendment 5 would allow the state’s legislature to deny retirement benefits convicted of a felony related to his or her office. Maryland’s Question 3 specifies conditions in which elected officials convicted of felonies can be removed from office.

Nebraska’s Amendment 1 would make any judgment of a misdemeanor committed in pursuit of office grounds for subsequent removal from office.

Read the full text of Amendment 5 HERE.

Read the full text of Question 3 HERE.

Read the full text of Amendment 1 HERE.

Parole

In Oklahoma and Idaho, voters are considering measures that would change the administration of parole in their states. In Oklahoma, State Question 762 would abolish the state governor’s role in the parole process for certain non-violent crimes.

Idahoans are considering SJR 102, which would grant the State Board of Correction control over the management of felony probation and parole.

Read the full text of State Question 762 HERE.

Read the full text of SJR 102 HERE.

Three Strikes

California’s Proposition 36 would implement several changes to the state’s “Three Strikes” policy. The proposition mandates that life sentences only be given when a new felony conviction is "serious or violent;" authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if their third strike conviction was not serious or violent and if the judge determines that the re-sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety.

The proposition maintains the life sentence without parole penalty for felons with non-serious, non-violent third strikes if prior convictions were for rape, murder, or child molestation.

Read the full text of Proposition 36 HERE.

Victims’ Rights

Proposition 114 in Arizona would prohibit crime victims from being subject to a claims for damages for causing death or injury.

Read the full text of Proposition 114 HERE.

Graham Kates is deputy editor of The Crime Report. We welcome comments from readers.



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Posted by walter
Wednesday, November 07, 2012 06:26

Hello I would like to know if any cchanges are coming to ny federal law I see a lot of state aare making changes but I haven’t heard anything about ny is there any proposal for federal law specially on mandatory minimum.

Thank youu

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