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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 16 August 2010

Last week, the first Citizens Jury panel met to discuss the merits of upcoming ballot Measure 73. As part of the pilot project for the Citizens Initiative Review, a group of 24 citizens heard a variety of testimony from proponents and opponents of the measure and drafted a statement to be published in the Oregon Voter's Pamphlet. Measure 73 increases mandatory minimum jail terms for certain repeat sex crimes and incarceration for repeat driving under the influence crimes.
They have released their preliminary findings about the measure and while not all agree with the following statements, Healthy Democracy Oregon has included the number of jury members that voted on the following findings:

• M73 shifts the balance of power in court proceedings, giving the prosecution additional leverage in plea bargaining and limiting the judge's discretion in sentencing individual cases. (21 agree)
• Passed in 1994, Measure 11 (ORS 137.700) provides mandatory minimum sentencing of 70-300 months for the major felony sex crimes defined in Measure 73. (24 agree)
• Mandatory minimum sentencing has not proven a significant deterrent to future DUII or sex crimes. (21 agree)
• An unintended consequence of M73 is that juveniles aged 15 to 17 are subject to 25 year mandatory minimum sentences. (20 agree)
• Oregon spends over 10.9 percent of its general funds on corrections – a greater percentage than any other state. (19 agree)

This week, a new panel is meeting to discuss Measure 74, which would establish a medical marijuana dispensary system in the state. The 24 jury members are selected from citizens across the state and is balanced to reflect the diversity in sex, race, political affiliation, education, and voting patterns.

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