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Issue: Drive-By Shootings

August 22, 1993| Compiled by Mary Anne Perez / Times community correspondent

The Assembly Committee on Ways & Means is studying a bill that would impose the death penalty or a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole on those found guilty of drive-by shootings. Gov. Pete Wilson supports the bill. What do you think?

* Judy Dickson, preschool director , Crenshaw It might do some good, but then again, it might give people the wrong idea. If it's a person who has done this over and over and maybe has been told to stop, has gone to court, then maybe that's the only thing that will make him stop. But maybe for his first offense, no. Maybe they should do something else for them, not going to jail. Who is to say what punishment to give them?

* Shauna Puffer, college student , Koreatown I think it's probably a good idea. Maybe it's a little drastic, but it's a big problem. It happens in my neighborhood. Just last week we had someone drive by and shoot. They didn't shoot at anyone, just up in the air. I don't know if it's because of the riots that there are so many guns out there. Right now, there are so many people (in jail). It's so packed, so they wouldn't spend that much time in there anyway. And now that (governments) are cutting budgets, they can't even afford to prosecute the felons. I hear gunshots three times a week. When I first moved there two years ago, it wasn't that often.

* Sonia Cano, cashier , South-Central I think that the people who do the drive-bys scare all the other people who live in the neighborhoods. The idea could change people who need something as tough as that sentence to keep them out of jail. It's not good that all the people are afraid of the shootings. There has to be a better way of dealing with this problem. I used to get off work at 11:30 or 12 (at night), and where I live there are four groups (gangs) on each corner. Where I have to park, sometimes I had to walk in between them and it was scary. There's shootings every night.

* Todd Battles, student , Granada Hills High School I feel that's a good sentence to have, but I don't think it will make any difference because they have all the rules and regulations and they don't pay any attention to them anyway. I doubt that they would get caught anyway. I don't think this generation is going to change. We have to start with the kids and direct them toward the recreation. When they're younger, they look toward their older brothers or their fathers who are in gangs, so that's what they want to do. We have to make this better, the schools and recreation centers and youth centers to direct them toward something more productive.

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