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Taking the initiative

December 03, 2007

Re "Viability of sex-offender law in doubt," Nov. 27

While a handful of law enforcement officers interviewed in the story said a lifetime use of a global positioning system is a difficult demand to meet, none said Proposition 83, known as "Jessica's Law," is not viable. The law is not just a simple bill that tracks and monitors sex offenders but a comprehensive measure that cracks down on sexual offenses and modifies the legal process for convicting and paroling sex offenders. GPS tracking is but one element of the law, but it is an important element favored overwhelmingly by voters last year.

Sure, I believe time is needed to iron out the wrinkles, but two-thirds of the sex offenders who are supposed to wear the tracking device are in compliance. Soon, the remaining population will come into compliance.

I believe it is the Legislature's job to follow the will of the people and fund the voter-demanded GPS programs. Whether in gloomy or rosy budgetary times, keeping our neighborhoods safe should be government's No. 1 priority.

State Sen.

George Runner

(R-Lancaster)

As one of the 30% who voted against Jessica's Law, I knew it wouldn't work even if it turned out to be constitutionally legal. The problem with laws enacted by the initiative process is that voters aren't smart enough to realize the long-term consequences of the laws they want to pass. The three-strikes law is another example of a foolish proposition that we cannot afford. The time has come to end the initiative process and allow our elected officials to make laws that are realistic and will pass the muster of constitutional scrutiny.

Greg Bristol

Santa Barbara

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