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California Proposition 21 (2000): Wikis


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California Proposition 21, known also as Prop 21, was a proposition proposed and passed in 2000 that increased a variety of criminal penalties for crimes committed by youth and incorporated many youth offenders into the adult criminal justice system. Major provisions of the proposition, as summarized by Attorney General of California are:

  • Increased punishment for gang-related felonies; death penalty for gang-related murder; indeterminate life sentences for home-invasion robbery, carjacking, witness intimidation and drive-by shootings; and a new crime of recruiting for gang activities; and authorizes wiretapping for gang activities.
  • Requires adult trial for juveniles 14 or older charged with murder or specified sex offenses.
  • Elimination of informal probation for juveniles committing felonies.
  • Required registration for gang related offenses.
  • Designation of additional crimes as violent and serious felonies, thereby making offenders subject to longer sentences.

The proposition received considerable controversy and was subject to vigorous protests by youth and human rights groups, but was eventually passed. Opponents included the Californians for Justice, the Critical Resistance Youth Force Coalition, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Prop 21 received the support of 62.1% (4,491,166) of the voters while 37.9% (2,742,148) voted against the proposition.[1] Only the comparatively liberal counties of the San Francisco Bay Area voted by majority against the measure.

In February, 2001, state Court of Appeal in San Diego invalidated provisions of the law requiring 14 to 17-year-olds to be tried in the adult courts.[2]

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