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BASF Joins ACLU of Northern California in its Support of Proposition 66; Opposition to Proposition 69 Board Majority Agrees on Issues of Reform and Justice


October 19, 2004-- San Francisco
-- The board of directors of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) has voted by a significant majority to support the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California in its stance on two initiatives on the November 2004 ballot -- Proposition 66 and 69. At a meeting this week, board directors agreed to support Proposition 66 and oppose Proposition 69.

Proposition 66 reforms California 's three strikes sentencing law to require that a third strike -- carrying a mandatory 25-to-life sentence -- be a violent or serious felony. It also changes the list of crimes counting as "strikes" to exclude some nonviolent or nonserious crimes. Resentencing would be an option for some third strikers.

Proposition 69 expands California's convicted felon DNA database to include adults arrested for any felony offense, even if they are never charged with a crime. It also includes children who are adjudicated or convicted for any felony offense, including shop lifting or writing a bad check.

According to Jon Streeter, president of BASF and a partner at Keker & Van Nest, "Reforms to California 's three strikes law through Proposition 66 are urgently needed to ensure just punishment for violent and non-violent criminals alike. Harsh three strike sentences should be reserved for violent felons, not those accused of nonviolent, petty crimes such as shoplifting or simple drug possession." Streeter added that BASF's leadership voted to oppose Proposition 69 because "it turns our notion of justice and innocence right on its head. Innocent people don't belong in California 's criminal DNA database."

"We applaud BASF for taking a stand at this important moment of opportunity to define the kind of criminal justice system Californians deserve -- a system that's sensible, fair, effective and just," said Maya Harris of the ACLU of Northern California.

For more information on Propositions 66 and 69, visit www.yes66.org and www.protectmydna.org.


The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Contact:
Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
Email:
amurphy@sfbar.org
Phone:
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Contact:
Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
Email:
shappich@sfbar.org
Phone:
(415) 782-9000 x8104