Three Strikes change sought

Associated Press, 2001

SACRAMENTO Critics of the state’s "Three Strikes and You’re Out" law proposed a bill and a statewide initiative to change it Tuesday, but the laws supporters, including Gray. Davis, said the law should remain as it is.

During a news conference, the grandfather of Polly Klaas, the Petaluma 12–year–old who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1993, called the law excessive and supported an initiative to make the third strike apply only to violent felonies.

Joe Klaas said he didn’t want his grand–daughter’s legacy to be "a grandfather now serving 25 years to life for shoplifting seven bottles of shampoo."

Klaas was joined by the Citizens Against Violent Crime, an 2–year–old Orange County–based coalition seeking to amend the law. The group will start gathering the 419,260 signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot.

‘As long as we can stay away from the name–calling, then I think we can move forward with this measure" said Sen. Gloria Romero, D–Los Angeles.

But the initiative and a proposed bill to change the law were attacked by Davis and now Secretary of State Bill Jones, who helped write the law in 1994.