Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine...
Initiative number nine just qualified for California's November 4 presidential ballot. This one, not yet assigned a proposition number, is designated a victims' rights measure. It deals mostly with parole, increasing the ability of victims and their families to testify and reducing the number of parole hearings to which prisoners are entitled. Here's the attorney general's title and summary:
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. VICTIMS’ RIGHTS. PAROLE. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Requires notification to victim and opportunity for input during phases of criminal justice process, including bail, pleas, sentencing and parole. Establishes victim safety as consideration in determining bail or release on parole. Increases the number of people permitted to attend and testify on behalf of victims at parole hearings. Reduces the number of parole hearings to which prisoners are entitled. Requires that victims receive written notification of their constitutional rights. Establishes timelines and procedures concerning parole revocation hearings. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown potential increases in state prison and county jail operating costs due to provisions restricting early release of inmates. To the extent that any such costs were incurred, they could collectively amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually. A potential net savings in the low tens of millions of dollars for the administration of parole reviews and revocations if the changes related to parole revocation procedures were not overturned by potential legal challenges. (Initiative 07-0100.)
Maybe it sounds better backwards. Number nine, number nine, number nine. Everyone of them knew that as time went by they'd get a little bit older and a little bit slower. As for the first eight initiatives, look here and despair: a gay marriage ban, the umpteenth parental notification abortion measure, trains, children's hospitals, get-tough-on-gangs, renewable energy, and on and on. There will almost certainly be a 10th, 11th and 12th — prison bond, redistricting and alternative fuels.
The deadline for qualifying a ballot measure for the November election is June 26.