Measure 11 - One Strike, You're Out

Oregon is Tough on Juvenile Crime

Oregon has gotten a lot tougher on juvenile crime. Ballot Measure 11 was passed by Oregon voters in November, 1994. The new law requires teenagers 15 to 17 years old who are charged with certain serious crimes to be tried as adults in criminal court.

Consider This True Story

"Travis" turned 16 years old in February, 1996. After getting high on crack on the night of March 15th, Travis decided to go out and "cause a little trouble".

Travis went to the park and happened on another teenager. Travis, without provocation, hit the other youth in the face with a small flashlight attached to a key chain. The other teenager required stitches. He pressed charges against Travis. Travis already had previous referrals to the juvenile court for criminal mischief and fighting. Because Travis was 16 years old at the time of the crime, he was charged with Assault II, a Measure 11 offense. He was tried and convicted in criminal court.

Travis's sentence was 5 years, 10 months behind bars. No chance of probation. No chance of early release. Being convicted of a Measure 11 crime requires a mandatory sentence. That means:

  • No early release for good behavior
  • No parole
  • No probation

Another True Story

In case you think only murders spend long periods of time in custody, consider this other true story. 15 year-old "Andrew" and his 16 year-old friend, "Mike", were riding a Tri-Met bus. They spotted another teenager on the bus wearing a great-looking leather jacket. Andrew and Mike decided they wanted it.

When the youth got off the bus, Andrew and Mike followed him. After the bus drove away, Andrew and Mike stopped him. Andrew told him he had a knife, and demanded the jacket. The youth said he did not want trouble, and he gave Andrew and Mike the jacket. Andrew and Mike ran off with it.

Andrew and Mike were arrested 3 days later. Mike was heard on a Robbery III charge in juvenile court. He was committed to the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) for 1 year and placed in the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility.

Because Andrew was the person who said he had a knife, he was charged by the prosecutor with Robbery II, a Measure 11 crime. Andrew was tried and found guilty in adult criminal court. Andrew's sentence: 5 years and 10 months behind bars. No probation. No early release. No parole.