Attorney General Lungren's Positions on the Issues
Under Attorney General Dan Lungren's leadership, California's
long stalled death penalty has moved forward. On April 21, 1992 Robert
Alton Harris became the first convicted killer executed in California in
25 years. Just over a year later, David Mason became the second. The
Attorney General's legal team and criminal division attorneys represented
the People of California in this case. In the Harris case, it was the
personal involvement of Attorney General Dan Lungren in the early hours
of the morning that allowed the several last minute stays to be lifted.
Now, efforts to lessen delays in the death penalty appeals
process continue under Lungren's leadership. Following the unveiling of
President Clinton's crime package in August 1993, Attorney General
Lungren marshalled the support of the California District Attorneys
Association and a majority of state Attorneys General (under the
jurisdiction of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals) to fight the
habeas corpus provisions of the Clinton package which would have added
even more delays to the process. Following close cooperation between the
Attorney General's office and the office of U.S. Senator Dianne
Feinstein, the onerous provisions were dropped from the Senate version of
the crime bill.
Attorney General Dan Lungren has also successfully argued for
California's death penalty before the U.S. Supreme Court In Sandoval v
On March 18, 1993 at the Hollenbeck Youth Center in East Los
Angeles, Attorney General Lungren issued a sobering report called Giants
2.000 and proposed a comprehensive anti gang package emphasizing both
prevention and punishment of juvenile criminals.
The report estimates gang membership in California at 200,000
youths today and forecasts at least 250,000 gang members in this state by
the year 2000.
Attorney General Lungren's proposals include:
allowing courts to try 14 and 15 year old murder suspects as adults
expanding the legal definition of gangs and increasing sentences
for gang crimes.
making public the names of juveniles charged with murders,
serious felonies and graffiti vandalism.
expanding prevention and educational programs to steer youth away
from the gang culture.
Attorney General Lungren was among the first statewide leaders to
tackle the problem of school violence. While visiting Manual Ants High
School in South Central Los Angeles on March 2,1993 he unveiled this
comprehensive package, which includes:
mandatory safe school plans
optional use of metal detectors to ensure school safety for students
gun free, gang free and drag free zones around school campuses
safety training for teachers
In actions following the announcement:
On October 6, 1993 Governor Pete Wilson signed AB 2264 (Andal)
into law, which contains the Lungren proposal to make safety training
part of credentialling process for new teachers.
Gun hotlines, co sponsored key the Attorney General's office,
were established in the Sacramento and Long Beach school districts,
providing a confidential method for students to report the presence of
weapons on campus.
The Attorney General conducted forums with students, teachers and
parents at high schools in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Long Beach,
Bakersfield, San Diego, Chico and San Francisco. Ideas from these forums
are being incorporated into future safe schools proposals and strategies.
VIDEO GAMES AND THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE
Continuing his campaign to reduce the glamorization of senseless violence
in entertainment and sports, Attorney General Lungren has sent letters to
leading manufacturers and sellers of violent video games and urged
parents to examine the content of the games they let their children play.
Since Lungren issued his call, a national debate has ensued:
The video game industry has announced it will institute a
national ratings system.
Two major store chains have pulled one of the most violent games,
Sega Games has announced it will no longer distribute "Night
Trap" in its current form.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING AND PROBLEM SOLVING (COPPS)
In January, 1993 the California Department of Justice, through the
Attorney General's Crime Prevention Center, became the only state
Department of Justice to issue a comprehensive set of community based
policing strategies to every local law enforcement agency in the state.
Later in the year, Golden West Community College in Orange County made
community oriented policing and problem solving part of its official
curriculum for peace officer training.
LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNDING
In his State of the Public Safety address on January 14, 1993, Attorney
General Lungren warned legislators and the public that further cuts in
both the California Department of Justice and local law enforcement would
result in reduced public protection, including delays in processing
criminal history and other vital information.
In the fall of 1993, Attorney General Lungren stamped throughout the
state on behalf of law enforcement funding, and when the Proposition 172
tales tax extension emerged as the only vehicle for such finding, he
urged voters to support it. The measure passed in November, creating for
the first time a permanent dedicated source of revenue for public safety
at the local level. Attorney General Dan Lungren is also a longtime
supporter of asset forfeiture for drug dealers and has fought to ensure
that seized funds are used to fund more law enforcement.
In order to give citizens more tools to protect themselves, Attorney
General Lungren exercised Ms authority under the California Penal Code
and ordered certification of a new tear gas weapon called "Pepper Spray"
to be sold for self protection use by the general public. The product
became available March 1, 1994 for qualified California residents who
complete a safety training course.
MODEL STATE DRUG LAWS
Completing 13 months of work on a bipartisan Presidential Commission,
Attorney General Dan Lungren unveiled 41 model state drug laws contained
in the Commission's report to President Clinton and Attorney General
Janet Reno. The model statutes include a tough asset forfeiture law with
protections for innocent property owners. Taken together the laws some
of which we have in California and some we should have emphasize
enhanced education and treatment efforts without weakening law
enforcement's response to drug crimes.
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S BUREAU OF NARCOTICS ENFORCEMENT 1993 SUMMARY
Seized and dismantled 350 clandestine drug labs.
Seized 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine with a wholesale value of
Seized over 19,000 pounds of cocaine with a wholesale value of
Seized 2.1 million dosage units of LSD with a street value of
Arrested 6, 772 persons on drug trafficking, weapons violations,
violent felonies, child abuse and other charges.
Seized 3,811 weapons.
Over the last two years, the Attorney General's Bureau of Investigation
conducted more than 25 counterfeit investigations, resulting in 35
arrests and the seizure of $10 million worth of counterfeit goods
ranging from audio cassettes to fake Chanel handbags. As a result of
these efforts, on November 11, 1993, the Recording Industry' of America
awarded Attorney General Lungren with an honorary gold record.
On March 5, 1993, the Attorney General's Crime Prevention Center launched
a major public education program to prevent the hidden crime of elder
abuse, which can include physical, emotional and financial abuse of
senior citizens. The multi media campaign features a video and public
service announcements starring actress Betty white. Materials have been
translated into Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese.
Attorney General Dan Lungren is the first Attorney General in many years
to successfully prosecute a sitting statewide elected officer for
corruption. The Attorney General's Office prosecuted the much publicized
case against Superintendent of Public Instruction, Bill Honig. He was
found guilty by a jury on January 29, 1993 of four conflict of interest
felonies and was removed from office.
REGULATION OF GAMING IN CALIFORNIA
Citing under regulation and inadequate enforcement of legal gambling in
California and the potential for expanded gambling in the future -
Attorney General Lungren called for the establishment of an independent
California Gaming Control Commission and a new Division of Gaming Control
within the Department of Justice. The concept is currently being debated
in three bills before the State Legislature.
In a case handled by Attorney General Lungren's office, the California
Supreme Court on December 23, 1993 upheld the state's innovative
anti-drug driving law, which allows law enforcement officers to
immediately seize and suspend the driver's license of a drunk driving
suspect at the time of arrest.
Following a series of hate crime attacks in the Sacramento area, Attorney
General Lungren joined Governor Pete Wilson and local law enforcement
leaders in a united stand against hate crime violence. The group jointly
reopened the state Fair Employment and Housing Commission office, which
had been one of the targets of the firebombers. Lungren pledged whatever
assistance local law enforcement needed to catch the perpetrators. A
suspect in the case is currently on trial.
Also, in a U.S. Supreme Court case which could have resulted in hate
crime penalty enhancements being ruled unconstitutional, Attorney General
Lungren successfully urged for the Court to uphold such sentence
return to the main page
The material included in this voter guide is archived and will not be updated. Please visit the California Voter Foundation's homepage for the most current information and resources.
© California Voter Foundation 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 & 1998