As Drafted and Proposed by:
Bruce Bennett DOC #990306
OVERVIEW: Initiative 162 is designed to reduce the ever increasing costs associated with criminal incarceration. Known as the “Right To Die” law, Initiative 162 is similar to “Die With Dignity” laws enacted to ease the suffering of terminally ill medical patients. Initiative 162 is a voluntary suicide program offered to criminal offenders, a law desinged to sumultaneously eliminate an offender’s suffering and reduce crime in our communities by reallocating the funds previously designated for that offender’s incarceration. The saved cost areredirected into social programs and infrastructure projects. The Right-To-Die law will, in this way, also operate as a mechanism of redemption for each volunteer.
SECTION 1: COSTS OF INCARCERATION: At an average expense of $30,000 a year per offender, the costs of incarceration drain resources from public education, social health programs, and infrastructure projects. Nationally, our incarceration costs exceed $50 billion dollars anually. In addition to expenses associated with mass incarceration, our American communities experience personal losses suffered by victims, local costs of criminal investigations and criminal trials, and the grief experienced by offenders’ families in a duration equal at least to each offender’s sentence. Though Initiative 162 is hoped to have a broad social impact, the legislative intent is focused exclusivelyon the costs of criminal incarceration: i.e. prison structures, security, lodging, offender health care, et cetera. All eligible offenders, as defined in Section 2, will be afforded an opportunity to participate in this state sanctioned suicide program; and, upon completion of an offender’s Right-To-Die proceedings, all resources previously committed to said offender’s incarceration will be reallocated directly into the community where that offender was raised, an effect creating a correlational redistribution of resources to rehabilitate those communties where serious crime is most prevalent. The reallocated resources will be divided as specified below:
(a) One hundred percent (100%) of the redirected resources will be allocated according to the following fractions: 40% into public schools, 30% into infrastructure job creation, 25% into social health programs (i.e. food, shelter, child protection), and 5% into community monuments honoring offenders who select the noble Right-To-Die option.
(b) If it cannot be determined that the rested offender was raised in a single community, then the total resources will redirected into the community where that offender last resided. Zero percent of the resources are authorized to leave the state.
(c) For purposes of this law, “community” is defined as “school district”.
Section 2: ELIGIBLE OFFENDERS: Every offender with a prison sentence exceeding twenty years is eligible for the Right-To-Die program. Eligibility for other offenders will be considered through special application as described in 162(2)(f). Notification of offenders’ eligibility will be made available according to the following:
(a) Upon entering the prison system, all offenders are required to attend an in depth orientation expaining the Right-To-Die program. Offenders will be shown films documenting the various damages caused by criminal behavior, and offenders will be provided with real statistics describing how the Right-To-Die option can richly reward each offender’s community, friends, and family via the redistribution of resources outlined in 162(1)(a).
(b) Contrasting the potential benefits of an offender’s Right-To-Die option, all incoming offenders are required to attend educational seminars exploring the struggles associated with prison life. Incoming offenders will be notified of the stigma attached to their criminal convictions, the general contempt and disgust embodied in society’s vernacular describing the criminally condemned: “Scum of the earth, degenerates, punks, cowards, trash,” et cetera. Offenders will be warned of possible gang rape, racial violence, and general aggression during his\her daily life while incarcerated. For the benefit of more dominant offenders, for those offenders less intimidated by violent environments, detailed descriptions of extensive solitary confinement will be provided.
(c) Offenders will be notified as to the nobility of participating in the Right-To-Die program. Offenders will be honored pursuant to 162(1)(a) and 162(5). Offenders will have an option to bequeath a sum of cash to a loved one pursuant to 162(5)(c).
(d) All state assisted suicides will be conducted in a private and peaceful manner unless the offender selects any option designated in 162(3). All volunteers will be offered cost effective sedatives.
(e) Because some offenders might not right away recognize the hopelessness of their incarceration, brochures will be regularly distributed among the prison population. The brochures will reiterate principles communicated during intake seminars while reminding offenders that appeals are rarely successful, clemency is seldom granted, and new laws almost never reduce prison sentences. In addition, the Right-To-Die option would relieve offenders of the endless pining phone calls and visits with family and friends, those most ephemeral sedatives that only exasperate the suffering of incarceration; instead, the offenders’ families could celebrate him\her as a sacrificing martyr of the community.
(f) All offenders are eligible for the Right-To-Die program by request.
Section 3: MAXIMIZING DETERRENCE VALUE: In order to maximize the value of Initiative 162 as a criminal deterrent, the following additional options will be afforded to offenders:
(a) The assisted suicide will be conducted in the most cost effective public fashion, such as hanging or beheading by guillotine. Though an offender may accept an optional sedative to ease his\her anxiety immediately prior to his\her Right-To-Die proceedings, each offender should be regularly reassured that his\her suicide will serve as a criminal deterrent dissuading other potential offenders from similar fates.
(b) The state will encourage each offender to select the additional option of being pilloried for one week of public humiliation prior to his\her public suicide proceedings. This option will function much like a “Scared Straight” type of program, multiplying in-fold the deterrence value of the offender’s Right-To-Die choice, in effect sparing many at-risk youth from the consequences of criminal behavior.
(c) No more than three (3) offenders may be rested per public event; however, multiple events may take place on the same day provided they occur at least 100 miles apart.
(d) A one-time royalty will be paid to offenders who select any Deterrence Option. The royalty will be paid pursuant to 162(5)(c), within one week of completion of the offender’s Right-To-Die proceedings.
Section 4: OFFSETTING JOB LOSS AND UNION DISAPPROVAL: As this law is certain to reduce crime and prison populations, some opponents to Initiative 162 might include law enforcement, correctional officers unions, and Correctional Industries. Though zero percent (0%) of redirected resources will be allocated to alleviate correctional system job losses, lest be nullified the effects of the law, jobs and revenue may be generated for this purpose as permitted by the following:
(a) Revenue and job creation may be generated via ticket sales to attend public assisted suicides and public humiliations defined in 162(3). All funds generated by these public displays will be directed back into jobs associated with Right-To-Die proceedings.
(b) Correctional staff who have already been trained and conditioned should transition easily into positions of crowd management, executioners, undertakers, and cremators who dispose of offenders’ remains.
(c) Correcttional Industries will be awarded contracts to design and manufacture various Right-To-Die equipment such as gallows, guillotines, ticket booths, casket, urns for offenders’ ashes, et cetera. Correctional Industries will have exclusive rights to supply and opperate concession stands at public 162 events. Correctional Industries will earn additional revenues by selling rotten fruits and vegetables for throwing at pilloried offenders.
(d) All excess revenue earned via Right-To-Die events will be assimilated into state funding for public education.
(e) An agency will be established to account for Right-To-Die revenue and redistribution. The agency will be an affiliate off The Department Of Corrections (The DOC), and the agency will be designated as The Department Of Progressive Engagement and Suicides (The DOPES). The DOPES will regulate 162 events pursuant to this legislation. The DOPES will be funded by 162 event revenue.
Section 5: HORORING RIGHT-TO-DIE VOLUNTEERS:
(a) Public monuments honoring rested offenders will be erected and proudly maintained, processess paid for pursuant to 162(1)(a).
(b) Three decorative plaques will be provided to loved ones designated by the last wishes of th eoffended. These last wishes will be the only final rights afforded to offenders, other than a will distributing owned possessions and the optional royalty authorized by 162(5)(c). The plaques will be manufactured by Correctional Industries, and paid for via ticket sale revenue.
(c) A one-time royalty of 2% from public events will be paid to a loved one desiganted by the offender. This royalty will only be available to offenders who select public suicide and\or public humiliation, and only from that offender’s own Right-To-Die proceedings. The royalty applies to each public option for a total possible royalty never to exceed 4%. The royalty may be paid only after the offender is rested.
Section 6: CRUEAL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Any cruel and unusual punishment challenges pursuant to The Eighth Amendment to The United States Constitution can be judicially overcome with the following criteria:
(a)(i) Offenders are thoroughly notified of their options and their rights;
(ii) The Right-To-Die program is a choice, free to offenders, and wholly without coercion;
(iii) The law is beneficial to the state; and
(iv) Offenders are compensated for their participation pursuant to 162(5).
(b) The three branches of government must co-operate and unite in order to reduce the cost of victimization and criminal incarceration in our communities.
My name is Bruce Bennett. Please join me in supporting YES on Initiative 162.