May 21, 1999

Opinionated San Diegans Wanted for Nationally Broadcast `POV' Program

"Three Strikes and You're Out" is the non-nonsense message Californians sent to repeat felons and violent offenders nationwide when the country's toughest sentencing law passed by a landslide in 1994. Almost five years have passed since Californians took his controversial stance on crime, resulting in a criminal justice system where those convicted of three felonies can end up facing life in prison even if the crimes committed are non-violent.

San Diegans have the opportunity to participate in a national dialogue on the ramifications of Three Strikes law during a community forum called "Taling Back: Video Letters to `P.O.V.'" Monday, May 24 at 6 p.m. at the Downtown library. After a preview screening of the powerful "P.O.V." program, "The Legacy: Murder & Media, Politics & Prisons," airing June 1 at 10 p.m. on KPBS Television, audience members will be invited to share their thoughts on the documentary.

The videotaped comments to "The Legacy" will be considered for use in a national viewer response program. Challenging the notion of television as a passive medium, "Talking Back" is a tool for viewers to engage in a public dialogue on contemporary social issues and cultural perspective on a national level.

"The Legacy" tells the story behind the passage of Three Strikes and poses questions about America's political process, the role of the media, and the nation's increasing reliance on prison to address societal problems. The program focuses on a frenzied media campaign led by two fathers of murdered children, Mike Reynolds and Marc Klaas, who were united by tragedy but driven apart by conflicting ideas of social justice.

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