Lance Janssen hasn’t led a charmed existence. The Healdsburg man has a long criminal rap sheet, dating back to the late 1980s, and has spent much of his adulthood in jail and prison. It looked like he was going away for life when he committed his third ‘strike’ offense: Fleeing police last year through Fountaingrove in Santa Rosa with a loaded handgun under the seat of his motorcycle. But fate finally smiled on the 45-year-old ex-con.
Conflicting ideas about justice and public safety, underlined by economic considerations, emerged in a public forum Sunday on two state ballot measures that would abolish the death penalty and amend the three strikes law. ‘If it’s not broken, you don’t fix it,’ child safety advocate Marc Klaas said, asserting that California’s three strikes law has ‘worked superbly’ since voters approved it in 1994, a year after his daughter, Polly, was abducted from her Petaluma home and murdered by a repeat offender.