Governor hopes Californians' tough views on crime have eased

Gov. Jerry Brown is betting that the pendulum has swung from the days when Californians approved the nation's toughest three-strikes crime law and other get-tough measures.

He's asking voters to reverse a ballot measure that let prosecutors send juveniles directly to adult court. The plan he announced this week also would further soften California's three-strikes law and weaken victims' rights laws passed as recently as 2008.

Voters have recently been willing to ease criminal penalties.

In the last four years they've cut penalties for some drug and property crimes and required that a third strike must be a violent or serious felony.

Pollsters say the Democratic governor could benefit from increasing support for criminal justice reform as he asks voters to reduce sentences to meet a court-ordered prison population cap.