Shine focuses on punishment that fits the crime |

Shine focuses on punishment that fits the crime

On the campaign trail, Ray Shine, 58, often tells a story from his days as a sixth-grader at Hennessy School in Grass Valley.

A classmate caused a panic in the community when he pulled the fire alarm, then told everyone he did it.

Instead of arresting him and sending him to juvenile hall, the boy’s punishment was polishing fire engines in front of the school at lunch and on weekends.

“It taught him not to do it again and taught 300 other kids not to do it also,” said Shine, his hands folded on a conference table at his office in Grass Valley. “If you don’t give consequences, people don’t learn ” they don’t get it.”

He said each consequence has to fit the crime, and every case is different depending on the impact on the community, the victim and the defendant.

“Sometimes that consequence is community service, and sometimes it’s jail,” Shine said.

He says he would approach being a judge with “intellectual curiosity,” and he would do more than strictly follow the letter of the law: he would examine each case in order to extract a sentence that most benefits the community.

Throughout his campaign Shine has taken a tough stance on crime and has been critical of alternative programs for drug offenders, such as Proposition 36, a voter-initiated program that puts drug offenders into rehabilitation programs instead of jail.

“With Prop 36, an offender has to fail a drug test five times before a judge can send him to jail,” Shine said. He said judges should have more discretion in cases where offenders are not serious about rehabilitation.

“When I talk to rehab experts, they say, ‘Of all the people in rehab, a third are serious,'” Shine said. “The other two-thirds are playing a game.”

Shine also supports California’s three strikes law. He cites statistics that show 40 percent of people who complete their second parole often leave the state to avoid the threat of a life in prison.

“I feel sorry for Utah and Arizona,” he said, “But I’m glad (offenders) are not here anymore.”

Shine also supports legal changes that will better protect victims of domestic violence and people wrangling about civil issues.

As it stands, restrained parties have to turn in their firearms to law enforcement within 24 hours of receiving the restraining order, but the courts have no process to ensure that it happens. “There’s no method by which we check,” Shine said. “That bothers me.”

Shine was born in Berkeley, but he has been a longtime Nevada County resident.

He has participated in a long list of governing boards and charities. He was on the Mt. St. Mary’s School Board for eight years, including four as president. From 1996-1998, he served on the County Board of Education.

Shine has been president of the Active 20/30 Club, the California Alumni Association, the County Bar Association, and Nevada County Legal Assistance. He has been involved in various scholarship committees, and is a life member of American Legion Post #130.

Shine is also the founding President of the Nevada County United Way, and serves as President and board member for three different non-profits caring for the disabled – Nevada County Community Workshop, Neighborhood Center of the Arts, and Community Service Council.


To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail or call 477-4236.

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