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Are three strikes laws fair and effective

  • Three Strikes is estimated to cost less than a quarter of the original projection;
  • Only a portion of the total growth in the inmate population is attributable to Three Strikes;
  • The California law also doubles minimum terms for second time offenders.

April 09, 2012 12: After 12-year-old Polly Klaas was kidnapped from her home during a slumber party and murdered by a lifetime criminal in 1993, the California Legislature moved quickly to pass a law intended to prevent such criminals from being released after incarceration.

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  • This aging prison population is likely due to two factors;
  • Since about 2000, the CDCR has altered how it supervises parolees who have two or more serious or violent felony convictions on their record-those for whom their next felony conviction would make them eligible for a third strike sentence.

And with a digital subscription, you'll never miss a local story. Since that time, Three Strikes legislation has consistently faced criticism and attempts to weaken it despite its immensely positive results. In the years since passage, crime has drastically declined in California. Critics point to a national trend and note that crime has also declined in states without Three Strikes legislation.

In California, there were actually fewer felony criminal trials in 2002 than in 1993 despite population growth in the millions. Three Strikes keeps recidivist criminals off the streets for longer periods, preventing them from committing additional crimes and harming society.

  • Thus, as the third striker population grows and ages-probably at least until 2014-the overall prison population will likely grow older, as well;
  • Also, studies of three-strike laws have shown that African-Americans are disproportionately affected by the policy Murphey, 2000;
  • For example, some offenders who are incarcerated for longer periods under Three Strikes are unable to commit additional crimes that result in victim-related government costs for example, health care costs;
  • The extent and magnitude of these impacts is unknown;
  • Three-strikes laws are not effective crime prevention measures, they are unnecessarily harsh sentencing guidelines that punish harrmless petty criminals and overcrowd our prisons;
  • However, there are fewer than 9,000 third strikers in California prisons, fewer than 6 percent of the total prison population.

Studies estimate that in the first decade of its enforcement, more than 2 million would-be crime victims in California were spared. Previously, a person convicted of two serious felonies, such as burglary of a residence and robbery, who then committed a third serious felony, such as another robbery, would only have been sentenced to seven years. This is a positive thing for California.

After upholding a Three Strikes conviction in Ewing v.

Pro & Con: Three Strikes law has been effective — why change? | The Tribune

California, the United States Supreme Court noted another positive consequence of the law in California: This is likely due to their fear of being prosecuted further under the law. Critics blame Three Strikes for prison overcrowding and the rising cost of corrections in California. However, there are fewer than 9,000 third strikers in California prisons, fewer than 6 percent of the total prison population.

A Primer: Three Strikes - The Impact After More Than a Decade

Three Strikes is estimated to cost less than a quarter of the original projection. Because of the high rate of recidivism, strikers would likely be in prison regardless of whether Three Strikes was on the books. Three Strikes prevents career criminals from costing society in the form of human suffering, crime scene investigation, apprehension and prosecution.

Often, the media has played into the hype and propagated stories of petty criminals being locked up for life for something as small as stealing videotapes.

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The truth of that case, however, is quite different. Andrade the defendant had nine previous convictions, including three felony residential burglaries, several drug-trafficking offenses and an attempted escape from prison. His final strike was for felony theft of videotapes that were small in value, but his pattern of committing serious crimes and recidivism justified his life sentence. However, why should we wait for this habitual criminal to commit another serious or violent crime before locking him up for good?

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