Effectiveness of the Three Strikes Law

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 505
  • Published : June 15, 2009
Open Document
Text Preview
The definition of the three strikes law is as follows. The third conviction for a felony results in a mandatory and lengthy prison term as defined by the American justice. This research paper will exclusively be written to follow the guidelines of the Caliornia version of the “three strikes and you’re out law” The exact application of the three strikes laws vary considerably from state to state. Although over twenty-three states have a three strikes law and many others have similar laws, none are as strict or as controversial as California’s version. (Three strikes law n.d)

The history of the practice of imposing longer prison terms on habitual offenders than on first time offenders who commit the same crime is nothing new For example New York state has a persistent felony offender law that dates back to the late nineteenth century. Other states have habitual offender laws and recidivists statues on the books for years before the first true three strikes law with virtually no exceptions provided was enacted in Washington in 1993 when voters approved initiative 593 establishing the official “three-strikes law” (1) mandating that criminals who are convicted of most serious offenses on three occasions be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

California followed one year later in November of 1994 when the people overwhelmingly voted proposition 184 and enacted their own version of the law. (2) The law states that “a person who committed one prior violent or serious offense (the “first strike”) and who committed any new felony could receive twice the normal prison term for the new felony. (The “second strike”) a person who committed two or more prior violent or serious felonies (a “second striker”) and then committed any new felony (the “third strike”) would automatically receive an indeterminate sentence of twenty five years to life in prison. (Three strikes n.d)

Is this law ethically sound or morally unjust? Proponents of three strikes argue that...
tracking img