November 15, 2012
3 Strikes Crime Law: Unjust and Preposterous
The 3 Strikes Crime Law is one of the nation’s harshest sentencing laws. Are you aware that even non-violent criminals are sentenced to life in prison under the 3 Strikes Crime Law? More than 4,000 non-violent criminals are currently serving life in sentence in prison in California alone. (Vega & Galloway, 2012). If you take these outrageous numbers and add them to the rest of the nations non-violent criminal statistics the numbers are shocking. The 3 Strikes Crime Law is a violation of the 8th Amendment, as the maximum penalty for non-violent offenders is severe, unjust, and preposterous.
The 3 Strikes Crime Law was established in 1993, which carries stricter penalties for third time felony convictions, and it is now enforced in 24 states. (Grimes, 2010). The law was created to defer and punish repeat felony offenders, and to impose lengthier prison sentences. These lengthier prison sentences are only imposed on certain repeat offenders, but do not show favor to non-violent criminals. The prison sentences are more than double the prior sentencing guidelines. The broadened prison sentences are imposed on first, second, and third time felony convictions, regardless of the crimes seriousness. Non-violent and violent criminals who receive their first strike must serve a minimum of 2 years in prison, second strikers must serve a mandatory 10 years, and third strikers receive 25 years to life, without a chance of parole (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). Such lengthy prison sentences are unjust and unethical, and even give non-violent criminals life in prison. According to Taylor (2012) “The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution provides a protection against cruel and unusual punishment, but the doctrine as developed by the Supreme Court fails to adequately enforce this prohibition and therefore allows...