Three Strikes Law

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Shaina Piermattei
Professor Minor
Theory of Communications
14 November, 2011

Three Strikes Law

The Three Strikes Law is similar to its names origin, like in baseball, after a person's third felony, or strike, prison time is drastically enforced and can even end up being up to 25 years to life. The first two strikes are counted namely as serious or violent crimes, however, once a third strike is enforced, the seriousness of the crime can actually be much less. For example, nonviolent crimes such as shoplifting or even forgery can count as the third strike that sends one to jail for 25 years to life. In addition to three strikes, even second strike offenses are punished harshly as well. Say someone were to commit their second felony, the sentencing for the criminal is actually doubled.

The Three Strikes Law is actually known in most states as habitual offender laws. Most people are still unaware the law exists, “Though the practice of increasing penalties for repeat offenders is fairly common and well-established, the modern Three Strikes Law first appeared in the early 1990s in Washington State"(Totalcriminaldefense.com). California followed suit shortly after Washington, most believe this was due to a convict who had already committed two felonies then when he was released committed murder. California is actually one of the strictest states when it comes to enforcing the Three Strikes Law. According to attorney, Sarah Garvey, about one in four inmates in the overcrowded California state prison system is a "striker"(Shouselaw.com).There still is no evidence that this law has reduced crime in anyway.

The Three Strikes Law is too undeveloped and disproportionate to be considered a fair punishment for criminals. In this law, someone who is a repeat offender and gets arrested for shoplifting can end up receiving a larger prison sentence than someone who has committed murder. Three strikes also leaves no room for rehabilitation, as rehab...
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