Three Strikes Rule

Topics: Crime, Burglary, Criminal law Pages: 2 (711 words) Published: August 25, 2013
“Three strikes and you’re out”. This is the all too familiar term we are used to hearing in baseball and in the rules of the law in some states. Most heard of in California. Three strikes sentencing were adopted in 1994. It imposed longer prison sentences for repeat offenders. The law requires a person who is convicted of a felony and who previously has been convicted of one or more violent and/or serious felonies. The main feature of the Three Strikes law is the imposition of a life sentence for any felony conviction, no matter how minor, if the defendant has two prior "serious" felony convictions. "Serious" felonies are defined by the California Penal Code and range from murder and rape to non-confrontational residential burglary and purse-snatching. A third strike offense can be any felony, including simple drug possession or petty theft. Second strike offense if the person has one previous serious or violent felony conviction is twice the term required under law for the new conviction. The third strike offense is a person that has two or more previous serious or violent convictions is sentenced to a life term with the earliest parole after 25 years served. (fbi.gov) Under the current law, most second strikers are automatically released from prison after completing their sentences. In contrast, third strikers are only released upon approval by the state Board of Parole Hearings. Twenty-five states and the federal government have enacted three strikes legislation, increasing sentence lengths by two and setting minimum time to be served at 25 – 40 years. Some of the major issues that are raised in the legislation is that the three strikes law will have little to do with crime prevention as the crime rate in recent years is slowing, life sentences for a third time offender will require spending more money in order to support their imprisonment, and a penalty is a harsh one for criminals convicted of certain felonies such as drug possession. Roughly 1/3 of...
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