Three Strikes and You’re Out
May 7, 2013
Mr. Ian Barrimond
The state of California in 1994 passed the “Three Strikes and Your Out” law. This law sentences a third offence felony offender to a mandatory 25-years to life sentence. Although crime rate have dropped in California there are those opponents to the law who feel in certain cases that the sentencing is too harsh.
The benefits of “The Three Strikes and Your Out” law are that it provides a fix for a defective justice system, so that repeat offenders and violent criminals stay in prison. The law provides a very effective prevention after the second conviction. The down side to the law is that if someone is arrested that already has two convictions they are almost guaranteed the cost and time of a trial. Offenders often plea-bargain their first two convictions. The law puts more criminals into an already over crowed and expensive prison system that our hard working Americans pay for. The literature and discussions with leading criminologists have found that there is little agreement among the researchers about the effectiveness of the Three Strikes law on public safety. Some reports show that a drop in crime in the mid-1990s was due to the Three Strikes law. The Attorney General report stated that though crime rates were dropping nation wide, California’s crime rate dropped even more than those other states. This law is a double edge sword; it’s effective but yet unfair in some conditions. The Three Strikes law forces longer prison sentences for certain repeat offender. It requires that a person who is convicted of a felony and who has in the past been convicted of one or more violent or serious felonies, receive a sentence enhancement. If someone already has a serious or violent felony, then the sentence for the new felony conviction is twice the terms under law, even if it’s not...
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