3 Strikes is Failed Policy

Prop 36 has early lead in the polls

by Brian Leubitz

This election includes some big issues on the ballot, and perhaps that means that the 3 strikes reform measure is getting less attention than it would have on a less loaded ballot. But Prop 36 is solid reform:

Twice in as many decades, voters have sided in favor of a three-strikes law that allows judges to impose a life prison term for offenders who commit a third felony – no matter how minor – if they have two previous serious or violent criminal convictions on their records.

Proposition 36 proponents want to change the law to restrict the 25-years-to-life sentences, with some exceptions, to criminals whose third felony was serious or violent; nothing less than a residential burglary would qualify as a strike.(SacBee:)

Prop 36 would essentially formalize what has been occurring in the state’s largest county, Los Angeles, under Republican DA Steve Cooley. By requiring a violent third strike, the hope is you will reduce some of the more ridiculous life sentences. Cooley notes that removing the discretion from the state’s prosecutors, we should see more consistent application of the law.

36 has been getting solid majorities in the polls I’ve seen (78% last week), but this may well end up being a very tight race if there is any money on the No side.

6 thoughts on “3 Strikes is Failed Policy”

  1. As a state, we spend too much money putting non-violent offenders in prison. We could better use the money to keep people out of jail with things like job training programs or drug treatment. The 3-strikes law was a blatant attempt to make money off of people’s fear. The private prison industry has done well off of it. The state of California has not.

  2. Not only is 3-strikes a failed policy and often unfairly cruel, it plays into the privatization of prisons.  The Arizona “paper-please” law was financed by private prisons.  This is a trend that needs to stop.  Time for a more humane and affordable policy with a new attitude toward non-violent crimes.

  3. It’s funny….

    Why do Republicans keep getting elected in California ??

    Everyone knows they’re for the rich….

    It’s because Democrats are SOFT ON CRIME

    I hate to be the one to have to break this to you

    But, it’s true

    Democrats are SOFT ON CRIME

    Sure, sure you’re on the side of the Angels when you oppose three strikes…..

    Some people like to have criminals in jail

    They feel safer that way

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