More than half of the states in the US currently have some form of a habitual offender law.
Check new design of our homepage! What You Should Know About Three-strikes Law The three-strikes law has sparked much debate due to the harsh punishments meted out to repeat offenders.
This OpinionFront article elaborates the three-strikes law and the impact it has had on the criminal judicial system in the country.
OpinionFront Staff InLeandro Andrade, who had been convicted previously for petty thefts and burglary, stole five videotapes from a K-Mart store in Ontario, California.
He later stole some more videotapes from another K-Mart store. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison due to the three-strikes law in the state. There is hardly any law in the US that has generated as much fury and debate as the three-strikes law. Passed by 24 American States and the Congress, the three-strikes law is a legislation that mandates increasingly tougher prison terms for repeat or habitual offenses.
The legislation was passed under the slogan of "Three-Strikes-and-You're-Out. The rationale for imposing these laws is to keep habitual offenders, also known as recidivists, behind bars.
The law was sought to deter criminals from committing serious felonies. To assess the impact that it had on crime and the criminal justice system, we first need to understand the facts of the three-strikes law.
Three-strikes Law Facts The three-strikes law increases the prison sentences of repeat offenders who have been convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies. The rallying cry for such sentencing laws was fueled after the kidnapping and murder of year-old Polly Klaas by Richard Allen Davis, a career criminal who had an extensive record of prior crimes.
Serious felonies, as defined by the Penal Code sections In California, crimes involving explosive devices, drug possession, or arson also come in the purview of serious felonies. Although many other states have passed a three-strikes law for convicting habitual offenders with violent crimes, it is only in California that even minor crimes and lesser offenses are awarded a life sentence.
The controversial part about the law in California, and the one which has sparked off a lot of debate, is that the defendant's two prior convictions, also known as 'strike priors', should be serious crimes. However, the third crime, which can be any trivial felony, including shoplifting, can result in a minimum 25 years-to-life sentence for the defendant.
They also need to serve at least 20 years before they are eligible for parole.
A defendant with one strike prior, who commits a felony the second time is sentenced to twice the base term of the current felony. The court can take a decision to strike or dismiss a 'strike' prior.
This is done when the sentencing court finds that a defendant with two or three strike priors falls outside the 'spirit' of the three-strikes law. This is often done when the new offense is not very serious and the defendant has a nonviolent history.
In certain situations, juvenile adjudications are also considered as 'strikes'. Three-strikes Law Pros Despite the growing concern over the severity of the three-strikes law, there are many people who support it. Some of the arguments supporting the law include: Clear Penalties for Crime The criminal justice system should be able to hand out quick and definitive penalties for the crime committed.
Due to the mandatory nature of these sentences, the three-strikes law ensures that offenders are punished.
Harsh Punishment for Repeat Offenders When the power is left to the judges, it is observed that many times criminals, even the repeat offenders, get away with light sentences.
This can be curbed by the mandatory sentences imposed by the three-strikes law, which will ensure that repeat offenders are adequately punished.
Removal of Repeat Offenders from Society This is the reason that the legislation was passed in the first place. The primary goal of any criminal justice system is to protect law-abiding citizens. When repeat offenders of serious crimes, like murder and rape, and other dangerous citizens are out on the streets, how is an average person supposed to feel safe?
The proponents of this system also feel that there is no chance for repeat offenders to rehabilitate and redeem themselves.Three Strikes Law B.
A. Barth Criminal Justice Administration The Three Strikes Laws Begun in the s, the Three Strikes Laws are a category of statutes which were enacted in the United States by certain state governments.
In the United States, habitual offender laws (commonly referred to as three-strikes laws) were first implemented on March 7, and are part of the United States Justice Department's Anti . Three strike laws are statues enacted by the state governments in the United States which require the state courts to hand down a mandatory and extended period of incarceration to persons who have been convicted of a felony on three separate occasions.
THE THREE STRIKES LAW IN FLORIDA. To say that recidivism, which is when a former prisoner goes on to commit another crime after release, is an issue in the United States is something of an understatement. The Pros and Cons of the Three Strikes Law for Floridians. Revises three strikes law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent.
Authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if third strike conviction was not serious or violent and judge determines sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety.
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