Proposition 36 3 Strikes Law Modified This will revise the current 3 strikes law so that only serious and violent offenders will be subject to life imprisonment.

Summary
Revises law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. May authorize re-sentencing if third strike conviction was not serious or violent. Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state correctional savings of around $70 million annually, with even greater savings (up to $90 million) over the next couple of decades. These savings could vary significantly depending on future state actions.
Controversy
  • This proposition will release thousands of criminals before their current sentence is completed.
  • Currently the courts are able to work around the 3 strikes law to ensure that certain people are not wrongfully sentenced due to circumstance. This would take the power away from the courts to make those kinds of decisions.
  • There have been a few cases where there has been public outcry of injustice. Ewing v. California a man was sentenced to life imprisonment after stealing golf clubs from a country club.
  • Since 3 strikes has been enacted it has had a significant impact on the prison population and the cost to operate them as well.
Fiscal Impact
  • If this proposition passes it will save 70 million over the few years and then possibly increasing.

Questions -
  • Do you want take change the 3 strikes law to allow for early release of certain repeat offenders that are non-violent non-serious convicted criminals?
  • Do you want to decrease costs in our jail system by reducing the sentence of repeat offenders that are non-serious, non-violent criminals?


YES vote-Some criminal offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who commit certain non-serious, non-violent felonies would be sentenced to shorter terms in state prison. In addition, some offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who are currently serving life sentences for many non-serious, non-violent felony convictions could be resentenced to shorter prison terms.

No vote-Offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who commit any new felony could continue to receive life sentences. In addition, offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who are currently serving life sentences for non-serious, non-violent felonies would continue to serve the remainder of their life sentences.


 

Notes-
  • The text of the Proposition’s intent is rather straightforward, and doesn’t appear to contain any false advertisement.
  • Under this law (if passed) instead of a mandatory life sentence a 3rd strike candidate in court for the 3rd time would receive ‘X’ years for the current non-violent / non-serious felony, and additional years for the prior felony convictions on their criminal records. These would be consecutive years served-not concurrent, so the Felons would still serve additional time as is the intent of the Repeat / Habitual Offender Law(s) already in the Constitution.
  • If someone qualifies for Three Strikes, it’s because they’re on trial for a 3rd felony. The fact that it was non-violent doesn’t make the victim feel any better about it. The current labels in favor such as ‘non-violent’ and ‘non-serious’ raise concern. Can a felony be non-serious? The person with two prior felony convictions that steals your identity and ruins your finances would benefit from this law.
  • Of concern is Section 2’s amendment to Penal Code 667(a)(5): “This subdivision shall not apply to a person convicted of selling, furnishing, administering, or giving, or offering to sell, furnish, administer, or give to a minor any methamphetamine drug…”
  • Money saved by reduced incarcerations may likely be spent on additional crime fighting, legal processes, victims’ costs, and other costs if habitual offenders were released back into the State’s population.
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