Three Strikes Law

“Three strikes laws are a category of statutes enacted by state governments in the United States, beginning in the 1990s, which require courts to hand down a mandatory and typically extended period of incarceration to persons who have been convicted of a serious or violent criminal offense on three or more separate occasions” (Wikipedia).This law would give a mandatory 25 to life in prison. The three strikes law has sparked up controversy through many different court cases.

There are several arguments that support and oppose this law. People who oppose this law may argue that prisons are filling up and more money is being spent on these prisons for repeat offenders. “Such laws are ultimately ineffective in dealing with crime and may in fact serve to perpetuate cycles of crime and violence” (Wikipedia).Violent felonies include murder, rape, lewd act on a child or teen, robbery, arson, sexual abuse, and out-of -state kidnapping.

Serious felonies include those of the violent felonies plus grand theft exploding destructive devices, burglary, and an attempt to commit a crime. In contrary, people who support the three strikes law may argue that repeat offenders would be kept off the streets while saving money in the long run, criminals serve their time rather then getting off easy, and justice would be served even if the system fails making sure that repeat offenders don’t slip through the system. In my opinion the argument that supports the three strikes law is relevant with my standpoint.

The Three Strikes Law was passed in 1994. Due to the three strikes law passing there has been change in the economies crime rate. “The number of reported crimes committed in the first six months of 1995 dropped 7%, with reported violent crimes declining 6.6% and property crimes falling 7.2%” (Reynolds,pg.241). The advantage to the law is that repeat offenders are kept off the streets while spending less money in the long run. By confining criminals in prisons there are fewer crimes committed on the streets where more property and innocent victims are at risk to become damaged or dead. While their time in prison, these offenders would have a difficult time getting probation and reducing sentences even with good credits.

Therefore, repeat offenders have less of a chance of getting back on the streets and more of a chance for the community to repair what the offenders left behind. ” there are 6,763 fewer victims of violent crime and 13,805 fewer victims of property crimes than during the same six month period in 1994″ (Reynolds,pg.242) Some may agree with the three strikes law, and some may not agree. This law is very controversial, and can apply to any person that has committed three crimes. It is controversial because this law can apply to someone who has committed rape three times or even to someone who has robbed three times. This is why some people may argue that this law is unjust, but others may argue that this law keeps criminals locked up as well.

Esparza, David. “The “Three Strikes and You’re Out” Law – .” Legislative Analyst\’s Office (1995). UCI, San Diego. 5 May 2006 . Messerli, Joe. “Three Strikes Law.” Balanced Politics. 26 Feb. 2006. 5 May 2006 . Reynolds, Mike, Bill Jones, and Dan Evans. Three Strikes and You’re Out. Fresno, CA: Quill Driver Books, 1996. 241-247.

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