California Puts 3-Strikes Law Up to Vote
Proposition 36 would limit 'strikes' to serious, violent crimes
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2012 5:04 PM CDT
Prisoners are handed lunch through a hole in the cafeteria wall at the state prison Thursday, March 3, 2011 in Jackson, Ga.    (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(Newser) – Along with a proposition to repeal the death penalty, California is considering another big change on Nov. 6: amending its three-strikes law, Mother Jones reports. If approved, Proposition 36 would only allow hefty sentences to criminals whose third offense is a serious or violent crime. So those convicted of stealing clothes through an open window or a dollar from a parked car—both actual three-strikes crimes—would not have to serve 25 years or more.

Up to 69% of polled Californians back Prop 36, and have many possible reasons: overcrowded prisons, a $28 billion state budget shortfall, a sense of fairness, and support from influential Republicans like Grover Norquist and George Schultz. But opponents note that DAs and judges can already choose not to call a crime a strike. "Prop 36 is kind of like a Pandora's box being opened," says a spokesperson for public safety workers. "These are people with criminal records, and they will prey on the people of California, guaranteed."

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Showing 3 of 82 comments
Oct 23, 2012 2:10 AM CDT
The problem with the death penalty is that we don't actually do it, lawyers reap the rewards of automatic appeals, almost endless appeals, created by lawyers, so fuck the lawyers and get rid of the death penalty and keep those people you hate in prison forever even though you might agree with some of their opinions.
Oct 22, 2012 9:48 AM CDT
What I don't understand is how people can say "We have the world's best justice system" and then they make a law that doesn't allow that system to judge what's best? It's CRAZY to mandate a 25yr sentence knowing nothing about what happened, compared to leaving it to the judge who DOES know what happened to sentence appropriately. Like the "trying a child as an adult" law, it seems to be some kind of revenge-fuelled witch-hunt rather than real justice.
Oct 22, 2012 3:06 AM CDT
I would bet most people are not understanding what this prop does. It weakens the 3 strike law and most people probably think it's going to strengthen it. How many times do we hear about some thug with a hundred arrests on his record that finally goes ballistic and kills somebody?