In this paper, I will be explaining what the three strikes law is and its purpose. I will also be explaining why the three strikes law is controversial by defining the defending arguments from the pros and cons sides. I will also use relevant facts and statistics to demonstrate the response from the public in regards to the three strikes law. Lastly I will argue, why we should eliminate the use of the three strikes law due to its injustice to not only the criminals, but also to those of us who are innocent of crimes. The three strikes law was first passed in 1993 by Washington State to keep repeated criminals off the streets along with deterring crime (Clark et al, 1997).
For decades the United States had a pretty stable prison population, but that changed in the 1970's from the rising concerns over crack cocaine and other drugs, resulting in huge increases in drug penalties; a move to mandatory minimum sentences; and the implementation of other tough-on-crime policies, such as "three-strikes" laws and policies to ensure prisoners served at least 85 percent of their sentences. These harsher sentencing law coupled with dramatic increase and drug penalties in the fear of crime, of and wanting to keep these menace to society in prison forever. Added up to a state and federal prison population of 1.5 million, up from 200,000 in 1973. These are some of the factors that lead up to mass
In today’s society people are going to jail for committing minor felonies such as possession of a small amount of drugs, shoplifting a two dollar pair of socks, breaking into a soup kitchen for food, writing a bad check for $146, and stealing a slice of pepperoni pizza. Why are these people going to jail for these minor felonies you might ask? The answer is simple; it’s due to the “Three Strike Laws.” You might be asking yourself what are Three Strike Laws, in Criminal Justice the Three Strike Laws are defined as laws enacted by state governments which mandate courts to impose harsher sentences on those convicted of an offense if they have been previously convicted of two prior serious criminal offenses.
Being on death row often prolongs the pain for the inmate. They spend their time in prison fearing the inevitable which for them is death. Today, we live in a society that is very divided on this issue. There are many in support of the death penalty, suggesting that it acts as a positive deterrent against future crime. There are also many
On March 7, 1994, the governor of California signed into law the "Three Strikes" legislation (Harris & Jesilow, 2000, P185). The law was originally set in place to hold those who committed serious felony offenses accountable for their second and third convictions, and intended to send a “…message to those who would prey on the innocent” (Harris & Jesilow, 2000, P185). The second offense would include penalty twice the prison term and a third would result in a sentence three times the normal stint given or a term of twenty-five years to life, whichever is greater. The “Three Strikes” law significantly disrupted the efficiency of the court system by increased trials and greater workloads and made predictions of case outcomes difficult. The “Three Strikes” law not only cause and influx of work and jail population but was also ineffective in “punishing” those who were committing the crimes, eventually leading to a revision of the law in 2012.
You are most definitely correct Mark. The Three-strike laws are a good way to deter crimes. As stated on the Golden Gate University Law review, the Three-strike law has had a deterrent effect because it reduces felony arrests rates among the class of criminals with 1 strike by 29 to 48 percent (Goodno, 2010, p. 469). Statistically, it seems to somewhat stop repeat offenders. Bill Veeck is known for famously saying, “If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off” (Demakis, 2012, p. 354).
The prison system is able to change it just takes the government not being as stubborn. They outlaw the death penalty. If the death penalty was still used the prisons would have about ⅔ of the inmates left then what is has now. As seen here ”people talk about how the death penalty is not a deterrent. Well, we do it so infrequently.
The overcrowding of prisons in California and the rest of America is the result of “manufactured crime”. These are crimes which have no victim yet are considered felonies and follow the three strike law. Many people do not know that there are more incarcerated people in America than any other country on earth. According to the American Civil Liberties Union “America contains 5% of the world 's human population while also containing 25% of the world’s prison population.
“‘Death sentences represent less than one-tenth of 1% of prison sentences in the United States…,’” (Von Drehle, 9). Furthermore, death row is just a small fraction of the criminal justice system and can not be based on that alone. For instance, what many don't take into account is the justice systems allows for many states, such as the populous state of New York, to ban the death penalty. (state laws, p1)
According to Department of corrections and rehabilitation there is approximately 2.3 million adult offenders currently detained and which consist of 316,229 prisoners which are overseen by correctional officers on an ongoing basis costing on an average of $49 per prisoner, additionally their current budget is approximately $11 billion, which is distributed between 33 state prisons, 40 camps, as well as 12 community correctional facilities. Furthermore, the male population is 93%, 7% are females, Hispanics represent 39%, 29% are African American, and 26% are Caucasian, moreover, there are 24,000 inmates currently serving life sentences and 680 on death row, as well as the 124,000 parolees of which there is a 51% return ratio for parole violations, thus resulting in prison over-crowding.
Within that statistic, most of the imprisoned are non-violent offenders. The problem starts with Arizona’s mandatory imprisonment laws. Research highlights that, “under Arizona's mandatory sentencing system, non-violent offenders make up the majority of state prisoners” (Greene). However, the mandatory sentencing does not just affect Arizona’s population. All across America, mandatory sentencing laws are forcing people to be put into prisons without a second thought.
Does it make sense to lock up 2.4 million people on any given day, giving the U.S the highest incarceration rate in the world. More people are going to jail, this implies that people are taken to prison everyday for many facilities and many go for no reason. People go to jail and get treated the worst way as possible. This is a reason why the prison system needs to be changed. Inmates need to be treated better.
The prisons and jails are overpopulated “Today in California the numbers are far worse: 750 death row inmates, three executions in the past 10 years” (Von Drehle 32). People who disagree also believe “The doses given to death-row inmates are so high that pain is almost an impossibility” (qtd. in Dershwitz 44). Nonetheless, “Yet after seeming to pass out,
Although the death penalty may bring some closure to families of the victims and even the victims themselves it still should be abolished because the negatives outweigh the positives. People could be murdered by the state even if they are innocent. They are taking away any chance these people have at a normal life even though it's a life that they deserve and did nothing to have it taken away. 6. Conclusion
However, crimes are committed whilst in prison, such as drugs and assaults. Some critics say the ‘three strikes and you are out’ law where repeat offenders get a longer sentence are wrong, as the third strike could be a lesser crime such as public disorder. Nevertheless, if just incapacitation and no rehabilitation some critics say will be costlier to society as they will go out and reoffend and, they are not employed and pay taxes. Rehabilitation is also a punishment which should improve the offender's behaviour and stop them committing crimes. Advocates of rehabilitation state prison does not work; however, critics of rehabilitation state prison does work as the criminal cannot commit a crime against the public while incarcerated (Cavadino, 2007 p 36/56).