Three Strikes Law Criminal Justice Term Paper

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Locking up petty thieves and drug users (the overwhelming majority of them black and Latino males) for 25 years to life without the possibility of parole is a blatant violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment."

Summary and Conclusion

Changes are needed in order to address the critical problem of overcrowding in U.S. Prisons and as well the fact that there are so many non-violent offenders housed with hardened and violent criminal individuals is as well a problem in the present structure of the prison system. Only legislation of this law into a modified workable solution will address all the relevant issues brought on by the "Three Strikes" law.

Annotated Bibliography

Ehlers, Scott, et al. (2004) Still Striking Out Ten Years of California's Three Strikes Law 2004 September:

According to this work written and published in 2004: " the ten-year anniversary of the signing of the AB 971 "Three Strikes and You're Out" law has arrived.

California's "Three Strikes" Law (2004) Philanthropy News Digest 2004 Mar 9 Justice Policy Institute Online at

According to the Justice Policy Institute report the "Three Strikes" law has contributed to large increases in the state's prison population, inmates added resulted in approximately $8 billion for incarceration of these individuals and $4.7 billion represents the individuals who were non-violent offenders.

Dunphy, Jack (2003) National Review Online "Three Strikes and You're Still Out" National Review Online at; [ 03.asp:

In 2003 the Supreme Court ruled, "California's 'three strikes' law does not violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment." (Dunphy, 2004) at issue through the appeals process were the questions of whether or not the sentences imposed on Andrade and Ewing were disproportionate to the crimes for which they were convicted, and whether or not federal courts should have the authority to override a state's lawfully enacted statute governing the sentencing of recidivists.

Greenwood, Peter W. et al. (1994) Three Strikes and You're Out: Estimated Benefits and Costs of California's New mandatory-sentencing Law" Rand!994:

Documented analysis of the "benefits and costs of California's new "three-strikes" law mandating lengthier sentences for repeat offenders" and accompanying alternate sentencing laws are presented.

The Impact of the "Three Strikes and You're Out" Law on California's Justice System (1996) California: Legislative Analysts Office - Handouts Online at:]:

Three stated facts about "Three Strikes" after two years are stated to be that impacts have varied substantially among the counties; counties have responded in a number of ways to the impacts of the "Three Strikes"; Impacts on state prisons are starting to be felt and are likely to be very substantial; Magnitude of the impact on crime is unclear.

Kasindorf, Martin (2002) Three-Strikes Laws Fall out of Favor" USA Today Report. Online [available at www.usatoday.copm/news/nation/.2002/0228 / usat_three_strikes.htm]:

Stated in the report is that the laws, which were adopted, by Congress as well as 265 states during the 1990's were now shunned by prosecutors who opted instead for "less drastic habitual-offender laws or for charging recidivists with parole violations."

Hutchinson, Earl Ofari (2004) Needed Reform of the Three Strikes Law Faces - Los Angeles Business Journal 2004 Oct 4 Online available at

The three strikes law in California is the only version of the law in any of the states where a third non-violent or non-serious offense is treated as a serious felony in the sentencing process. The new law called Proposition 66 will focus on the modification of the three strikes law to bring new meaning in that third offenses of non-serious crimes would not count as a third strike under the three strikes law.

King, Ryan S. And Mauer, Marc (2001) Aging Behind Bars: "Three Strike" Seven Years Later 2001 August the Sentencing Project www.sentencingpr oject.:

The Sentencing Project conducted an analysis, which found that "three strikes sentencing will contribute substantially to the aging of the prison system." (Ryan & Mauer, 2001) Between the years of 1994 and 1998 the average age of the third strike inmate was 36.1 years of age. In the first five years after the law was first enacted number of those above the age of…[continue]

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