- Politics and Social Issues
Three Strike Law
Sentencing and Parole Bill
Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, more commonly known as the three strikes law is famous for its instatement in California, but it is used in 24 different states in the U.S. The three strikes rule was adopted to stop criminals from becoming repeat offenders and it does this by giving a sentence of 25 years to life after three felonies. If a double third strike is received then the sentences are stacked to 50 years to life. Although the law was made to stop violence it has caused other problems. One major problem than can be credited to the three strike law is overcrowding in prisons, the prison population has risen four hundred percent since the law was instated in 1993. Also, citizens with two strikes already are desperate to avoid their third strike, and are more likely to evade police with car chases and dangerous maneuvers which endangers the lives of the criminal, the police, and other people on the road. The three strike law is also unjust in the sentencing of some third strike convicts; an example of this is Kevin Weber who was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for stealing four cookies. These problems are major problems that lead to people paying more money to build more prisons and to house more inmates, and it also puts these people in danger when a desperate criminal with two strikes is trying to evade police.
These three major problems are caused by the three strike law, but more specifically the poor way the Sentencing and Parole Bill was written. The bill has way to offenses qualified as a felony. People that are committing minor offenses are getting sentences of 25 years to life in prison, and this is causing overcrowding instead of a major reduction in crime rate.
There are only two ways to solve these severe problems: one is to rewrite the bill and the other is to just eliminate the bill altogether. If we were to rewrite the bill several changes would need to be made, but the most important would be to reduce the sentencing of lesser crimes. To see if the bill really does reduce crime rate half of the states should abolish the law and the other half should keep it, and see if there is an increase in crime rate between the states without the law and those with the law. The Senate Parole Reform Bill needs to be abolished or have some considerable changes made in order to solve the problems that it has caused.