The Three Strikes Law Assignment

The Three Strikes Law Assignment Words: 3490

For the following BAD Key Assignment Draft, I will be discussing my thoughts on the three strikes laws, requirements, and the Ewing v. California case as it pertains to the three strikes law. Next, a few thoughts on how the public feels about crimes, both violent and non-violent, mandatory sentencing, and the discretion that prosecutors have during the sentencing process, will be discussed in detail.

Following will be my thoughts regarding the scenario for reelection and how it pertains to the legal system today, along with developing a policy describing alternatives, protections against “load up” charges, and using multiple counts for one incident. I will conclude with thoughts on how I might be able to convince and persuade the public into understanding cost effective alternatives for adjudication which might include using probation sentencing as opposed to incarceration practices along with any type of possible backlash problems.

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The three Strikes and You’re out Rule of 1994 There are many states that have adopted some variation of the three strikes law as a policy for adjudication reactivating criminals and while the law sounds seasonable and in the best interest of the public, there are many issues that have blanket policy can have its downfalls.

This research paper will further investigate alternatives to incarceration, especially when the third strike is a non-violent crime. Further, it is important that the public be made aware of the costs, alternatives, and policies that should be put into place for alternative sentencing as well as examples of protections against harsh “load up” charges and plea bargain arrangements and prosecutorial privilege for more humane sentencing.

I will conclude with describing a policy that I would develop and put into action regarding protections against such harsh rulings which would include alternative sentencing procedures, and reasons for using said procedures which will include financial savings, reductions in man hours and man power, and the overall reduced need for secured prison facilities, as well as transparency and accountability for implementing this policy. What most people don’t know is that the Three Strikes Rule didn’t begin in California, it actually was first passed in the state of Washington in 1993 and its rules ere even harsher that Californians were.

Washington State adopted the measure and if an individual was convicted under the mandate, they were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, whereas, Californians three strikes law sentences an individual to 25 year’s to life. That was a big difference. (La Course, 1997) Ewing v. California: A Brief History In March of 2000, Mr.. Gary Ewing was arrested for stealing three Galloway golf clubs from a golf shop in El Segundo, California worth a total of $1197. 00 which made it a felony. He was later tried and found guilty of grand theft by a Jury of his peers.

This unfortunately for Mr.. Ewing, was his third strike and he was sentenced to 25 years to life, the stiffest punishment he could receive which was also a mandatory sentence under the California Three Strikes Law. Mr.. Ewing appealed all the way to the Supreme Court but due to his very busy criminal past, he lost. (Chiders & Hobnobs, 2002) When a case is appealed, as in Mr.. Ewing case, other cases of like offenses and sentencing are looked at to see if any type of discrepancy or bias can be found. The cases e. G. Harelip v. Michigan, 501 U. S. 57 (1991), Soles v. Helm, 463 U. S. 277(1983), and Rumen v. Estelle, 445 U. S. 263 (1980), that were selected to be part of the review process for Mr.. Ewing case were similar but upon review, Mr.. Ewing was found to be much more violent in his overall scope, e. G. Felonies and prior offenses which included the use of weapons, and therefore, his here strikes sentence was upheld. (Ewing v. California, 2002) The Three Strikes and You’re Out Policy 1 . For this assignment, I will be developing a policy regarding the three strikes laws in the State of California. . The policy as it stands today: Californians Three Strikes sentencing law was originally enacted in 1994. The essence of the Three Strikes law was to require a defendant convicted of any new felony, having suffered one prior conviction of a serious felony to be sentenced to state prison for twice the term otherwise provided for the crime. If the defendant was convicted of any felony with two or more prior strikes, the law mandated a state prison term of at least 25 years to life.

On November 6, 2012 the voters approved Proposition 36 which substantially amended the law with two primary provisions: The requirements for sentencing a defendant as a third strike offender were changed to r more prior strikes to qualify for the 25 year-to-life sentence as a third strike offender; and the addition of a means by which designated defendants currently serving a third strike sentence may petition the court for reduction of their term to a second strike sentence, if they would have been eligible for second strike sentencing under the new law.

The reasoning or purpose of the three-strikes law was to ensure longer prison sentences for repeat offenders through the use of mandatory minimum sentences for recidivists with prior felony convictions. This law came about through he highly publicized Poly Class case where a 12 year old girl was blatantly taken from her home right in front of her friends that were at her home for a sleepover.

The public outcry was so strong that California designed, pushed through the legal system and signed into law, the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law that sent a clear and precise message to any one that committed violent crimes. However, other, less violent offenders, were caught in the net as well. 2. What alternatives would be placed in the law to give the state prosecutor more freedom to manipulate the third strike? A.

Possible alternatives – The District Attorneys discretionary authority to disqualify a third strike (Strike a Strike) if it isn’t violent – Based upon review of the offender’s past. The 25 year to life sentencing procedure would be based on the final or current strike (Currently in force) Mandatory use of the proportionality rule during sentencing Offenders currently serving a life sentence for the three strikes law will have the opportunity to have their sentenced reviewed 3.

Many prosecutors “load up” charges against defendants to force a plea bargain. What can be done to limit or prevent this practice? . How does this happen? A Prosecutor “Loads-Up” charges against an individual(s) by taking one incident and creating multiple charges from the same incident. A example would be: a suspect drives a vehicle intoxicated and crashes into another vehicle, killing the driver. When he/she is arrested and taken into custody, the prosecutor walks into the room and says,”Mr.. Jones, You have a problem.

The vehicle you hit was totaled and we have Just learned that the driver was DOD at the hospital. You have priors for Dud’s are you were currently driving on a suspended license. To make matter worse, your blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit and when we tested you, we found traces of meet. What do you want to do? We can go to trial where in all likelihood your will be found guilty of first degree manslaughter, driving on a suspended license, and driving under the influence of alcohol and meet. “However, because you have 2 prior felonies for illegal distribution and armed robbery of a liquor store 8 years ago, California has a mandatory three strikes rule for 25 to life and you are looking straight at it. ” “What I propose is a plea bargain and I would strongly suggest that you take it. ” b. What can be done to prevent this possibility? Legislation has recently pot into law, regulations to help with this situation but because prosecutors have a certain amount of discretion when it comes to pressing charges it is still difficult not to fall under the prosecutorial hammer.

My proposal would be to use the new rule or requirement for assessing the third strike for the purpose of administering the three strikes law and take all or part of the protections of the 11 Amendment immunity clause away NAS well as make attorneys (and Judges) certain amount of immunity when dealing with suspects but I don’t feel that the idea hat police can lie and prosecutors can trump up charges Just to scare people into plea bargaining, was what the founding fathers had in mind when they created our judicial system.

I feel that every person, regardless of age, race, color, or educational background, should have the benefits of the protections of the law and that the law should respect the individual and not play “dirty “threatening” pool”. Making prosecutors liable for their actions farther than evidence gathering (poison tree, etc. ), well as making it the law that an individual can only be charged with the most errors crime committed at one time, will put the brakes on the load-up practices that are so fully used today.

Plea bargains have been more cost effective regarding the court because they have lowered or even do away with costly court procedures but they have also cause a rise in prison costs because most pleas end with time needing to be served, whether the individuals are placed in facilities at night but allowed to work during the day or placed in facilities for a certain length of time. Load up practices do get prosecutorial results but scaring people into admission isn’t the way. (Warren, 2014) 4.

Will your policy allow multiple counts arising from the same incident to count as multiple strikes? The answer is no. I believe that crime, much like anything else, has a certain degree of the domino effect. People make mistakes, sometimes big mistakes but the law should have a certain degree of mercy even when the offender doesn’t. The Judicial system, up until recently, was thought to be a system of reformation and rehabilitation. However, recent events and media coverage have led the public to want to go into a “feeding frenzy’ in regards to criminal activity.

Poly Class, which seems to be the case that sparked the public into emending Justice, and rightly so but treating every citizen with such a possibility of three strikes, regardless of what they are, in m y opinion is wrong, piling on every indiscretion possible with the full intention of dripping most of the charges, is also wrong. A. How my new policy will define multiple counts My policy will define multiple counts on an individual and discretionary basis. Prosecutors will have to decide what the most important or serious offense the person has committed at this particular incidence and go further with that.

Also, I feel that certain issues should and will be groups together. For instance, dud’s are no longer considered a third strict action and the prosecutor is able to “strike the strike” in this instance, however, if the issue of driving under the influence is the reason or a factor in a car accident that resulted in the wrongful death of someone, then it will be grouped into the charge but will not be litigated as an individual issue. Therefore the person will not faces 1 count of reckless driving, 1 count of DUD, 1 count of man slaughter, etc. Here each factor carries a certain amount of prison time that can be stacked and mandated to be served in a consecutive amount of time. The sentence will consider all of the factors and render one Judgment. 5. If one of the alternatives was supervised probation, how would you convince the public that it would be more cost-effective for the person to be supervised than incarcerated? There are all kinds of studies online and at every county, state, and government website that show statistics for cost evaluations.

I will gather my information for not only cost effectiveness (because the public doesn’t really care about the cost of keeping their appropriateness (this would be statistics and studies that clearly show how areas of once have been eliminated) For instance, a 65 year old man is not going to be a candidate for Jumping over fences and running down allies to the degree that a 20 year old man might. (Raillery, 2014) Further, The individual and their background will have more to say about the individual than anything else. A true example would be: Ms.

Lorena Wells, a forty four year old woman that was caught embezzling funds from the health and welfare department in South Hill, Va. Where she had worked for several years. Knuckleball County Prosecutors charged her with 27 felony counts angina from fraud to unauthorized use of food stamps, and sentenced her to 1 year work release. She is not a threat to society in any way. She was born and raised in South Hill and everyone knows her. She has two daughters and until her arrest, was married to a long time employed sheriff in the county.

The fact that she was born and raised here, she has no prior issues, and that she was married to a law enforcer officer for about 17 years will all play a part in the publics acceptance for having her interact in the community while serving her sentence. (South Hill Enterprise, 2013) 6. Show the public where you would be saving money by not incarcerating the perpetrator. For this particular individual, it would be relatively easy to show the public that not incarcerating Ms. Webb would be the best avenue.

During court, she was mandated to get a Job, work 40 hours a week and use the funding she received to pay court costs, paying what she stole back, as well as some of her other expenses. I would also be able to bring evidence of how much the cost of $169. 45 per day, double bunking and over-crowding, and 535 million dollar price tag should be considered over-kill for a weekender inmate. Www. Dc]s. Virginia. Gob, 2010) Although there were 27 felony counts, they were for the same time and the same issue (My policy would have bundled her felonies and made it one felony with 27 counts not 27 separate felonies each with one count.

Unfortunately, and maybe to my discredit because I am going to be starting law school next year, I have to say that the reason I know so much about this case is because, although I have never met her personally, she happens to be my sister-in law. 7. If brought up in the legislature to be an amendment to the law, could this be grandfathered in to help older inmates? Yes, in fact, it has already become part of a three strikes Amendment. Proposition 36 does just that. Proposition 36: Revised the three strikes law to impose life sentence only when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent. Authorized re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if their third strike conviction was not serious or violent and if the Judge determines that the re-sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety. Continued to impose a life sentence penalty if the third strike conviction was for “certain non-serious, non-violent sex or drug offenses r involved firearm possession. ” Maintained the life sentence penalty for felons with “non-serious, non-violent third strike if prior convictions were for rape, murder, or child molestation. (provisional. Com, 2013) 8. Could this have a backlash from the public, or would they approve? The public, as a body, can be unpredictable which can make whatever we do, a guessing game but there are some definite areas that we can be pretty accurate at predicting. If we are considering changing Californians three strike mandates, we will run into issues. Prop. 66 didn’t pass and there have live this is a problem because California has a very large number of senior citizens.

Not only do they live and think by “older country’ standards of stricter punishments “Do the Crime, Do the Time” standards, they also feel more vulnerable. Also, a good portion of voters are this same age group. Therefore, I do feel that amending life sentences could have some public back lash because the elderly keep up with the news, they usually have a social network, and they have been around or a very long sometime and will remember when someone went to prison for life ass well as for what purpose.

For instance, Charles Manson is in a California high security prison ad will be there forever, if he even had the possibility for his sentence to be reduced, there would be great public outcry. Then there are the Mendoza brothers that killed their parents to get at their money. Also, California is widely known for its gang activity, the faces might not be so well recognized but the title go gang-banger is and always puts fear in people.

However, If the public were assured that hardened, “3, 4, 5, or more” strike felons would not have the possibility of benefiting from the new law, the people might be more accepting. California is a different kind of state. I was raised in San Diego and lived there for most of my adult life as well and the philosophy there is pretty much, “don’t bother me and I won’t bother you. ” But when people do hurt others, it is very much frowned on and if the offender happens to be Hispanic, it is almost a death sentence as far as the public is concerned.

On the other hand, if the same three strike law was changed in a different place like Idaho, where the public is predominantly members of the Mormon church (which happens to be my faith and where I moved when I left California) and are taught to origin on a grand scale, the new proposal might be embraced a little easier, especially when it was explained that hardened criminals were not candidates, only persons that had been convicted of non violent crimes. It really does matter where we are taking about. What evidence can help the public with their concerns and ultimate acceptance of changes in the three strikes law?

I feel the evidence that we would be relying on would be more so on an individual basis. The three strikes law has been around since 1994, but we don’t have a lot of evidence or research to show that convicted felons, when given a second chance, do lot of changing. In fact, we have found that a large portion of violent felons spend their lives serving sentences, getting out, refunding, and going back into the system. One man that I know, whose name is Willie, is a 45 year old black male that grew up in the projects in L. A. He has spent all of his adult life except for about 3 years, in prison.

He told me that on one occasion, he spent 7 years in prison only to be released, re-arrested, and replaced back into the system in less than 24 hours. 9. Once you are finished with the policy, draft an executive summary of the policy to be used for political decision making. . An Amendment to the current Three Strikes Law The Three Strikes and You’re Out Law Policy by: Sheila Andrews The Three Strikes and You’re Out Policy would include: 1. Three felonies for rendering a 25 year to life sentence. 2. All Felonies would have to be violent in nature. Strike a Strike) – Based upon review of the offender’s past. 4. The 25 year to life force) 5. Mandatory use of the proportionality rule during sentencing 6. Authorized re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if their third strike conviction was not serious or violent and if the Judge determines that the re- entente does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety. 7. Continued to impose a life sentence penalty if the third strike conviction was for “certain non-serious, non- violent sex or drug offenses or involved firearm possession. ” 8.

Maintained the life sentence penalty for felons with “non-serious, non-violent third strike if prior convictions were for rape, statutory spousal rape, murder, child molestation, controlled substance crimes involving large quantities of drugs, and people trafficking, a crime in which the defendant used a firearm, was armed with a firearm r deadly weapon, or intended to cause great bodily injury to a person, or at least one of the prior serious or violent felonies was for a sexually violent offense which would include serious sex offenses committed by force, duress, violence, menace, fear, or threat of retaliation, assault with a machine gun on a police officer or firefighter, or possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

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