Update on the Three Strikes Law in California

The State of California has one of the toughest sentencing structures in the country.  It is a law that can send repeat convicted offenders, even if the crime was non-violent, to prison for life.

There have been several attempts to repeal this harsh sentencing system and California voters may once again have the opportunity to change the state’s three-strikes mandatory-sentencing law. An initiative to change the law has been cleared to gather petition signatures, a potential step toward the November 2012 ballot. The proposed change would reduce the sentences of some currently serving time, and reduce prison time for those who are convicted of nonviolent felonies and already have two prior felony strikes.

History of Three Strikes Law in California

California Legislators and voters approved a major change in the state’s criminal sentencing law, in 1994 (commonly referred to as Three Strikes and You’re Out).

http://legix.info/us-ca/statutes;1994;chp0012/doc contains the full text as enacted by the California Legislature and by the electorate in Proposition 184. It was voted in with a huge 71.8% approval. After several high profile murders committed by ex-felons, public fears were raised and most California citizens believed that violent offenders were being released from prison only to commit new, often serious and violent, crimes in the community.

Since then, several infamous cases brought negative attention to the law, and led to reform efforts.  Gary Ewing was sentenced to 25-to-life under the three strikes law after shoplifting golf clubs; Jerry Dewayne Williams was also given a 25-to-life for stealing a slice of pizza.

Three Strikes Defense Attorney 

Until this law is changed or repealed, it remains in effect as of this writing.  If you or a loved one have any questions or concerns about this law or if you are facing a strike case, contact the Law Offices of Elliott N Kanter at 619-330-5881.  Mr Kanter has over 30 years of  Criminal Defense experience in California.  He knows the law and its defenses.  The California Three Strikes Law is very  complex but there are ways to fight it.  Call today or fill out the secure mailing form for a prompt reply.

This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.