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PROPOSITION 184 ("THREE STRIKES") AS A DETERRENT

PROPOSITION 184 ("THREE STRIKES") AS A DETERRENT TO CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR: AN ASSESSMENT

Proposition 184, the "tough 'three strikes' sentencing law, was approved "overwhelmingly" by California voters on 8 November 1994. Legally, the approval of Proposition 184 was a redundant action because the language of Proposition 184 "restates word for word the 'three strikes' sentencing statute Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law in March." The justification for proceeding with the initiative process when an identical "three strikes" law was already on the books was to assure that "legislators realize it would be political suicide to water down the new law."

The California "three strikes" law is, depending upon one's perspective, a deterrent to criminal behavior, an act of societal revenge, an assurance that justice will prevail, or largely an expensive exercise in futility. The objective of this current research is to assess the probability that California's "three strikes" law will deter the commission of the offenses that the law is intended to punish.

The three strikes amendment to the California Penal Code that became law on 8 March 1994 and which was reaffirmed by the passage of Proposition 184 on 8 November 1994 does not restrict three strikes penalties to violent offenses. The law states that a defendant with one previous conviction for a serious felony offense if convicted on another serious felony charge will receive a sentence of double the usual penalty for the new serious felony charge plus five years. If such a defendant has two prior convictions for serious felony offenses, the mandatory sentence is a minimum of 25 years with no chance of parole. The inclusion of all serious felony charges in the March 1994 amendment to the Penal Code means that offenses such as writing a dishonored check will subject a perpetrator to the provisions of the amendment along with offense such as murder, so long as the defendant's background i...

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PROPOSITION 184 ("THREE STRIKES") AS A DETERRENT. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 23:40, November 30, 2021, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1708956.html