Today the State Assembly passed legislation which would change the current Three Strikes Law. As it is written now, any felony committed by a person who has two strikes would send them away to prison for “25 to life.” This includes nonviolent felonies, such as drug sales, a 4 DUI. The change in law would make it so that a person who gets convicted of a nonviolent felony, such as the ones mentioned above, would not get the sentence enhancement, and would be punished under the normal parameters of the law. The Three Strikes Law sentencing enhancement would still apply to people convicted on a third strike of a violent felony, including murder, armed robbery, or sexual assault. Not only would this change in law result in fundamental fairness to people with two strikes who are then convicted of nonviolent felonies, but it would also save the state a lot of money.
The bill for changing the Three Strikes Law will now go to the State Senate for a vote. Though it isn’t due to be on the ballots until 2014, hopefully it will get there, and the citizens of the state can speak up against the overly aggressive sentence enhancement.
For more information on the Three Strikes Law, feel free to contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm in Palm Springs, CA.