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Strike 3! $11 theft gets career criminal 25 years to life

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posted on Nov, 16 2002 @ 01:07 PM
Strike 3! $11 theft gets career criminal 25 years to life in California prison

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - A career criminal was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison under California's three-strikes law for stealing $11 worth of wine, lip balm and breath freshener.

Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa called Ronald Herrera, 57, one of the worst criminals to pass through his courtroom, and prosecutor Darryl Perlin said: "He's what the three-strikes law is all about." Herrera's record lists 17 serious felonies, including a 1971 home-invasion robbery and rape of a woman and her 15-year-old daughter, the shooting of a police dispatcher, and six armed robberies in Virginia.

He was sentenced Thursday for burglary and petty theft at a supermarket.

At trial, his lawyer said Herrera has a brain injury that made him forget to pay for the items.

California's three-strikes-you're-out law, passed in 1994, is the toughest in the United States, mandating 25 years to life for a felony committed by someone already convicted of two serious crimes.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this month on whether such sentencing amounts to unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.

posted on Nov, 16 2002 @ 01:20 PM
I heard about that on NPR ( I think it was the same case). I think the US Supreme Court has already said it wasn't cruel and unusual and would send it back to the state court. I just question why the guy was out on the street to begin with after raping a mother and her daughter. I've also read that there is discretion on that '3 strikes and you're out' - meaning it's not automatic. I wonder about Calif. sometimes!

posted on Nov, 16 2002 @ 05:03 PM
the land of fruits and nut.

posted on Nov, 16 2002 @ 05:04 PM
sorry if that offended anyone

posted on Nov, 16 2002 @ 09:58 PM

Originally posted by Quicksilver the land of fruits and nut.

...Lotta flakes, too...

It's the new breakfast cereal called "California Health"...

posted on Nov, 16 2002 @ 11:07 PM
One thing to say, and one thing only.


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