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DA in CA to seek shorter Three Strikes sentences

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posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 09:29 PM
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SAN JOSE -- District Attorney Jeff Rosen has concluded that more than 60 "three-strikers" from Santa Clara County who are serving life sentences for relatively minor crimes probably didn't deserve such harsh punishment -- and he will seek shorter terms or outright release for at least some of them even if an initiative to scale back California's tough Three Strikes Law loses in November.

Rosen's staunch support of the initiative -- including a provision that would pave the way for judges to easily reduce life sentences for certain three-strikers -- distinguishes him from most of the state's 58 district attorneys. Only two others -- fellow Democrat George Gascon, of San Francisco, and Republican Steve Cooley, of Los Angeles County -- have endorsed Proposition 36.
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Basic outline of Prop 36


We’ve all heard about the people who were picked up for stealing and given life sentences because it was their 3rd strike. While my initial reaction to these cases is always “DAMN that’s harsh” I quickly remember that these people have already been convicted twice before; not charged but CONVICTED twice before of felony crimes. Prop 36 is on the ballot this November and, if passed, would scale back the 3 strikes rule and give judges more discretion in sentencing. It doesn’t appear to have much support and will likely fail. Regardless, this DA will attempt to move forward and seek shorter terms.

I happen to like California's 3 strike rule. I think people who have proven they cannot conform to the rules of society should be locked away for life. Keep in mind that most of these felonies are violent crimes. I understand the prison overpopulation issues but money should not prevent us, as a society, from locking up people who are repeat felons and a danger to society. There are a million other things California could save money on...safety certainly shouldn't be top of the list IMO.

What say you?

Is the 3 strike rule a good thing?

Does it need to be changed in the manner outlined in prop 36?

What good is a 3 strike rule with no teeth?? It might as well be repealed if there is discretion in sentencing, no?




posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 09:41 PM
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Yea CA's 3 stike rule has been a disaster...

Ca prisons are overcrowded to the point that they regularly have to have mass releases of criminals, as well as getting accused of Civil rights violations due to cruel and unusual punishment from being packed like sardines in there...

Is this what we have come to as a Society?

Everyone okay with the MASSIVE prison pop in the US, Larger than even Communist countries...

The US needs MASSIVE prison reform, before they end up locking us all up.

Im in CA, most of these prisoners are not "violent" Or dangerous they tend to mostly be minor drug offenders.
edit on 22-7-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 09:46 PM
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California is California and they don't call it a Republic for nothing. People's Republic would be better, I believe. They just have to go extreme on everything. Extreme to create this problem and now, wow, extreme will come to fix it. Watch, this guy will be only the first and I'd be curious what the first 2 hits were on these releases.

This always should have been 3 violent crimes, in my opinion. Violence as simple as a slap across the face in a bar fight...but violent nonetheless. It has been terrible to hear about people going down for 25-life on felony theft of a carton of cigarettes or something. ...and who would some didn't just do THAT crime 3 times?



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 



Yea CA's 3 stike rule has been a disaster...

Ca prisons are overcrowded to the point that they regularly have to have mass releases of criminals, as well as getting accused of Civil rights violations due to cruel and unusual punishment from being packed like sardines in there...


If CA would put the funding behind the law it wouldn’t be a problem. Instead they’ll commit millions to a high speed rail system!

You'll have quick transportation and get mugged at while you're on it!




Is this what we have come to as a Society?

Everyone okay with the MASSIVE prison pop in the US, Larger than even Communist countries...


Yeah, I’m OK with locking up felons…aren’t you?



The US needs MASSIVE prison reform, before they end up locking us all up.

Im in CA, most of these prisoners are not "violent" Or dangerous they tend to mostly be minor drug offenders.


Felony convictions are not minor according to the law. Maybe CA should leave the 3 strike in place and focus on changing criminal law instead?



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 



California is California and they don't call it a Republic for nothing. People's Republic would be better, I believe. They just have to go extreme on everything. Extreme to create this problem and now, wow, extreme will come to fix it. Watch, this guy will be only the first and I'd be curious what the first 2 hits were on these releases.


Louisiana has no Parole at all….if you get 35 years you serve 35 years. California makes tough rules but doesn’t apply them.


This always should have been 3 violent crimes, in my opinion. Violence as simple as a slap across the face in a bar fight...but violent nonetheless.


Then residents should work to change the law in that fashion rather than giving the courts discretion. We all know what the courts will do.




It has been terrible to hear about people going down for 25-life on felony theft of a carton of cigarettes or something. ...and who would some didn't just do THAT crime 3 times?


In all fairness, 3 strikes applies to felony convictions. Stealing a carton of smokes isn’t a felony in any state unless you use a weapon or assault someone in the process.



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 09:55 PM
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reply to post by seabag
 





Yeah, I’m OK with locking up felons…aren’t you?


Well I guess that depends on your definition of a felon.

Let me tell you the story of my friend..

Lets Call him Tony, hes a # up, but not dangerous in the least.

He broke up with his Girlfriend who had Bought a motorcyle for him in her name.

THe break up got bad, he was paying her cash (his fault I know) for the bike payments.

Until one day she decided not to pay the payments and keep the money, Reporting the Bike as being stollen by him.

Well she claimed he broke in and took the bike from her garage, never mind that she had been allowing him to park it there.

Long story short he was facing a 3 felony count for grand theft, breaking an entering, and a drug charge because he had less than a gram of weed on him, she was even trying to say he beat her.

They where trying to lock his ass up for life, so he plea dealed because he thought he was going to end up in jail for life...

Yea there are plenty of problems with our legal system that we should not be locking people up for life,

Mandatory minimum sentences take the power away from the court system to do their job, its a knee jerk reaction to crime with out understanding anything about Criminals and Rehabilitation.



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 



Well I guess that depends on your definition of a felon.


I don’t define felony…you and the residents of California define it for your state. That’s why I said you should address the laws with regard to what is or isn’t a felony and let the 3 strikes rule stand.




Let me tell you the story of my friend..

Lets Call him Tony, hes a # up, but not dangerous in the least.

He broke up with his Girlfriend who had Bought a motorcyle for him in her name.

THe break up got bad, he was paying her cash (his fault I know) for the bike payments.

Until one day she decided not to pay the payments and keep the money, Reporting the Bike as being stollen by him.

Well she claimed he broke in and took the bike from her garage, never mind that she had been allowing him to park it there.

Long story short he was facing a 3 felony count for grand theft, breaking an entering, and a drug charge because he had less than a gram of weed on him, she was even trying to say he beat her.

They where trying to lock his ass up for life, so he plea dealed because he thought he was going to end up in jail for life...

Yea there are plenty of problems with our legal system that we should not be locking people up for life,

Mandatory minimum sentences take the power away from the court system to do their job, its a knee jerk reaction to crime with out understanding anything about Criminals and Rehabilitation.


I don’t think 3 strikes applies to one incident though…that would be harsh in “Tony’s” case for sure.

The laws can be changed but I think, in principle at least, the 3 strike rule is a great thing.

Keep in mind that the people that would be eligible for reduced sentences if this version of prop 36 passes would be anyone whose last felony (3rd felony) wasn’t murder, rape or child molestation. That means someone convicted 3 times of armed robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, racketeering, embezzling, grand larceny, etc would be eligible for reduced sentencing rather than facing life.

That’s BullSpit IMO!!



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 10:12 PM
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I know it's hard to believe. I was shocked by it myself. This was one of the first applications of 3 strikes in a major way, at least in terms of what I heard about. I was in and out of California every week back when this was making the Super court stage so caught quite a bit of it in reading local papers.....this really happened though and the Cali Super Court even said it was okay. I have no idea how many others are sitting on life sentences for BS. I'm sure someone has the numbers out there somewhere.


SAN FRANCISCO — In a ruling that affects scores of criminal defendants, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday that a single criminal act can count as more than one crime under the state's three-strikes law.

The 4-to-3 ruling upheld a sentence of 25 years to life given to Russell Benson, a Lancaster man who was convicted of stealing a carton of cigarettes from a Target store. He had been convicted 15 years earlier of two felonies that stemmed from a single knife attack on a neighbor. Had his earlier conviction been considered as only one strike, Benson would have faced a maximum six-year sentence.



With the ruling in place, defendants who were convicted of two prior felonies but received probation could now face life in prison for a relatively minor crime, he said. "It is a really frightening result."

Benson was arrested in 1994 and convicted of petty theft with a prior. The judge, assuming the two prior felonies counted as separate strikes, sentenced Benson to 25 years to life.
LA Times - Source

Like I said, the People's Republic of California. I came from there and I'm really happy to have been saying that in the past tense since I turned old enough to legally drive myself out. This law did need reformed tho... The prisons are bursting.



posted on Jul, 23 2012 @ 01:31 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I must say, I don't feel much sympathy for a guy who attacked his neighbor with a knife. A stabbing/slashing is a very personal, violent act. You'd think a guy who saw the light of day after that would get his crap together. In this guys case, obviously he didn't if he was willing to continue criminal behavior. I say F'em but that's just my opinion. 

I agree the laws there (or anywhere) aren't perfect but....I still think 3 strikes is an effective deterrent in many cases. I know if I was in that guys shoes I would have been walking on egg shells.


People that stupid are dangerous. If he didn't care enough about his own life to stay straight then how can we possibly expect him to give a crap about the lives of others?
edit on 23-7-2012 by seabag because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2012 @ 02:11 AM
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We ALL know why our prisons are over packed. I wont get into "why", because it violates the T&C guidelines. You can honestly say, if the laws were changed, you would only have 1/3 of the problem sitting in them today. I am not in favor of the 3 strike law, because I know personally, 2 people, that are there for the above reason. Not a violent crime, not a crime that involved deaths, just had x amount on them, or was with someone, or in a property, that had something in it, unaware of it. Our Justice system is so screwed up, we need to change the Laws, or you will see even more in Jail. I don't trust politicians. Neither does America, as I can see.

Thanks Seabag, for bring this up. I was going to make a thread on the whole Felon, and how hard it is to get a Job, for those who are felons. I might incorporate some of this into it, as well.

S&F



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by sonnny1
 



We ALL know why our prisons are over packed. I wont get into "why", because it violates the T&C guidelines. You can honestly say, if the laws were changed, you would only have 1/3 of the problem sitting in them today. I am not in favor of the 3 strike law, because I know personally, 2 people, that are there for the above reason. Not a violent crime, not a crime that involved deaths, just had x amount on them, or was with someone, or in a property, that had something in it, unaware of it.


Would you support 3 strikes if it was applied to a person convicted 3 times of armed robbery or 3 other violent crimes?

Would it be better to go after the individual laws that are ridiculous rather than taking away a rule intended to put away violent predators and take away the discretion of liberal judges who give light sentences to people who have proven themselves incapable of living a peaceful existence?

I do!



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 08:08 PM
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reply to post by seabag
 


Violent crimes, Yes.......

Stealing a pack of gum ? No......




posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by seabag
 


BTW, My Uncle was sent back to prison, for that very reason. Served time, was on Probation. Didnt like the World, after serving 30 years, decided to get put right back in. Pack of Gum...........

Wonder what that cost the Taxpayers, hey?




posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by sonnny1
reply to post by seabag
 


BTW, My Uncle was sent back to prison, for that very reason. Served time, was on Probation. Didnt like the World, after serving 30 years, decided to get put right back in. Pack of Gum...........

Wonder what that cost the Taxpayers, hey?



So it’s better to change the level of charge (misdemeanor/felony) than get rid of 3 strikes?

I agree….

So people should not like what this DA is doing. He has vowed to seek reduced sentences regardless what the voters say…which is BS!



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