Monday, April 01, 2002

three strikes
On opening day in the baseball season, the Supreme Court made an announcement that it will review an aspect of sentencing that takes its name from baseball.
The court agreed to hear appeals involving two California thieves sentenced to terms ranging from 25 years to life for small-time crimes that might otherwise have meant just a few months in jail.

The Supreme Court will consider whether long sentences were unconstitutionally cruel or unusual punishment for a heroin addict who shoplifted videotapes worth $153 and an AIDS patient who shoved three golf clubs down his pants leg and tried to walk out of a pro shop.
The three strikes laws, or habitual offender statutes, refer to the imposition of greater sentences for people who have been previously convicted of two felony charges, and who have had a chance to be "rehabilitated" by having time pass between each of the offenses and the punishments imposed for the prior convictions. While California's application of the three strikes laws are harsher than in other states, the Supreme Court's ruling could have an effect on a number of other states which have three strike laws, including Delaware.

No comments: