Three Strikes


Is the “Three Strikes and
You’re Out” law cruel and
unusual punishment?
Grady Kerr
Criminal Law II
T&Th 8:00am
5/23/02
Research Paper
The purpose of my research paper is to analize how the “Three Strikes Law”
helps to support our Constitution or violates it. I will discuss where the law came
from and why we have it. I will also write about the positive and negative aspects
of the law as a whole. I hope to be able to analize the spirit of the law versus the
letter of the law as it relates to this subject.

“In 1994 California voters approved a ballot initiative known as “Three
Strikes and You’re Out.” Basically what it means is that people who are convicted
of three felonies may end up facing life in prison.” There are some limitations
though on how this law is executed. Not any felony constitutes a strike. For the
first and second strikes only serious and violent felonies can count as a strike. Also
some juvinille crimes can count. For the third strike any felony can be the final
blow. While for the first two strikes it takes crimes like rape, kiddnapping, and
robbery; the third strike can be a crime as simple as carring brass knuckles.
This law “was enacted in 1994 after Polly Klaas was kidnapped from a
slumber party in her home and murderedby Richard Allen Davis, who had two prior
kidnapping convictions. The jury recommended that Davis be sentenced to death,
and the judge imposed that sentence.” “On March 7, 1994, Governor Wilson
signed into law AB 971 (Ch 12/94, Jones) referred to as the Three Strikes and
You’re Out criminal sentencing measure. In November, the voters reaffirmed the
measure by overwhelmingly approving Proposition 184, an initiative that is
essentially identical to Chapter 12. The measure is the most significant change to
the state criminal justice system in more than a generation.” Govenor Wilson
passed this law as part of his goal to crack down on repeat offenders and
dangerous felons. The case of Richard Allen Davis was the prime example of how
the law could be effective. He was a person who was an already twice convicted of
kidnapping. After a third conviction it was blatently obvious that Davis could not
be rehabilitated and deserved the death sentence for his crimes.
This law has a very good intent and it’s purpose it to prosecute dangerous
felons. When a criminal finds himself repeatedly behind bars it should send a
message to the legal system that he is a threat to societey.

1.www.silicon-valley.com/3strikes.html
Copyright 1995-1998, Jerome P. Mullins, Attorney at Law, emailprotected, all rights reserved.

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