Three Strikes

Supporters of a proposed ballot initiative gained clearance Tuesday to seek signatures for a measure that would further roll back California’s three strikes law.

Paige St. John
October 20, 2015

The secretary of state’s office Tuesday gave the green light for supporters to collect signatures for a proposed ballot initiative that would further soften California’s three strikes law.

A review of the 19-page proposal by the Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that if passed it would save the state several hundred million dollars a year, but cost counties some $100 million a year as offenders go to jail instead of prison.

The three strikes law requires sentences of 25 years to life for those convicted of three violent felonies. The ballot initiative would drop the expanded penalty for convictions that predated the 1994 law. Some crimes such as burglary of an unoccupied building or making criminal threats would no longer be serious felonies. And the initiative would make it easier for prisoners to petition judges to have their sentences reconsidered.

The proposal would also prevent offenders from being given multiple strikes in a case that involves more than one felony, even though the state Supreme Court already ruled in July 2014 that multiple strikes cannot be charged in a single case.

To read expanded article, click here.