There is an important proposition on the November 2012 ballot in California. Proposition 36 seeks to alter California’s Three Strikes Law. If Prop 36 passes, then it would require that the third strike be a serious or violent felony.
California’s Three Strikes Law, which was passed in 1994, mandates the courts in California to impose 25 years to life sentences to those offenders who have been convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. Proposition 36 requires that in order for a judge to impose a punishment of 25 years to life, the third and final conviction must be a serious or violent crime. If Prop 36 passes, many convicted offenders whose third offense was not a serious or violent crime may seek to reduce their sentence or even seek their freedom.
Supporters of Prop 36, which include Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and Stanford law professor Michael Romano, argue that those who have been convicted of shoplifting and other lesser offenses should not be in prison for life. According to Romano, “life sentences for these crimes are a waste of money. It’s not what the people wanted and not good law enforcement.”
Opponents of Prop 36, which include victims’ rights groups and various law enforcement associations, argue that judges and district attorneys do not have to impose a life sentence if the judge or district attorney believes the third offense is not a serious or violent crime. Opponents of Prop 36 argue that the Three Strikes Law is in place to put career criminals in prison. They believe that Prop 36 is dangerous and could put career criminals back on the streets.
At Wallin and Klarich we have been handling three strikes cases for over 30 years. The current law results in extremely unfair results. Very good people are serving 25 years to life, because when they were very young they committed a serious crime and were convinced to plead guilty to “2 strike offenses”. They live crime free for 20 years or more and then are arrested for a very low level felony offense, such as 2nd degree burglary. They are then facing 25 years to life. The current law costs taxpayers millions of dollars a year to pay for the incarceration of these type of offenders. We urge everyone to support and vote YES on Proposition 36 because it is fair and because it is a fiscally sound decision
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have the experience and determination to get the best possible result for your case. With offices located throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties, a Wallin & Klarich attorney is always available to assist you in your case. Please call 888-280-6839 or visit wklaw.com for more information. We will be there when you call.