Thursday, May 16, 2013

California's Three Strikes Revisions Moving Slowly

Last fall, California voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot initiative, Proposition 36, calling for revisions to the state's draconian Three Strikes law. California's Three Strikes law was resulting is ridiculous situations were  two-time felons were getting life prison for  retail theft or other low level crimes graded as a felonies.

In fact, majorities in every California county voted to scale back the Three Strikes law so thousands of inmates serving life sentences for relatively minor third offenses would have the chance to be set free.

Five months later, there is no such unanimity among counties when it comes to carrying out the voters' wishes, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Whether a third-strike felon eventually will gain freedom varies greatly depending on the county that sent him away, according to an Associated Press analysis of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation data.

In San Bernardino County, which has the second highest number of eligible inmates, 33 percent of the 291 Three Strikes inmates have been granted release under Proposition 36. But in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, just 6 percent of the nearly 1,300 eligible inmates have had their sentences reduced so far.

Statewide, 16 percent of 2,847 eligible inmates have been resentenced.

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