“Three Strikes You’re Out, A LAW GONE BAD”
Victor K. Primas
CJ526: Academic and Professional Communications in Public Safety Prof: Gary Kowaluk
November 11, 2013
Supporters of the Three Strikes claim that the law is intended to protect people for the most viscous of criminals, but many who have fell prey to this law has committed the lowest of crime. This law cost the taxpayers billions of dollars each year. I believe that in the current state of the United States economy, it cannot be maintained as written. Many Americans believe that the law states that the punishment must fit the crime. I believe that individuals should not be imprisoned for life for petty crimes such as shop lifting and other small crimes. This principle, known as "proportionality," is expressed in the Eighth Amendment to the Bill of Rights: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. The rule of all crimes sentence under one law is not a good practice, and should be revamped. So many people in charge want to make simple solutions without putting much thought into it. This 3 strike law doesn't always work out. I remember the story of the guy who had 2 strikes already against him, and he took someone’s pizza and got life. There are a lot of stories like that, which is why from what I heard, they are thinking about making an adjustment to that law. I think that lengthy prison sentences do reduce the amount of crime in our society, but I also feel it is unfair to the prisoners. I think this because prison is not a desirable place to be in so people choose to avoid going there by not committing crimes. Therefore, fewer crimes are committed. I feel that lengthy prison sentences are unfair to those being punished for their crimes. It is unfair to take away someone's right to freedom and basically steal the remainder of their lives in prison, rotting away. I believe everyone deserves another chance, maybe even 100 chances if they need it. I also think that both voters and legislators should be a part of determining prison sentences so that it is a fair decision. We are all equal people after all, so what's the difference? There is never such a thing as a perfect society; there will always be some sort of crime, one way or another. With that said, in my personal opinion, i think that this law is another step towards sorting out the real criminals from the ones who don't know what they were doing at the time, either driven by blind confusion on what is right or wrong, or driven by the pressure of others, or not actually wanting to do the crime that they committed, or they committed the crime under a circumstance that they could not get out of one way or another, sending those people back to their homes and family’s. While keeping in the people who commit the serious crimes. Crimes that they know they were doing, and had a wicked intention to do so. Finally, the last thing to come to my head was the fact that with this new law, prison overcrowding would be lessened due to the number of "hard time criminals" being released, back into the world. Putting one repeat offender in prison does not eliminate a lot of crime. When a criminal gets released from prison, the crimes continue. That's what criminals do. A suspect, knowing that if convicted of petty theft will spend his life in prison has, quite literally, nothing to lose if he has to kill a few people to avoid arrest. This law was enacted to control the minority population. It is too expensive to maintain and is costing the tax payer billions of dollars. The idea of being caught and spending a long time in prison is meant to deter potential offenders from criminal activity and encourage more productive actions. But that does not always happen because not everybody thinks like that. Extending prison sentences would not discourage crimes simply because the circumstances of every individual are...
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