Californians say no more life sentences for non-violent crimes. In an overwhelming response to Proposition 36, the Three Strikes law will be amended to require that the third strike be a serious or violent offense. KPCC's Rina Palta reports:
Sixty-nine percent voted "yes" on the measure. California's Three Strikes law, once considered the toughest in the country, now looks more like dozens of other similar laws around the country.
Those currently serving life sentences for third strikes that were not serious or violent crimes will now be able to petition in court for altered sentences. Latest estimates put that number at about 3,000 inmates. Going forward, those who have previously been convicted of one or more serious or violent felonies may be charged with a second strike for a new crime, whether or not it's serious or violent. That means they'll be eligible for double the sentence of those with no criminal histories.
This proposition is bound to decrease incarceration in California -- doing a little more to distinguish between those from whom communities need permanent protection and those that need rehabilitation to become productive members of society.