- Polling Issues
Three strikes laws

Twenty-eight states have some form of a "three-strikes" law on their books. Three Strikes laws are statutes enacted by state and federal governments which require courts to impose harsher sentences on habitual offenders who are convicted of three or more serious crimes. However, there have been many different interpretations as to what is considered a serious crime. As a result, defendants with previous convictions have been given sentences of 25 years to life for such crimes as shoplifting golf clubs or stealing a slice of pizza from a child. Under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the "Three Strikes" statute was supposed to provide for mandatory life imprisonment if a convicted felon has been convicted in federal court of a “serious violent felony", and has two or more previous convictions in federal or state courts, at least one of which is a serious violent felony. Serious violent felonies include murder, manslaughter, sex offenses, kidnapping and robbery, among others.

Advocates say that after the hype leading to the passage of these laws died out, it was soon apparent they were not bringing the results the public expected. Data shows Three Strikes laws didn’t necessarily reduce violent crime but instead put away more “criminals” for nonviolent and petty crimes, dramatically increasing our prison population. Studies show that higher incarceration rates do not necessarily lead to less crime. Some states have ruled that Three Strikes laws are unconstitutional on the grounds they violate the 6th Amendment guarantee of trial by jury.

Proposed Legislation: Introduce legislation to repeals the Three Strikes laws provision in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Maxine Waters (CA)

Issue Suggestions

Suggest an important issue not listed in this sub-category (). (Maximum 60 Characters)

Poll Opening Date
March 13, 2023
Poll Closing Date
March 19, 2023

Democracy Rules respects the privacy of your information.