In 1993, the good people in our valley joined together in an unprecedented effort to stop runaway crime rates that were jeopardizing the safety of every citizen in our state. The result was the toughest crime law in America, 3-Strikes and You’re Out. The crime reductions that followed have been historic, taking our rates back to the 1960s.
Now criminals are leaving California instead of law-abiding citizens.
Now criminals walk in fear instead of their would be victims.
Now we have 2 federal judges, appointed for life, who in their infinite wisdom have taken it upon themselves to overturn a law put in place by the people of this state as well as a near unanimous and parallel law enacted by the California legislature, and further affirmed by the California Supreme Court.
They say a man with a lifetime record of criminal convictions, including 10 prior residential burglaries, should not get a 50-year sentence upon committing his third and fourth strike.
In spite of the fact that this law allows both prosecutors and judges to reduce strikes if and when it is in the interest of justice, they say this law is too tough on criminals.
I say criminals are too tough on us.
Victims have to face criminals at their worst, on the street.
Judges face criminals at their best, full of apologies, excuses and with their attorneys.
The fact is there are 19 published appellate court decisions that have unanimously ruled that 3-Strikes is not cruel and unusual punishment. In addition, literally hundreds of unpublished rulings have also come to the same conclusion.
This is the first and only ruling of its kind.
The court itself best addresses this inappropriate 2 to 1 court decision in its dissenting comments (from pp. 42-51 of publication for US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit).