Families to Amend California's 3-Strikes (FACTS)
In addition, we advocate that the law be amended in the following ways:
(1) the law should not be applicable to crimes committed before its enactment in 1994;
(2) the law should not count multiple counts during a single act as multiple strikes;
(3) the law should include a "wash-out" period such that convictions older than ten years do not count as strikes;
(4) burglary of unoccupied dwellings should not count as "serious or violent" strikes; and
(5) the law should not be applicable to juvenile offenses.
We plan to continuously grow and stay active until we get the law amended. We are a state-wide organization that is actively trying to influence the news media, the public, and politicians so they learn about the problems with the 3-Strikes law.
We understand the public's fear, anger and perception of crime. Some of us felt the same way and supported the 3-Strikes law as a way to protect the innocent from violent criminals. But the facts and experiences, not widely known except by the families whose lives have been destroyed by the 3-Strikes law, support our belief that the 3-Strike law does not serve or benefit the people of California but the growing Prison Industrial Complex.
Prisons are big business and people are the commodity.
The California 3-Strikes Law
California's 3-Strikes law is codified in two separate Penal Code statutes-sections 667 and 1170.12. Section 667 carries the changes made by the state Legislature in early 1994, whereas section 1170.12 created by the voters' approval of Proposition 184 in November 1994. In most respects, the two laws are identical.
The 3-Strikes Law in a Nutshell:
If the person has one previous violent or serious felony conviction (which includes burglary of an unoccupied dwelling), he or she is sentenced to twice the term prescribed by law for each new felony.
If the person has two previous violent or serious felony convictions, he or she is sentenced to a life sentence with the possibility of parole. The minimum term of the life sentence is calculated as the greater of the following:
a. Three times the term otherwise provided
b. 25 years
c. The term determined by the court pursuant to other applicable sentencing provisions of existing law.
Under 3-Strikes, if the person has two previous violent or serious felony convictions, he or she must be sentenced to a term of 25 years to life in prison for each new felony conviction, whether or not violent or serious, which must be served consecutively. There is no maximum aggregate term limitation for purposes of consecutive sentencing under these provision.
Other mandatory provisions of 3-Strikes include:
A person previously convicted of a violent or serious felony, who is convicted of one or more new felonies, may not be granted probation by the court.
A person sentenced under 3-Strikes may not be committed to any facility other than prison.
A person sentenced under 3-Strikes may only receive sentence credits limited to a maximum of 20% of the total sentence.
For the purpose of determining prior felony convictions under 3-Strikes, a juvenile adjudication of a 15-year-old or 16-year-old who was found fit for juvenile court must be counted as a prior felony conviction.
3-Strikes prohibits plea bargaining
3-Strikes eliminates any washout period, requiring that any prior serious or violent felony conviction be used regardless of how old it is.
Under 3-Strikes, the prosecuting attorney must plead and prove each prior felony conviction.
3-Strikes may only be amended by a 2/3 vote of the legislature.