Supports of three strikes legislation believed that it was to be utilized as a means to control the crime problem and was the only way to keep violent repeat offenders off the streets (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). They felt that these laws would influence crime in two effective ways. The first by extending sentencing to remove repeat offenders from society for long periods of time and restricting their ability to commit crime, and second, th...
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...ntence does not fit the crime, in that, a relatively minor crime committed by a repeat offender could result in a much harsher punishment than a violent crime committed by a first-time offender (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). Three strikes also appear to grant prosecutorial or executive discretion, limiting judicial discretion in sentencing, which raised constitutional questions about the separation of power (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). In Ewing V. California (2003), the U.S. Supreme court ruled that it is constitutional to sentence a repeat offender to an indeterminate life sentence for the commission of a nonviolent or nonserious felony (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). The U.S. Supreme court also ruled in People V. Superior Court (1996), that three strikes did not eliminate judicial discretion to dismiss prior serious or violent felony convictions (Brown & Jolivette, 2005).
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