Removing Criminals from the Streets: Three Strikes Laws

Good Essays
In the wake of the “get tough on crime movement,” several states have adopted extremely stringent sentencing requirements for repeat offenders. Local, state, and federal leaders claim that these laws help prevent crime through deterrence while removing potential dangerous offenders from the streets. While this removes deviants from the streets, it also may result in disproportionate punishment for an otherwise minor crime. This paper seeks to analyze the three strikes law and determine its effectiveness in recidivism and new crimes (Eastvedt, 2008).
The may portion of the Can-May-Should analysis addresses whether or not the government has the authority from God, the Constitution, and the people to address a specific policy or law (Akers, 2013). Biblically, crime is spoken for with distain and disgust within the Bible. For example, Exodus 21:24-25 states that an “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (American Standard Version).” This can be interpreted as the need for the punishment to fit the crime.
The Constitution provides several guidelines for the local, state and federal law makers with regard to crime and punishment. Article 3, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution states that all trials shall be held within the state that the crime occurred within. The 5th Amendment provides protection from self-incrimination while the 6th Amendment guarantees offenders the right to a speedy, public trial with the right to be informed of the crime they are accused of committing. Locally, states are permitted to enforce laws within their jurisdiction. States can establish penalties and mandatory minimums for crimes committed within the states jurisdiction....

... middle of paper ...

... epidemic of the 1980’s. More recently, other states have begun to enact similar statutes in an attempt to deter crime and remove repeat offenders from the community (Austin, 2000).
Logistically, the three strikes law requires a robust criminal justice system capable of handling an increase within the offender population. States must have access to prison capable of handling long term offenders in necessary to ensure that treatment and quality of life is human (Austin, 2000).
Three strikes laws are an effect method to remove criminals from the streets for an extended period of time. While some will say that the punishment may be disproportionate to the crime the offender committed, laws are enacted to maintain civility and order. When offenders commit offenses, they should be punished to prevent future crimes and to deter others from behaving similarly.
Get Access