Three Strikes Law Change
March 18, 2020
A little known move by Governor Jerry Brown means big changes for California’s 3-Strikes law.
Under the current law, repeat offenders could be given life sentences for very minor crimes.
There are multiple incidents of people given life sentences for something as minor as shoplifting a bottle of shampoo.
At one point more than 10,000 people were serving life sentences under the 3-Strikes law.
But prison overcrowding and a change in public attitudes led to voters passing a series of propositions gradually weakening the law.
In 2016 Californians passed Prop 57-a bill that weakens 3-Strikes even further and allows anybody given an indeterminate life sentence the ability to apply for parole.
Prop 57 has been tied up in court ever since by challenges to the constitutionality of the new law and last month an appeals court said Prop 57 was indeed valid.
Today we learned that Governor Brown has quietly dropped any further challenges and Prop 57 will stand.
So what does that mean to non-violent offenders sentenced under the existing 3-Strikes laws? It means that more than 4,000 people currently serving life sentences for minor crimes can now apply for parole and immediate release.
You can read more about the changes here.