Thethree strikes law are meant to raise the prison sentences for offenders being incarceratedfor a serious felony such as a violent crime and who have previously committedtwo other felonies that were serious or very violent crimes.
The “three strikeslaw places a life sentences on those types of criminals. The reason for thislaw to be created was to deter crime and keep offenders from reoffending, also thecourts and the community felt that the law needed to get tougher on crime. The punishmentof course must be proportionate to the crimes, some of the crimes for examplewere Murder, Arson, Rape with force, violence or threat or great bodily harm,lewd or lascivious acts, Kidnapping, Assault, Attempted murder, Assault withfirearm, a violent felony, carjacking, and even manufacturing a large amount ofillegal substance.Therewere many who have opposed and stood for the three-strike law, some said it wasunconstitutional and the punishment was too severe.
Others stated that the punishmentshould fit the crime. In the case of (Ewingv California, pg. 269 Pearlman M, Cripe, C, Kosiak D,) Ewing had beenconvicted of a felony grand theft. The court sentenced him under the “threestrikes law’, and he received a term up to 25 years to life.
Now Ewing had beenconvicted two other times of a felony which were serious or violent, andaccording to the law if the defendant had been previously convicted of at leasttwo other serious violent felonies the law would apply to them. According tothe supreme Court this punishment was not in fact grossly disproportionate tothe severity of the crime that was committed, and it didn’t violate the Eighth Amendmentban on cruel and unusual punishment. (p.269). According to an article the threestrikes law can be very beneficial. The three-strike law would remove manyviolent and harmful offenders from the community, neighborhoods and the population.The three strikes law would keep our streets free from violent crimes and our childrensafe from becoming victims of violent criminal acts. The three-strike law wouldkeep violent criminals in prison for a long time who aren’t able to be rehabilitativechange, and reoffend.
It is believed that it is a deterrent of crime, it wouldreduce felony arrest, would keep recurrent offenders in prison, would givejustice to the victim and would only apply to convictions. It would keep theoffenders from reoffending and make society a safer place. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics ofthe federal inmates arrested 45% will be again incarcerated within 5 years ofthem being released back into their communities and 77% of all inmates are arrestedagain within these 5 years. In a Swedish survey they found that 15% of thepopulation had accounted for 63% of violent crime convictions. Notonly do adults commit crime but juvenile offenders do as well, the crime committedby juveniles range from Assault, Robbery, Rape, homicide, Auto theft, Burglary,Larceny/Theft, Vandalism, and weapons possession. They have committed drug andalcohol crimes such as drunk and disorderly, drug abuse, sexual offenses, suchas prostitution and rape. There areinstances where juveniles are tried as adults depending on the offense, the severityof the crime and age. Juveniles have been sentenced to a life sentences andhave also stood on death row.
I think that if a juvenile at the age of 15 or 16commits a crime violent or not and knowingly knows that it is wrong should sufferthe consequences of his actions. I think if the court can prove intent, mental stability,has evidence and can show the juvenile understood his actions he should beliable. I agree that a juvenile can and should be given the three-strike law,but only under the conditions that the law states, one his/her age should be afactor, their history, the past crimes and if any were in fact felony violentcrimes and how severe they were.
According to an article juvenile offense cancount towards the three-strike law under California penal code 667(d)(3)(a). Forit to qualify the offender had to of been 16 when the crime was committed, ifthe prior offenses was considered serious or violent, determined to be ward ofthe court and fit to be dealt with under juvenile court. So, if the court coulduse your juvenile offenses against you then why shouldn’t the three strike lawsapply to juveniles if it’s a serious felony. Yes, juveniles can be more apt tochange, but there are those who do not change and continue to commit crime, Juvenilecrime has continued to rise, and you see more and more of them becoming violent.This whole slap on the wrist, boot camp, and probation just isn’t working. Juvenilesare becoming very disrespectful towards authority such as parents and the law.You see many reoffending and going back into the system According to anotherarticle on Juvenile Justice http://jjie.
org/2013/05/22/pennsylvania-finds-20-percent-of-juveniles-re-offend-within-two-years/Pennsylvania found that about 20% of juveniles reoffend within two years ofbeing released. In 2007 26% of juvenile cases that were closed were of serious,chronic, or violent offenders. The recidivisms rate had also risen from 31% forviolent offenders to 37% for the chronic offenses. Accordingto a Pittsburg Youth study 52 too 57 percent of juveniles continue to offend upto the age of 25. According to another report violent crimes among the youthhad increased to 7 percent, and the percent of crimes such as murder committed byyouths under the age of 18 had also increased dramatically over about onehundred and fifty percent between 1985-1994.
Studies show that 17% of the violentcrime that had been committed din 1991 had been in fact committed by juveniles.I believe that if a juvenile can be tried as adult under special circumstances,can receive a life sentence, and placed on death row then surely the threestrikes law can apply to them as well. There are 19 states that allow executionfor juveniles 16 and up and 73are currently on death row for committing crimeswhen they were juveniles. I honestly believe that even juveniles at the ageof 14 know what right from wrong is.
They know and understand if they arebreaking the law, at the age of 12-14 I began using drugs. Its started with marijuanaand then eventually lead up to meth, I understand what drugs were and made myown deacons in using and understood the consequences. I knew what I was doingwas wrong and knew that it was illegal. Therefore, I was held accountable formy actions and took responsibility.
I agreed with the decision made against meand accepted it, my mom tried to say that I was just a child and didn’t understand,but I fully did. I’m glad I was caught because from then on, I never touched anotherdrug in my life and respected the law. I am now studying law in hopes that Icould make a change. I understand the law wants to protect juveniles and givethem a chance at life, but some don’t want to and continue their criminal path.I do believe they still should be granted the same rights and be treated fairly.They should be afforded the same rights as adults if they are to be treated atried as an adult.
The law should apply to everyone, but the punishments shouldfit the crimes and be given fair trials.Clair Cripe, M. P. (2012). Legal Aspects ofCorrections Management.
Klarich, S. (2010, May 18). W/K Wallen and Klarich.Retrieved fromhttps://www.wklaw.com/areas-three-strikes-prior-juvenile-convictions.
htmMantaldo, C. (2017, april 1). ThoughCO. Retrievedfrom https://www.thoughtco.
com/death-penalty-for-juveniles-972256Shouse California Law Group. (n.d.). Retrieved fromhttps://www.
shouselaw.com/juvenile-strikes.htmlSwift, J. (2013, 5 22). Juvenile JusticeInformation Exchange .
Retrieved from http://jjie.org/2013/05/22/pennsylvania-finds-20-percent-of-juveniles-re-offend-within-two-years/