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Compton | Community News File

Foes of Three-Strikes Law to Stage Protest, Hold Vigil

September 18, 1997

A statewide coalition hoping to amend California's three-strikes law is organizing a demonstration tonight at the Compton Courthouse.

Members of the Los Angeles Chapter of Californians to Amend Three Strikes plan to hold a 7 p.m. candlelight vigil at the Compton Boulevard courthouse after a march through the surrounding neighborhood.

"We're trying to get the law amended so we can get our loved ones, our family members out" of prison, said Mary Godfrey, treasurer for the group.

The law, enacted in 1994, imposes sentences of 25 years to life in prison for defendants found guilty of a third felony if they have committed two serious or violent felonies in the past.

Godfrey said the law should apply only to people convicted of violent crimes. More than 70% of inmates serving life sentences under the three-strikes law were convicted of a third strike that is not classified as serious or violent.

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