As soon as I saw the March 8 headline, "Families of Inmates March in Protest of 3-Strikes Law," I knew what was coming. Sure enough, a few paragraphs later was the quote from one of the protesters: "This is one of the most racist laws there is." The law supposedly discriminates against blacks and Latinos, because 70% of the criminals sentenced under the law are black or Latino.
The solution is simple: If you don't commit the crime, you don't go to jail! The relatives of these protesters who are sitting in prison made a conscious decision to break the law, so they are now paying the price for that decision. The law doesn't discriminate against blacks and Latinos, it discriminates against criminals.
Re your March 7 editorial, "Three Strikes: Ineffective, Costly": There is another side of this coin. You fail to point out that the Justice Policy Institute is a left-leaning organization that always champions liberal causes such as prisoners' rights. All "pointed studies of the law's costs and effects" of three-strikes authorized by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature must be viewed with the same suspicion.
Your continuing attacks on the initiative process in California demonstrates the fear liberals have about this mechanism that provides a way for citizens to place needed laws on the books that the special-interest-driven Legislature refuses to enact. Overwhelming voter approval of Propositions 187, 209 and 227 stick in the craw of liberals because they epitomize bottom-up democracy at work rather than the top-down, big-government-knows-best philosophy that liberals embrace.
The critics of the three-strikes law still don't get it. The critics say (March 2) that the law has registered no deterrent effect on crime. Statistically, crime may drop, stay level or even go up, but these critics should be able to figure out that there has to be a reduction in crime, because those incarcerated as a result of the three-strikes law will not be out in our neighborhoods committing criminal acts.
ROBERT H. CONGELLIERE