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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Supreme Court Upholds Three-Strikes Law

March 07, 2003

I adamantly disagree with the Supreme Court majority's decision upholding California's three-strikes law (March 6). In its current state, the three-strikes law amounts to a simplistic blanket approach to handling criminal sentencing in California, leaving some petty thieves and the like facing harsh prison terms that are entirely out of proportion to their crimes. That this law exists suggests a society that cannot or will not take the time to consider all the details of a given crime in order to come to the wisest, most appropriate judgment possible.

I am not fond of the excessive use of the proposition method of doing government business in California. But in this case, I strongly urge people who feel as I do about the inequities of the three-strikes law to circulate a petition to put a proposition on the ballot to rescind this poorly designed law. Call it Proposition No-on-3.

Robert C. Lutes

Temple City

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Well, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, The Times and lawyer Erwin Chemerinsky were wrong again. The California three-strikes law is constitutional and does exactly what the electorate wanted it to do: put habitual criminals behind bars for life regardless of the crime. The citizens of California do not want to be bothered with habitual drunk drivers, purse snatchers, ID-theft artists, check forgers, shoplifters and the like. They had their chance to live free in a civil society and lost it on their own accord. Bye-bye!

Jeff McCombs

La Palma

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It is so interesting to note that the same bloc of justices who, in all probability, stole the American presidency on behalf of George W. Bush did not bat a personal or collective eyelid while upholding 25-years-to-life sentences given to two small-time petty thieves under California's three-strikes law. Would this event be better explained by psychologists or professors of constitutional law?

Horace Gaims

Los Angeles

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