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Two views on 'three strikes'

August 14, 2009

Re "Three-strikes laws may not mean you're out," Aug. 11

Law-abiding citizens should protest that California courts are retreating from the law mandating 25 years to life in prison for "three-strike" offenders convicted of "strings of relatively minor crimes," like the criminal in this article who made a career out of punching women in the face to steal their purses. Judges are exercising "leeway to dismiss seemingly unfair third-strike convictions."

I have news for these judges: A blow to the head can inflict long-term psychological trauma, serious injuries and even death. It's not a "minor assault" to the victim but only to unscathed defense attorneys, jurists and journalists.

Al Ramrus

Pacific Palisades

The Times neglects to inform readers that many of the "serious felonies" that trigger a three-strikes sentence are for victimless drug crimes.

A lot of people doing life sentences have never injured anyone, except perhaps themselves.

With a drug crime, no murder has occurred, no one has been blinded, no teeth have been knocked out, no injury at all has occurred, and there has been no robbery or fraud. Nevertheless, third-strike drug criminals often get longer prison sentences than rapists, robbers, kidnappers, child molesters and even some killers.

I ask, where are the bodies? Where are the injured victims?

Floyd Krautner

Bakersfield

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