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3 Strikes Law

NEWS
September 1, 1994 | DWAYNE BRAY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A 52-year-old Oxnard man who allegedly tried to rape his cellmate while he awaited sentencing under the state's new "three-strikes" law was charged Wednesday under the tough statute a second time. Roosevelt Carlton McCowan might be the first defendant in the state to be charged twice under the three-strikes provision, authorities said. He is the first in Ventura County to be charged twice.
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NEWS
April 23, 1997 | MAX VANZI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Despite facing likely defeat, Republicans on Tuesday tried for a second straight year to toughen the state's three-strikes sentencing statute by limiting discretion of judges to withhold maximum prison sentences under the 1994 law. But even before an initial vote by a Democratic-controlled committee, GOP lawmakers, along with three-strikes author Mike Reynolds, were warning that they would turn to a statewide ballot to achieve their aims if turned down by the Legislature.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 1999 | TED WESTERMAN, Ted Westerman is chairman of the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
One apparent result of last fall's election has been to energize an effort to abandon the three-strikes sentencing of habitual criminals. Debate about the law has intensified during the 1999 legislative session. Earlier this year, Gov.
NATIONAL
November 6, 2002 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
California's three-strikes law, the nation's harshest measure for repeat criminal offenders, came under challenge at the Supreme Court on Tuesday -- but it appeared to have more defenders than critics among the justices. At issue is whether the state can send petty thieves to prison for life or whether such an extreme penalty for a minor crime amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, which is banned by the 8th Amendment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2005 | Jenifer Warren, Times Staff Writer
The landmark "three-strikes" sentencing law passed by California voters in 1994 costs the state $500 million annually in prison expenses -- far less than originally predicted -- but there remains no consensus on whether it has made the streets safer, according to a study to be released Thursday. Prepared by the nonpartisan legislative analyst's office, the study found that one-quarter of the state's prisoners -- or about 40,000 men and women -- are serving time for a second or third strike.
NEWS
November 9, 1999 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
California's three-strikes law, the nation's toughest such statute, has had little deterrent effect on hardened criminals, or influence on the state's drop in crime, a study by University of California researchers released Monday shows. The study by UC Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring comes as the legislative analyst's office issued an update showing that almost 50,000 felons have been sent to prison under the statute's terms since it took effect five years ago.
OPINION
August 29, 1999
Re "Law Strikes Too Hard," editorial, Aug. 24: After reading your editorial about the three-strikes law I feel compelled to write. I agree that it is time to review the harshness of the so-called three-strikes law. It is too severe. It is, indeed time to revisit this issue. It is interesting, however, to see that the most compelling reason this issue has surfaced is money. We should not forget the impact of this law on the many people incarcerated for minor offenses and their families.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 1994 | By DANIEL M. WEINTRAUB, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Brushing aside criticisms of its cost and potential flaws, Gov. Pete Wilson on Monday signed what he called the toughest and most sweeping criminal sentencing law in the state's history, the "three strikes" bill that is aimed at putting habitual felons behind bars for life. Wilson, in a ceremony outside the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division, said the bill should send a message to the worst of California's criminals: "You'd better start finding a new line of work because we're going to start turning career criminals into career inmates."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 1998
Re "State High Court Ruling Toughens 3-Strikes Law," May 15: The California Supreme Court says that the three-strikes law was very clear, but I certainly didn't know that a single criminal act could count as multiple strikes. I also didn't know that nonviolent crimes could count as strikes. Now we see Russell Benson get 25 years to life for stealing a carton of cigarettes. That may be allowed by the language of the law, but is that really what the voters had in mind? MIGUEL MUNOZ Los Angeles The court's decision makes it more important than ever to temper our state's three-strikes law with common sense, fairness and humane consideration.
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