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3 Strikes Law

NEWS
October 11, 1998 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren has overstated the impact of California's "Three Strikes and You're Out" law in reducing crime, according to a study by two law professors scheduled to be published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review in November. The study contends that there is no proof that the law, which enhances sentences for repeat offenders, has led to a sharp reduction in crime as Lungren has repeatedly asserted.
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NEWS
October 1, 1998 | DAVE LESHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The hottest topic in the campaign for governor lately--plastered all over television and preached on the campaign trail--is an issue that both major candidates support: the three-strikes criminal sentencing law. On Wednesday, Republican Dan Lungren called a news conference to repeat his claim that the dispute is over integrity, not just policy.
NEWS
August 4, 1998 | From Associated Press
A federal appeals court overturned part of the federal three-strikes sentencing law Monday, saying it wrongly requires previously convicted robbers to prove convincingly that they were unarmed and did not injure their victims seriously. The 2-1 ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a case from Hawaii, applies only to the 1994 federal law and not to state three-strikes laws, which lack similar burden of proof provisions and are much more widely used.
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.
NEWS
May 15, 1998 | MAURA DOLAN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
In a ruling that affects scores of criminal defendants, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday that a single criminal act can count as more than one crime under the state's three-strikes law. The 4-to-3 ruling upheld a sentence of 25 years to life given to Russell Benson, a Lancaster man who was convicted of stealing a carton of cigarettes from a Target store. He had been convicted 15 years earlier of two felonies that stemmed from a single knife attack on a neighbor.
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.
NEWS
March 7, 1997 | GREG KRIKORIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
On the third anniversary of California's landmark three-strikes law, a new study suggests that the measure and similar laws in other states have not reduced crime. The report by the Washington-based Justice Policy Institute, a left-leaning organization, found that states that have not enacted harsher prison sentences for repeat felons have actually experienced a slightly greater drop in crime than states that do have such laws.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 1996 | ANNA CEKOLA
A parolee convicted in a crime spree that included holding a gun to the face of a sheriff's deputy was sentenced Monday to more than 115 years in prison. James Jay Hunt, 42, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Richard W. Luesebrink to consecutive terms under the state's three-strikes law for several felony convictions, including assault with a deadly weapon.
NEWS
July 17, 1996 | DAN MORAIN and MAX VANZI, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A state Senate committee rejected legislation Tuesday aimed at limiting judges' power to show leniency in three-strikes sentencing cases, causing the bill's Republican author to accuse Democrats of engaging in "a high-tech lynching." After an often testy daylong hearing that included testimony from prosecutors, crime victims, defense lawyers and judges, the Democrat-dominated Criminal Procedure Committee rejected sending the measure to the full Senate for action.
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