Three Strikes Law Pros and Cons List

The three strikes law has passed in California with the intention of removing career criminals from the streets for good. Three felony convictions earns the defendant a sentence of life in prison, with little chance of receiving parole. While some believe that these measures are necessary, there are others who do not see the benefit. To learn more about the pros and cons, read on.

List of Pros of the Three Strikes Laws

1. Habitual Offenders Are Discouraged.
If a criminal knows that they face life in prison if they continue to live a certain lifestyle, the three strikes law can serve as a motivating factor to clean up their act. There is no opportunity to commit the same crimes over and over again, as the judge eventually removes the person from society altogether.

2. Crime Rates Are Reduced.
When criminals are removed from the street on a regular basis, the crime rates for the area are significantly reduced. This is due to the imprisonment of habitual offenders and also can be attributed to the fear that the three strikes law puts into the heart of those who are considering a life of crime.

3. Citizens Enjoy Peace of Mind.
Citizens are able to rest easy under the three strikes law, knowing that their governing bodies are doing everything they can to keep the streets safe. They can send their children out to play with no worries and have no issues with traveling to any neighborhoods during the late night hours.

List of Cons of the Three Strikes Laws

1. Prison Costs Go Up.
The more felony cases that are prosecuted, the higher the costs are to the state’s court system. The more felony cases that result in a conviction, the higher the costs of maintaining state prisons become. Who ends up footing the bill for these added expenditures? The taxpayers. Prison overpopulation also becomes an issue, necessitating the building of extra prisons.

2. Less Law Enforcement.
When the budget is constantly raised to accommodate the sheer number of people in prisons or in the legal system, the money to pay for these overages must come from somewhere. Typically, when added funds are needed for prosecution and jailing of third strike offenders, the money is subtracted from other parts of the budget. Police forces are the ones who suffer in these scenarios.

3. Unfair Practices.
There are a number of people who are currently serving life sentences for crimes that they did not commit or were trumped up by the prosecution. While murderers and drug dealers certainly deserve the life sentence that they receive, there are far too many California citizens who are spending their lives behind bars for shoplifting and other petty offenses.