The Benefits Of Three Strikes Law For American Society

In a world of much crime and hate you would presume that judges, attorneys, clerks, jurors, law enforcement, and any people working for the court would ensure the safety of many victims and keep felons behind bars, but frequently criminals are released after a certain amount of time, free to recommit unjust acts and disobey the laws. Often victims are in constant fear of their abuser recommitting the hurt they placed on them and can only hope that the court's final verdict plays in their favor. Creating a law that can diminish recurring crimes and protect the mental stability of many victims was what was desperately needed and finally occurred in the 90s. California curated the Three Strike law, which was originally enacted in 1994 and required defendants with one prior conviction of a profound felony that has committed any new felony would be sentenced to state prison for double the term otherwise equipped for that specific crime. In the instance of a defendant convicting any felony with two or more prior strikes, the Three Strikes law mandates a state prison term of at least 25 years to life. This law is beneficial for American society because it not only drops the percentage of crimes, but it increases the feeling of safety in people who have been wrongfully attacked.

According to anyone in favor of the Three Strike law, the sentencing system was designed to keep rapists, child molesters, and murderers behind bars forever, as they should be. Although because of this more than half of the inmates sentenced under the three strike law are serving time for nonviolent crimes. In addition, almost 50% of the inmates sentenced to life from the three strike law are African American, proving that this law disproportionally affects the minority populations to an excessive amount. Also, including many physically disabled and mentally ill defendants to the list of people receiving this punishment at a higher rate than any white or other person undergoes. In an article curated by John Cloud he summarizes a real-life example of this law, creating an unfair verdict for a teenage boy, he says, “In places like NY there are more black and Hispanic kids in prison than in college. That injustice may have played a role in the fate of Derrick Smith, an NYC youth who in October faced a sentence of 15 years to life for selling crack. A distraught Smith told the judge, 'I'm only 19. This is terrible.' He then hurled himself out of a courtroom window and fell 16 stories to his death. 'He didn't kill anyone; he didn't rob anyone,' says his mother. 'This happened because we are black and poor.' This quote corroborates the clear discrimination that this law withholds and assists racist people working in the force or courts to actually get to be racist and take advantage of the power this gives them. In addition to the people of color and disabled being treated unequally, many women and children are greatly affected by this law and the issues it creates for those who have enacted very minor crimes. The inequitable treatment that many of these people had to go through was not okay and needed to change. In the book Just Mercy, Stevenson talks about the women who were being wrongfully incarcerated and says “Most incarcerated women — nearly two-thirds — are in prison for nonviolent, low-level drug crimes or property crimes.“Three strikes” laws have also played a considerable role.” The insignificance of these women's crimes is what is the most shocking and really makes you think if this law should be a law. Also adding that the cost of housing an offender for the rest of their life adds up, in the US, the average cost of incarceration can be as much as $75,000 yearly. This is one of the many reasons Americans will have to spend more money in the future, having to feed and house all the inmates stuck in prison. The cost brings many issues with it, including jails overflowing, making lesser criminals be let out, or not cared about at all. This gets them to believe they can recommit these minor crimes at no cost.

Although those are all extremely valid reasons for opposing this law and believing it shouldn't be one, the regulations of the law had been changed and ameliorated in 2012.

The Three Strike Law has drastically improved by producing requirements that are honorable and not inequitable, non-objective, or preferential. The past directives of this law were unethical and created a multitude of issues for the POC and the disabled community, however, the new upgraded rules are not so unreasonable and only aid the feeling of safety for past victims and diminish the percentage of crimes committed. These new guidelines ensure that the unjust discriminatory treatment in the court toward certain communities will decrease and hopefully disappear. In an article titled “The Amendment of the Three Strikes Sentencing Law” by J. Richard Couzens, he informs the new specifications that came with proposition 36 which significantly revised the law with two predominant provisions. “ 1. The requirements for sentencing a defendant as a third strike offender were changed to 25 years to life by requiring the new felony to be a serious or violent felony with two or more prior strikes to qualify for the 25 years-to-life sentences as a third strike offender; and 2. The addition of a means by which designated defendants currently serving a third strike sentence may petition the court for reduction of their term to a second strike sentence if they would have been eligible for second strike sentencing under the new law.” The altars made on this law are notably more honorable, nonpartisan, and unprejudiced, curating an equal chance for everyone no matter your race, age, etc. The new requirements linked with the Three Strike law guarantee that everyone will receive the appropriate time for their crimes and only be sentenced for life if they actually deserve it. This essentially means the people with all the power and who choose the sentencing of these convicts can not biasedly or discriminatorily determine their sentence time. The offender would have to recommit multiple convictions not just minor crimes before going to prison for twenty-five years to life. Also adding a way for current serving defendants who did not deserve time in prison to request a reduction of their term, aiding many in their fight with these prejudiced people who were supposed to protect us and our country. Not only does this generate hope in many but it diminishes the cost of housing that many inmates, which is extremely important because the amount required for that is insanely expensive. You could just imagine how much it cost to just feed, dress, and bathe them, not including the extra things that are required to be paid for.

Another reason I believe this law will benefit and help initiate a new secure system of living for many, especially women is because this law is a deterrent against crime. A wide variety of inmates fear strong laws like the Three Strike law, which builds a decrease in their chances of committing another felony or returning to prison. The article 'California's 'Three Strikes' Law Is Fair.”, edited by Margaret Haerens verifies the probability of felons returning with new convictions is way less likely because of this law. “three studies on California's 'Three Strikes' offenders that show the likelihood of felons with one or two strikes having a dramatically less chance of returning with a new conviction than felons without prior 'strike' convictions.” Not only does this law lesson chances of returning with a new felony but, it reduces felony arrests and keeps habitual offenders locked up. This guarantees a safer space for everyone and especially for past victims of these convicts. Making certain that these past offenders stay in prison, this law minimizes crime, danger, and fear in many. To prove this law establishes change, an article titled “12 Three Strikes Law Pros and Cons.” by Gallie L, she makes aware the actual percent in the decline of felony arrests “In California, felony arrests have declined by up to 20% in some years with the implementation of three-strikes laws. “ Being conscious of the simple fact that if they aren't motivated enough to clean up their act, they will have no other opportunities to create unlawful acts but instead be thrown in prison for life, being removed from society forever.

Additionally, offenders that continue to create havoc and danger have a greater possibility of being detained and sent back to prison. “45% of federal inmates are arrested again within 5 years of their release. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 77% of all inmates are arrested again within 5 years”. The percent of inmates being apprehended is a sizable amount which indicates that more crimes are being committed, but that these horrible people are finally being locked up for good, providing justice and the feeling of safety for victims. This is extremely important because the two most crucial factors of building a less dangerous world is by decreasing the number of all free walking criminals and creating a way to diminish pain, fear, and anxiety in victims who constantly wonder if the assailant will come back to harm him or her.

Citizens everywhere will be able to rest easier, play outside with their kids, and enjoy doing fun activities at later times of the day without the constant fear of being wrongfully attacked. Everyone should expect the people that will hold higher power and decide the important decisions like the government, judges, and law officials would be keeping us safe and making these things possible, so they did just that.

American society was in need of a beneficial law that not only reduced the number of crimes being committed, but also created desperately needed feelings of safety in the ones who have been unjustifiably assaulted. The most recent requirements of the Three Strike law did exactly that, making certain everyone would and could expect a safer space. This law is hugely essential to us by being an actual deterrent against crime, which substantially diminishes felony arrests and when in use only applies to convictions, not just any regular crimes. The three-strikes keeps recidivist criminals off the streets, suppressing these grisly people from recommitting crimes and vastly disturbing society. The many ameliorating aspects generated from this law provides genuine justice for the victims and brings them and many others peace of mind.   

16 December 2021
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