Three Strikes Youre Out Law Essay

This essay has a total of 1708 words and 6 pages.

Three Strikes Youre Out Law

We have all heard of the newest anti-crime law, the "Three strikes and you're out" law. It
wasn't easy getting this law from the bill stage in Sacramento to the law stage, because
it is not a criminal friendly law. Meaning that this law's purpose is to bring pain,
suffering, and intimidation to criminals. Our state government was basically ran by the
Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, now mayor of San Francisco. Brown had the power to choose
who sat on what committee in the house, and using this he could terminate any bill he did
not agree with. And with this attitude it took a lot of patients and perseverance by the
people trying to pass this bill. But how did the bill become a bill? I will answer this
question with help of the Kimber Reynolds story.Monday, June 29, 1992 in Fresno,
California a young woman was brutally murdered outside The Daily Planet, a restaurant
patronized by the local young people. The girl was visiting home for the summer after
being in the Los Angeles area attending school. Her and a friend were getting into their
car when two guys on a motorcycle rode up next to Kimber Reynolds blocking her in, taking
her purse, and beating her into submission. The story made the 11 o'clock news only
minutes after her father had gone to bed. When police ran a background check on the two
suspected men, Joeseph Micheal Davis and Douglas Walker, both men had recently been
released on parole with multiple offenses on their records. Unfortunately Davis was never
brought in because when police were attempting to arrest him he began firing, wounding
unsuspecting police officers and ultimately being killed. Douglas Walker was convicted of
accessory to murder.Mike Reynolds, Kimber's father, went on the radio on a local radio
show called the Ray Appleton Show, KMJ 580. There he would discuss his outrage about how
he was sick of repeat offenders being locked up only to be released after a fraction of
the sentence was completed. He swore to the people listening that he was going to do
something about the problem, even if it takes him forever. Listening to that show was
Fresno Assemblyman Bill Jones (R). He was interested in the issue and arranged a meeting
with Mike. They discussed ideas about how they could solve this problem. With that in mind
Mike used some connections and gathered one superior, one appellate, and one municipal
court judge, as well as a well-known local defense attorney, a representative from the
Fresno Police Department, an expert in juvenile justice and Ray Appleton. The men did some
research and drew up some ideas. Their final legislative proposal was as follows:Double
the sentence for a conviction of any felony if there is a previous serious or violent
felony conviction.Triple the sentence or twenty-five years to life, whichever is greater,
for any combination of two prior violent or serious felony convictions coupled with any
new felony.Probation, a suspended sentence, or a commitment to a diversion program as a
substitute for serving time in prison is prohibited for felons with at least one prior
conviction of a serious or violent felony. Any felon with at least one prior serious or
violent felony conviction must serve any subsequent felony sentence in a state prison (as
opposed to a county jail).Terms are to be served consecutively, rather than
concurrently.Maximum allowable time off for good behavior is reduced to 20
percent.Juvenile convictions for serious of violent felonies count as prior convictions if
the felony was committed when the juvenile was sixteen or seventeen years old.When a
defendant has at least one prior conviction for a serious or violent felony, the district
attorney is required to plead and prove all known prior felony convictions. Prior felony
convictions cannot be used as part of a plea-bargain. Now that Mike had the proposal he
had Bill Jones submit it to the state legislature. Right away the bill was sent to the
Assembly Public Safety committee to be approved. This committee is known as a killer of
tough-on-crime bills, and consisted of eight members, Paula Boland, Richard Rainey, Tom
Umberg, Tom Bates, John Burton, Barbara Lee, and committee chairman Robert Epple. Both
Boland and Rainey were Republicans while the rest were Democrats, and one vacant seat due
to unknown reasons. This committee was moderate or even moderately conservative, but
because Willie Brown had the power to choose members of the committee he chose those
people whom he thought would sway the vote towards a liberal direction, which did not
reflect the philosophy of the whole assembly. Mike also had asked Fresno Assemblyman Jim
Costa (D) to be a co-author of their proposal, Mike wanted a bipartisan approach to the
legislature. Meaning he wanted to have both major parties represented in the proposal. The
men had two Republican and two Democratic votes in their favor and only needed one more
vote to pass, but unfortunately they did not get that one vote because Brown set up the
committee and didn't want a tough-on-crime bill. Berkeley Assemblyman John Burton gave
Jones an option to re-write their proposal the way he sees fit, or have the proposal taken
from the floor again and put to another vote. The problem with the latter was that if it
failed again there would never be another next time. Jones and Mike Reynolds did neither
of the two, their mission now was to take it straight to the people of the state and find
out what they think. The two men did exactly that, paying for publicity out of their own
pockets. Eventually they did get corporate assistance from organizations like the NRA
(National Rifle Association) and the CCPOA (California Correctional Peace Officers
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