Three Strikes Reform

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Under current law, a felon could end up spending a long time in prison for a third strike offense that can range from drug possession to murder.  Under a bill by Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, only those who commit a serious or violent felony would be sentenced to 25 years to life.  The Democrat says it would help with the burgeoning prison population:

 “We’re not going to build ourselves out of this population crisis…we’ve got to be smart on crime and part of being smart on crime is deciding who do we incarcerate and for how long?”

Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten opposes the bill.  He says prosecutors have exercised discretion and only those deserving of 25 years to life have received it:

 “These people are without exception dangerous criminals who present a grave threat who’ve spent their entire life’s history committing crimes.”

If the bill is approved, it will go to voters in November.  There’s also a similar initiative circulating.