California three strikes law unfair, costly

Ever broken a rule? I can’t say I haven’t. People say that rules are there to protect society, but are some rules really necessary?

For example, the California three strikes law states that if someone commits a third felony after committing two similar felonies they may be sentenced 25 years in prison. So if you steal some candy and for the third time you end up getting caught, you can be sentenced to jail for 25 years. Do you deserve 25 years in prison just for some candy? I don’t think so.

People are put in jail for a reason. But many are put in for an unreasonable amount of time. For instance, Scott Andrew Hove was caught stealing a spool of wire and work gloves, $20.94 worth of items, and was sentenced to a lifetime behind bars. Before this crime, Hove had a long history of drugs and theft. Records say that he managed to avoid the three strikes punishment at least four times. He told the authorities that his addiction to drugs caused his crimes. Even though some say that Hove deserves this punishment, many would say that Hove deserves a long time in an intense drug treatment program. But instead of the program, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Albert J. Wojcik rejected the idea and sentenced him to 45 years to life in prison.

The California three strikes law is unfair in many ways. First of all, it could lead to more violence. Criminals will kill to keep their crimes a secret, even if they were minor, because they will be sentenced for a lifetime if they get caught three times. This law could cause more deaths instead of saving lives.

Secondly, the courts will all be busy. These cases will be dragged out because the criminals will ask for more costly and time-consuming trials rather than pleading for a bargain. This will use the government’s money and clog the courts. Some of the courts can even be too busy for the real cases, like those involving murder and kidnapping. These dragged out trials aren’t the only things that are going to use most of the government’s money.  The need for more prisons is also going to use up the money.
Finally, the law gives life sentences to people whose crimes don’t deserve such harsh punishment. The simple way to solve this problem is to get rid of the three strikes law. You can just determine punishment be based on the crime that was committed. The crimes will be punished as they should have been, and California will once again be a fair place.

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