As crime and violence increased in California, citizens began to feel powerless. Terrorized in their own neighborhoods by criminals, who go in out of the legal system, Californians began to believe there was no justice for them. Ironically, many people feared so much the gangs, drug dealers, pushers and hustlers of the streets, they became prisoners in their homes. An enormous outcry came about, requesting the government to fix the increasing crime rate. The answer to this dilemma came in the form of the "three strikes" law. The "three strikes" law requires anyone convicted of a third felony to receive a sentence of 25 years to life. This law was passed on March 7, 1994. Within a few years of implementation, problems with the "three strikes" law began to arise. Along with a lower crime rate came the price of overcrowded prisons. Minor crimes, such as petty theft and burglary received twenty five year long sentences. Now, Californians wonder if the "three strikes" law gave them more than they had asked for. This paper will argue against the "three strikes" law and that it should be repealed. Arguments opposing the law will be given first. Next the arguments in support of the law will be discussed. These pro arguments will then be followed by rebuttals toward their claims. A conclusion will end the paper consisting of a summary of the main points.
The "three strikes" should be repealed because it is costly. According to a research done by the Rand Corporation, it is estimated that the law costs about $4.5 to $6.5 billion a year to implement. This grand sum of money was spent on social programs such as crime prevention and education, and that same amount was spent on the "three strikes" law, the social programs would decrease the crime rate dramatically more than the "three strikes" law. Not only has the law wasted tax payer's money, it is overcrowding the California state prisons.