SACRAMENTO CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
2012’s Proposition 36: Are You Eligible for a Reduced Sentence?
Back in 1994, California passed Proposition 184, a voter initiative that created a very strict “three strikes” sentencing law. The “three strikes” refer to three criminal convictions, and the law imposed a mandatory extended sentence—usually life—for persons convicted of a felony for the third time. The law was prompted largely by the efforts and campaign of a man whose daughter had been murdered by two repeat offenders who had been released from incarceration. The stated purpose of the law was to keep repeat offenders behind bars to prevent them from committing further crimes. If a criminal had not learned to stay straight after serving prison terms for two prior felony convictions, the rationale went, then he could not be trusted on release and therefore should pay for his criminal tendencies by permanent incarceration.
As a result of and since the passage of Proposition 184, nearly 9,000 of California’s approximately 141,000 inmates—or just over 6%—have been sentenced under Proposition 184’s life-sentence provisions, and even more are serving extended terms under Proposition 184’s other extended sentence provisions, which mandated a doubling of the normal sentence for a second felony conviction if the first felony conviction was for a serious or violent crime, such as burglary, robbery, or rape. Continue reading “CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 36”