The Impact of Three Strikes on Criminal Punishment

E.Zimring Franklin, Gordon Hawkins and Sam Kamin

in Punishment and Democracy

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780195171174
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199849765 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy

The Impact of Three Strikes on Criminal Punishment

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This chapter examines the impact of the new law on the punishments received by those offenders with criminal records that subject them to mandatory prison terms under the law. It presents data on the impact of the Three Strikes law on punishments in felony cases. The analysis proceeds under three headings. The first uses sample data and state-wide prison statistics to present estimates of the level of enforcement of the new law's second-strike and third-strike provisions. The second part presents the data on punishment before and after the law from the three-city sample, in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. The third part concentrates on the different patterns found in each of the three cities. The data shows that before Three Strikes, defendants with long criminal records had a much higher chance of going to prison and getting a longer prison sentence than less experienced offenders.

Keywords: mandatory prison terms; Three Strikes; Los Angeles; San Diego; San Francisco

Chapter.  7560 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Criminal Law

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