Monday, April 7, 2008
Discuss how rational choice theory may have influenced the creating of California’s three strikes
In California, lawmakers believed that under the rational choice theory, criminals had a choice
whether or not to commit felonies, and that by giving them “three strikes”, they would be discouraged to
commit crimes, knowing that a life sentence in prison awaited them.
Sure enough, California’s crime rate
dropped because of these legislations.
The number of murders, rapes, aggravated assaults, robberies,
burglaries, and vehicle thefts all decreased in conjunction with the passing of the laws in 1993.
Do you think chronic criminals will be deterred by laws that mandate an offender spend the rest of
their life in prison?
Why, or why not?
I would be discouraged to do just about anything, knowing that a life sentence would be
I’m sure that it could not eliminate chronic criminals from committing crimes, but surely a
decrease would be shown.
Beforehand, it was seen as almost a trade-off; commit a felony, if caught,
spend a few years in prison, and do it all over again.
But mandating a life sentence would cut off this
cycle, and thus eliminate chronic offenders from the streets.
Discuss why some California judges are sending fewer chronic offenders to prison under the Three
Give examples to support your answer.
In California, after the Three Strikes legislations, it became to imprison some chronic offenders