Various states have certain distinctions regarding

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amended in 2012 (Jones, 2012). Various states have certain distinctions regarding how the ‘strikes’ are to be defined and the required number of strikes in a prosecution case. For instance, a state like South Carolina provides that two strikes are enough for most serious offenses. Despite the use of three strikes laws in many states, there have been many debates on how effective the laws are. For defendants who have received a longer sentence, they are among the people who argue that the provisions in the three strikes laws are unconstitutional and ineffective. For instance in California, a man was found guilty by the court for stealing videotapes worth $150 from two department stores. It happened that the defendant had two other convictions and therefore the presiding judge slammed on the defendant a 50-year jail according to the stipulations of the three strikes laws in California. The defendant appealed the sentence in the U.S Supreme Court in Lockyer v. Andrade case, but the Supreme Court upheld the ruling (Chen, 2014). The decision upheld the constitutionality of the law, and therefore the Supreme Court didn't find any fault in the previous judgment in the Californian court. The defendant would have received a lesser sentence if there was no history of prior conviction. Since the
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THREE STRIKES LEGISLATION 4 defendant had been previously convicted and stole the videotapes, then that was termed a severe violent crime under the three strikes law. Inasmuch as the majority of the states in the U.S implemented the use of the three strikes law, the application of these laws varies considerably in each state. However, the law is clear, and it advocates for life imprisonment for at least a period of twenty-five years for the third strike in every state. In the state of Maryland, if a person gets a fourth strike for any violent crime, then the person is automatically eligible for life imprisonment without parole or probation (Jones, 2012). One or more of the three felony convictions is required in almost every state to generate a violent crime so as the mandatory sentence to apply to the receipt of the third strike. Some states have more or fewer that would otherwise be termed as violent crimes. In California, there are more added violent and severe offenses than any other state in America. The effects of the implementation of the three strikes legislation have been eminent. For instance, in California, there has been a reduction in crime rates after the enactment of the three strikes legislation. Washington and California have variant forms of mandatory sentencing, and this has seen a decline in the crime trends. The U.S Congress and the state governments enacted the three strikes legislation in a bid to deter the occurrence of crimes and keep the members of the public safe. Any repeat offender with three strikes the in California is eligible for a sentence of up to 25 years to life imprisonment. Three strikes laws are more punitive and more into use in California than in any other American state like Washington. Upon the receipt of two strikes, a
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