Washington State Three Strikes Law

Washington State Three Strikes Law

WASHINGTON STATE THREE STRIKES LAW Chief Sealth High School Presented by: Joe Brotherton Persistent Offenders RCW 9.94A.570 Notwithstanding the statutory maximum sentence or any other provision of this chapter, a persistent offender shall be sentenced to a term of total confinement for life without the possibility of release or, when authorized by RCW 10.95.030 for the crime of aggravated murder in the first degree, sentenced to death. In addition, no offender subject to this

section may be eligible for community custody, earned release time, furlough, home detention, partial confinement, work crew, work release, or any other form of release as defined under *RCW 9.94A.728 (1), (2), (3), (4), (6), (8), or (9), or any other form of authorized leave from a correctional facility while not in the direct custody of a corrections officer or officers, except: (1) In the case of an offender in need of emergency medical treatment; or (2) for the purpose of commitment to an inpatient treatment facility in the case of an offender convicted of the crime of rape in the first degree. History of the Statute

Initiative I-593 Passed in 1993 1993 crime was at a 60 year high Nearly 50% of the criminals convicted in the state had prior criminal histories 75% voted yes What is an Initiative? The Washington State Constitution reserves to the people the right to approve or reject certain state laws through the process of initiative or referendum.

Any registered voter can create an initiative by gather the appropriate number of signatures. Required number of signatures in 2014 - 246,372 Signatures must be validated. Initiative is added to ballot for the next election What is a Strike?

Second Degree Assault or Robbery All other violent felonies Taking of something by threat or use of force

17 crimes in total Strikes prior to 1993 count against an offender. 1996 Two Strikes Law for sexual crimes 2008 added new crimes and included felonies from other states Current State of Three Strikes

Similar laws have been enacted in 29 states. As of March 2007, 292 individuals had been sentenced to life imprisonment under the three strikes provisions. Of these 40.1% were black and 57.3% were white. The most common third offense was Robbery 2 (23.3% of cases), followed by Robbery 1 (15.8%), and Assault 2 (8.2%) Opinion Poll Activity

Instructions: I will place out 5 placards Strongly Agree, Somewhat Agree, Undecided, Somewhat Disagree, and Strongly Disagree. I will read a question or statement. Move to the placard that best represents your opinion. Question 1

Someone convicted of 3 second degree robbery or assaults should be eligible to have their sentence reviewed. Does it matter if 2 of the strikes were obtained prior to 1993? Does it matter if all crimes were nonviolent? Current State of the Law Currently there is no requirement to

review the cases of 3 strike offenders. The only way to review the sentence is by the clemency board who can recommend the Governor grant clemency. The King County Prosecutor, Dan Satterberg, ordered a review of the first 20 three strike convictions. However the Prosecutor does not have the ability to change the sentences. Question 2 The sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for a 27 year old

convicted of 2nd degree robbery or assault for the 3rd time should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. 3 Strikes and the 8th Amendment 8th Amendment States: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. The punishment must match the crime.

Supreme Court Cases: Ewing v. California, 538 U.S. 11 (2003), and Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63 (2003) The Court held that the life sentences imposed under the law are not so grossly disproportionate to the criminal history of a career offender as to violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Question 3 The three strikes law makes society safer and is an effective tool to combat crime. What is being done now?

Prosecutorial Discretion and Plea Bargains Clemency Board In a study of cases from 2003 through 2007, the King County Office of Public Defense found that 92% of defendants initially charged with a third strike offense ultimately received a sentence less severe than life without the possibility of parole. In December 2008, the state's clemency board held its first

hearing on a prisoner held under the three strikes law. Pardon from the Governor Pardoning prisoners is not something incoming governors think about much. There is little political gain in it and much risk. The result is a system of clemency that can be unfair to prisoners and, says Satterberg, in some ways is unfair to the governor. Current Pending Reform Efforts http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tymmixc6H5 w

Questions?

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