three strikes, you're out

three strikes, you're out

n. recent (beginning 1994) legislation enacted in several states (and proposed in many others, as well as possible Federal law) which makes life-terms (or extremely long terms without parole) mandatory for criminals who have been convicted of a third felony (as in California) or of three felonies involving violence, rape, use of a deadly weapon, or molestation. The impetus for "three strikes, you're out" has come from public outrage over murders, assaults, rapes, and child molestations by released ex-convicts with records of repeated violent crimes. Concern has been expressed about the provisions in some of bills which prohibit "plea bargaining" of any charged felony down to a misdemeanor, which deny any judicial discretion in sentencing, and do not distinguish between violent felonies and cases of non-violent crimes which involve small amounts of money.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Achieving it took 25 years of public-policy changes -- the elimination of judicial and prosecutorial discretion with mandatory minimum-sentencing standards, the elimination of "good time" by truth-in-sentencing laws, the annexation of an offender's future with "three strikes, you're out" policies, and increasingly lengthy terms for even nonviolent crimes.
California, which maintains a "three strikes, you're out" policy (that is, a third felony conviction earns an offender a life sentence without parole), in 1996 experienced an 11 percent decline in crime.