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Proposition 36 Passes; California's Three Strikes Law to be Revised

Proposition 36 Passes; California's Three Strikes Law to be Revised

In 1994, California voters passed the three strike law, which required the first and second strike to be either violent or serious and any infraction thereafter would trigger a third strike and the life sentence that went with it. Since then, petty offenses have led to life imprisonment for thousands of Californians.

Proposition 36 revises the law to impose a life sentence only when the new felony conviction is serious or violent. The approval of Proposition 36 also entitles approximately 3,000 convicted felons who were serving life terms for a nonviolent third-strike crime, to apply for a new, reduced sentence. In those retroactive cases the sentence can only be reduced if a judge determines that the individual is no longer an unreasonable threat to public safety.

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