The Three Strike Law in Texas
The Three Strikes Law, started in the state of California in the year 1994, as a result of increased criminal activities and applies to criminals who have developed a habit of participating in law-breaking activities repetitively (The Debatabase Book 23).
The law works in a scheme such that the second strike after the first one is more severe, and the third one is the severest. It is constitutional and has been integrated in many States in the USA, presently, 28 states have adopted it. Moreover, the law is meant to keep the public from the criminals who are used to multiple criminal activities. The criminals likely to re-offend are henceforth, retained in the prison, consequently, separating them from the innocent citizen. This paper will analyze the Three Strike Laws in Texas, from both the support and critics.
In Texas, the law is purposed to incarcerate the criminals who repeat offences, for long periods. The name Three Strikes is derived from the baseball games. The local government of Texas has adopted the law such that, the most severe punishment which is the third strike means a minimum imprisonment of 25 years and above (Adcock and Juli 19). Besides, the law applies to those criminal activities that cause harm to people like rape cases and stealing by violence.
Also, in Texas the law has been extended to include the drug dealers, and the shoplifters too, whose criminal activities do not harm. This inclusion means that the laws have been extended as a means of mitigating the two criminal activities, drug peddling and shoplifting, which have lately hit the state by force.
A lawyer keenly scrutinizes the offences that have been committed by the suspect since they were kids, juvenile case inclusive and by so doing, they are able to decide on the actions to take against the clients. After a thorough evaluation, the lawyer will decide the stand to take at the defensive table when facing the prosecutor (Better and Shirley 56). Consequently, if the lawyer is convicted that their client deserves the strikes, they can only negotiate with the prosecutor from only the three applicable punishments, but cannot request for a different punishment apart from the stipulated ones.
The law, however, has been considered controversial by many citizens because of the grounds used in decision making during prosecution. The first criminal activity committed is enough to qualify someone to get into the records of The Three Law, which means any other crime in future will be judged from the first one. For the second strike to apply, one does not have to commit a strikable offence, and the same case applies to the third strike.
For example, someone can get imprisoned for 25 years for stealing video tapes if the law is applying to the individual, and another victim of the same offense imprisoned for 6 months for the same offence (The Debatabase Book 7). As a result, the law has had a lot of criticism from the citizens, especially those who have been victims. For example in California, the laws were challenged being considered as violation of rights in accordance to the constitution whereby, Andrade V Lockyer asserted that the Eighth Amendment was being violated (Henschen et al 55).
Another criticism that has faced the three strike laws in the Texas state is that it is claimed to be boosting racism. For the support of this point, the critics have argued that Judges discriminate against some races in that one could suffer under the three strike law, but for the same offence the colleague is set free from the law (Henschen et al. 57). The same case was found to affect North Carolina and Tennessee, and therefore, the allegations are under investigation.