Proposition 184 in California "Three Strikes and You're Out!"

Essay by brighteyes70746University, Master'sA+, March 2005

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Introduction        ÂÂ

On the night of October 1, 1993, in a small suburb of Northern California, Polly Klaas, a twelve year old resident of the town was kidnapped from her home where she was having a slumber party with her two best friends. About two months later, clues linking habitual offender Richard Allen Davis to the crime surfaced and he was brought in. Davis confessed to the kidnapping and murder of the young girl and his entire criminal history came pouring out. Davis had been previously convicted for robbery, burglary, kidnapping and assault, and had a lengthy record of violence against females. There are also doubts about his involvement in what was ruled out to be a suicide and he had once escaped from a psychiatric hospital. When this information was released, the nation was in an outrage. How was this man free to walk the streets? And what can we do so that this can never happen again? This public cry for action paved the way for the creation of Proposition 184, the law commonly known as "Three Strikes and You're Out!"

        The three strikes legislation has been in effect since 1994, and ultimately sentences repeat offenders to twenty-five years to life in prison on their third felony.

The law is very arbitrary, and while it has taken many criminals off the streets and filled up our prisons, many argue that the law has done more damage than good. The purpose of this essay is to explore the history of this law, how it has impacted our state since it was passed and what the future holds for this law.


        Many people don't know that the idea of Three Strikes law in California had been around before the Polly Klaas murder. Many states had implemented stricter sentencing guidelines...