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The 3 Strikes Law

According to this first-of-its-kind analysis of the racial and ethnic makeup of three strikes defendants, African Americans are given life sentences under the three strikes at nearly 13 times the rate of Whites. (Schiraldi, 2004)  African American males make up 31% of the prison population. And of that percent, 44% of them are third strikers. These numbers are out of proportion showing that the Three Strikes Law disproportionately affects African Americans. Statistics also show that sixty-five percent of the third strikes were non-violent. From September 2003 until now 42,445 people have been incarcerated under the three strikes law, costing California around 1 billion dollars annually. 

"Three strikes, you're out!”  This term is usually used in Baseball games, but for the last 17 years it has been used to justify 25 years to life in prison sentences. If you commit and are charged with a felony, you will be given a strike. After two strikes, the third has been something as simple as stealing diapers. The Three Strikes Law is seen as being seen as unjust issue because people are being imprisoned for non-violent crimes such as shop lifting, and having illegal substances. 


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