Alexis Medrano outrageous punishment essay

Submitted By Alexis-Medrano
Words: 919
Pages: 4

Alexis Medrano
Mrs. Lane
English 105
March 01, 2015
Petty Crime, Outrageous Punishment
Why the Three-Strikes Law Doesn’t Work In the article “ Petty Crime, Outrageous Punishment Why the Three-Strikes Law Doesn’t Work” by Carl M. Cannon , he argues that the Three-Strikes Law is not effective to low class crimes because they give harsh convictions to these criminals. The first reason Cannon gives is that thousands of low level criminals behind bars for a long term sentence of non-violent crimes is unfair. For example, in the author’s article, the criminal system gave 50 years to life to a man who stole children’s videos to sell in exchange for drugs. Another reason Cannon gives is that putting thousands behind bars comes in very pricey on taxpayers. As a result, the cost annually is $750 million to incarcerate the non-violent offenders sentenced under the “Three-Strikes Law”. The final reason, is politicians get carried away with popular slogans, that leads to bad social policy. They use concepts like “use a gun, go to prison” law that’s catchy and you get sentenced significantly. I agree with Carl Cannon’s arguments on this law being unfair, costly, and popular slogans of politicians being harsh. To begin with, I agree with Cannon’s argument that it is unfair to give harsh life term sentences to non-violent offenders. For example, a man was convicted for 25 years to life after the 3rd strike because he stole children’s videos from a Kmart. The Three-Strikes Law is unfair and cruel to those people with low-level, non-violent crimes. Furthermore, It is not right that you get punished for over two decades for stealing gifts and kids videos for your nieces and nephews, and get punished as if you murdered someone. However, politicians say that if they sentence these guys with longer prison times the crime rate will decrease for violent and property crimes. In California, tough sentencing statutes in legislation have said that if “those who can get their lives turned around will, and those who can’t, have two choices—leave California or go to prison”(3). I agree with what he states but to some extent it should only apply to the violent hard-core criminals out there that have done more of a malicious theft or worse crimes. Secondly I agree with Carl Cannon that sentencing the non-violent, petty crimes is very expensive. Studies have shown that it costs $750 million annually in California alone to put low-level offenders behind bars. I believe that it is absurd that we taxpayers have to pay for a non-violent offender to get into the whole sentencing for years in prison. Yes, I agree that we shouldn’t allow these robbers to get away with stealing, but convicting them to a long-term federal prison is not the solution and wasting money on these guys. The Justice system should come up with better ways to teach the “petty-crooks” as Cannon calls them, a lesson. For example, they could write them off with a citation and have them go to mandatory school similar to DUI classes. Instead, politicians should focus on giving more money to our schools and educating these petty crooks to be good people so that later on in life they don’t become drug addicts and have to steal videos from Kmart to satisfy their thirst for drugs and then get an outrageous punishment. Another good source to put this money to is for a good cause like a fund for the homeless people that are in danger of being thieves. Moreover, money could be spent on