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Law no longer makes any sense for Washington
The intent of Washington’s “Three Strikes” law was to incarcerate the worst of the worst violent criminals.
Of approximately 282 now incarcerated for life, some 200 were convicted of second-degree offenses.
Robbery 2 does not involve any weapons and does not result in any injuries.
Assault 2 can be a simple barroom brawl.
Granted, these are crimes and must be punished, but they are not the most serious offenses and these people are not the worst violent criminals.
Do they deserve life in prison?
No, and the argument here is against the sentence of forever.
The law should be repealed or at least modified, especially in light of the extreme budget crises that are cutting back our essential services.
Millions of dollars are being diverted from public safety into warehousing people who are not violent.
Tom McBride of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys has stated that they are applying this law in a “more rational manner” in recent years. Plea bargains are allowing three-strikers to be charged with offenses other than those considered strikes.
Dan Satterberg, King County prosecutor, has even gone so far as to investigate injustices in earlier cases.
The professionalism of prosecutors applying the law more fairly and being willing to address past injustices is commendable.
Leaving this law remain is not. To learn more, visit www.fix3strikes.org and www.justiceisnogame.org.