The Right Coast

March 11, 2005
9th Circuit on 3 strikes
By Tom Smith

Here's an interesting 9th Cir. decision on California's 3 strikes law. Call me a bleeding heart, but there's no way I would vote to send a 3 time shoplifter to prison for 25 years to life, without very, very clear guidance to that effect from the Supreme Court. Given that the Court doesn't seem to feel bound by its own decisions, why should one ever read between the lines to get to an obviously unjust conclusion? I'm all for 3 strikes as a way to get the population of dangerous criminals off the streets, but it shouldn't be used against petty shoplifters. I will also note that Judge Noonan voted to reverse the sentence.