The Oakland Tribune, "Fiscal and prison overcrowding crises could lead to Three-Strikes reform"

Opponents of California's Three Strikes sentencing law say overcrowded prisons and huge budget deficits have created an opening to amend or eliminate the 1994 law. Details of a proposed 2012 initiative have not been spelled out, but are expected to at least require a violent felony conviction to trigger a 25-years-to-life sentence. Three Strikes supporters promise to vigorously fight any efforts to weaken the law.  - HTN Foundation

By Paul T. Rosynsky
Oakland Tribune
Posted: 07/24/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Updated: 07/24/2011 09:11:00 AM PDT

From almost the day California's Three Strikes sentencing law was approved by voters in 1994, opponents have tried and failed to repeal or amend the politically popular measure.

Now, huge budget deficits and overcrowded prisons have given opponents of the Three Strikes Law a more attractive argument for why it should be changed: California is broke and can't afford such an expensive approach to criminal justice anymore.

By focusing on the costs of housing long-term prisoners and on the state's need to reduce its inmate population, opponents said they believe a ballot measure amending the law, promised for 2012, has its best chance of success since Three Strikes was enacted.