Readers Digest on Three Strikes: Is the Tide Turning?
Readers Digest, a predictably conservative publication for decades, may be changing its stripes on at least one issue: Three Strikes Laws. This article, Why Three Strikes Laws Don't Work, appears at page 152 of the October issue.
Convinced that too many judges were going easy on violent recidivists, Congress enacted federal "mandatory minimum" sentences two decades ago, mainly targeting drug crimes. Throughout the 1990s, state legislatures and Congress kept upping the ante, passing new mandatory minimums, including "three strikes and you're out" laws. The upshot was a mosaic of sentencing statues that all but eliminated judicial discretion, mercy, or even common sense.
Now we are living with the fallout.
The magazine also has reader comments on the article, asking the question:
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