Why Conservatives Should Oppose California's Three Strikes Law

From Libertarian Wiki

Many people in the three strikes movement lean liberal, and most of the rhetoric is liberal, so here are some reasons that should appeal to conservatives as to why this is a bad law.

Law and order is essential to civilized society. It is important that the law be respected and generally supported by people of all types. The three strikes law is so unfair, that it undermines respect for the law. Some would say, aren't felonies serious? Well, not all of them. For example, in come libraries there is a sign that says "Tampering with this copier is a felony." We all agree that you shouldn't try to break into a copier or vandalize it. But is this worth life in jail with the possibility of parole in 25 years? If one saw someone who had two strikes against him messing with a copier, one might just turn ones back and do nothing.

Compare the case of a former California resident Larry Singleton. He raped a woman, and then hacked off her hands at the forearms with an ax, and left her for dead in a remote place far from help. California released him from jail 8 years later. He eventually moved to Florida where he was later convicted of murder. This is a little bit more serious than tampering with a copier, isn't it? Why not 25 to life for him?

The most common third strike is possession of marijuana. There are many reasons for society to disapprove of marijuana. But where in the constitution is there the power for government to make it illegal in the first place? The ninth amendment says, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The people have long had the right to use whatever drugs for whatever purposes they wished. When the prohibitionists wanted to make alcohol illegal, it required a constitutional amendment. Why doesn't it require a constitutional amendment to make marihuana illegal?

It is worth spending $25,000/year keeping petty thieves, vandals, drug users, etc. in jail for at least 25 years? Is this fair to the taxpayers?

Many liberals claim the three strikes law is racist. Does it matter? Would it be any fairer if people of all races were jailed in proper proportion? It is unfair, regardless of the race of the three strikers. What is wrong is wrong, and the three strikes law is wrong.

External Links

Amend Three Strikes, Citizens Against Violent Crime