What Is The Three-Strike Law?


The three strike law is also referred as the habitual offender laws. These are statutes that are enacted by different states in the United States of America to ensure that people who have the habit of committing crime get higher sentences in subsequent crimes. This is so for offenders who have been convicted of two crimes of a serious nature prior to the third crime. In most of the states that have three strike laws in place, offenses that amount to felony are what is deemed as serious offenses.

The punishment that these habitual offenders face is majorly life sentences since the law seeks to increase the sentences served by these people. The enactment of the three strike laws in different states may vary but most states ensure that the offender is jailed for a minimum of 25 years and some even get the full life sentence. Some of the offenses which lead to such sentences include violent murder, burglary, firearm violations and many more. The law therefore seeks to put away serious criminals for longer period with an aim of reducing the levels of crime experienced in different states.

The effectiveness of the law however has been questioned in some states. People with prior criminal record are sent to prison for longer even for crimes where they would serve shorter sentences. This has led to an increase in the population in the prisons and therefore the government spends more money to keep these criminals away. This has not augured well with some leaders and therefore the challenging of the law. However, in some states, the law has worked well and the level of criminal activity has been on a decline.

The three strike law has been seen as an infringement on the rights of some of the citizens in some states. It is against the law to offer and unjust and cruel punishment for a crime and this has been promoted by the use of the law. People who commit minor crimes may be sent away for long periods and therefore an infringement on their rights. Well, although this may be true, it leaves the question of whether or not the law should continue being used in different states.

Follow us for more on law, crime and legalities.