San Jose Mercury News: California Prop. 36: Families of some three-strikers hope for early release or shorter sentences

On Tuesday, November 6th, California voters approved Prop 36, a ballot measure that would reform the Three Strikes Law of 1994. An estimated 3,000 convicted felons serving life sentences for a third strike that was a non-violent crime could now apply to the courts for resentencing. ACJP families are elated at the news knowing that some of their family members could qualify.  Lily, whose son Darryl has been serving a life sentence, is ecstatic, and said her son had been anxious about these elections.  He had received a letter notifying him that he was eligible for the Prop 36 reforms. In many ways, California has been the trendsetter in the nation when it comes to excessive sentencing.  We hope the passage of Prop 36 signals another trend — away from these extremely harsh laws and more humane criminal justice policies. — Submission Post by Charisse Domingo

California Prop. 36: Families of some three-strikers hope for early release or shorter sentences

By Tracey Kaplan
tkaplan@mercurynews.com

SAN JOSE — Cashier Debbie Curry woke up Wednesday to find California voters had given her a priceless gift: hope.

By an overwhelming margin, they’d passed Proposition 36 to revise the state’s tough Three Strikes Law.

The new law prohibits judges from imposing a life sentence on most repeat offenders who commit minor crimes. But it also includes a provision that could result in an early release or shorter sentence for Curry’s husband — and up to 3,000 inmates like him who were sentenced to life in prison for nonviolent, relatively minor crimes like stealing a credit card.
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Palo Alto Weekly: When Sentencing Young Lawbreakers, Race Matters, Study Funds

Thought provoking study by Stanford University’s Department of Psychology that found that when people were told that a juvenile defendant was Black, the consequences for the crime were harsher than if the juvenile defendant was White.  More than just proving that racial prejudice exists, the authors of the study worry about the implications of these results on the actual protections for juveniles under a system that is supposed to be considered rehabilitative.  At ACJP, we’ve seen this not just in the sentencing phase of a case but even at the charging stage.  We hope that this leads to a broader discussion of racism and the juvenile justice system. To read the full report, click here.  — Submission Post by Charisse Domingo

When sentencing young lawbreakers, race matters, study finds

Public favors harsher punishments when criminals are black, researchers say
by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly, 6/2/2012

People’s opinions on whether youth who break the law should be sentenced as adults vary significantly when a single word — black or white — is used to describe the defendant, a new study by Stanford University’s Department of Psychology has found.
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