Strike Three!

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photoThe lock-'em up laws were adopted by Congress and 26 states during the 1990s. Only California makes much use of its three-strikes law, the nation's toughest. But two recent decisions by a federal appeals court have undermined the California law's harshest provision, one that has sent some small-time crooks away for decades for shoplifting a pizza or a few videotapes.

The California drive for a three-strikes ballot initiative was led by Mike Reynolds, whose 18-year-old daughter was murdered in 1992 by a parolee. The 1993 kidnap-murder of Polly Klaas, 12, galvanized public opinion behind the initiative.


Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor and Supreme Court correspondent,

Franklin Zimring, Professor of Law and director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, author of "Punishment and Democracy: 3 Strikes and You're Out in California

Evan Lee, Law Professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco

Charles Hobson, attorney, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation

This program aired on November 6, 2002.


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