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Friday, Apr. 18, 2003 at 12:12 AM
Some info I got from the latest FACTS newsletter. Unfortunately, there's some bad news, but the push to fight the unjust law continues. Volunteer ops!
I just got the latest FACTS newsletter and requests for a donation.... unfortunately, the news was bad. They will need a lot of personpower to take their fight to the next phase. Here's some text from the mail.
To Three Strikers and their families
by Erwin Chemerinsky
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court's tragic decisions in Andrade and Ewing leav little hope for arguing that sentences under the three strikes law are unconstitutional.... Moreover, it must be remembered that no California state court has yet held that the three strikes law as applied is unconstitutional and this is even less likely after the Supreme Court's rulings. I wish that there was more room for home and optimism, but after the decisions in Andrade and Ewing the only remedy is to change the law. [emphasis mine-jk)
From the Chair, Barbara Ellis
Now that the Supreme Court has rendered its decision, some of you have asked what Families to Amend California's Three Strikes (FACTS) will do next. In an effort to answer that question, FACTS will continue with its plan to place an initiative on the ballot in November 2004 to amend the California Three Strikes Law.
....The people of California voted this law into existence and WE the people have the poer within us to amend that same law. The Supreme Court said that it will not do it for California but the vote clearly shows that four of the Justices agree that the Three Strikes law is cruel and unusual. Moreover, a recent poll showed that the California voters are ready to amend the law. We must seize this opportunity.
Barbara Ellis, Chair
The rest of that note says that FACTS is now hooked up with the ACLU, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Citizens Against Violent Crimes. The FACTS focus is on supporting people who have relatives who have been victimized by the law.
At a presentation I attended last year, they pointed out that the people who get convicted and sentenced with Three Strikes are almost all people who are largely unaware that they're about to be snared by it. This happens because, after you commit a felony, your status changes and some misdemeanor crimes become felonies, and other non-criminal behaviors, like being in the same room with a firearm, become felonies.
Persons who are commiting more obviously violent crimes will plea bargain, and manage to dodge mandatory sentencing, but persons caught for minor infractions like shoplifting, and possibly innocent, will fight, and when they lose, suffer disproportionate sentences.
It's a legal paradox, and happens because judges are not in control of sentencing.
Anyway... I'm rambling. The point here is that they need to raise 0,000, and need to do it in half a year. They need volunteers too.
Click on the link and check it out.
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