The Facts

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(Some material taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Three Strikes Laws are statutes enacted by state governments in the United States which mandates state courts to impose life sentences on persons convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. In most jurisdictions, only crimes at the felony level qualify as serious offenses and typically the defendant is given the possibility of parole with their life sentence.

The three strikes law significantly increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies, and limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence. Violent and serious felonies are specifically listed in state laws. Violent offenses include murder, robbery of a residence in which a deadly or dangerous weapon is used, rape and other sex offenses; serious offenses include the same offenses defined as violent offenses, but also include other crimes such as burglary of a residence and assault with intent to commit a robbery or murder.

By 2004, twenty-six states and the federal government had laws that satisfy the general criteria for designation as “three strikes” statutes — namely, that a third felony conviction brings a sentence of life in prison, with no parole possible until a long period of time, most commonly twenty-five years, has been served.

What falls under the 3 strikes your out in the state of Tennessee?

Murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated rape, rape of a child, aggravated arson. Same as above, plus rape, and aggravated sexual battery. Result: Mandatory life in prison with no parole eligibility. Mandatory life in prison with no parole eligibility for first two strikes.

In May 2011, a Louisiana Judge made national news this month after sentencing a 35 year old man to life in prison after his 4th conviction for possession of marijuana. The criminal defendant had previously been given probation in each of his prior convictions, but the court applied the “three strikes laws” to sentence him as a career criminal and sentenced him to life in prison.

Our goal in this new law would be to include any felony which endangers the public. It would include DUI, drugs, reckless endangerment, aggravated robbery, by the count. John Perkins, the man who hit and killed Amelia while running from police would have fallen under the three strikes your out law if he had been served separate prison sentences. Instead, it was served all in one. Because  it was all in one, it did not apply. There were 5 counts, although they were on 5 separate dates, but it was all put into one court trial. There has to be stricter enforcement of the laws, and a mandatory minimum sentence for each before parole is offered.

Help us make this change by signing Amelia’s Law today.