Voted for by 72 percent of the public and widely referred to as the Three Strikes law, Proposition 184 has provided justified prosecution for criminals and increased safety for communities since 1994. Why, then, should we approve Proposition 66, which will only reduce the number of felonies considered serious or violent, freeing thousands of criminals from prison and costing tens of millions of dollars annually?
For those who are unaware, there exist three types of crimes: infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. Of the three, felonies are the most severe and are subcategorized as being violent, serious or neither violent nor serious. Violent felonies include robbery, murder, rape and other sex offenses. Those that are serious include the same crimes specified as violent, in addition to burglary and assault with intentions to commit robbery. Last year, approximately 18 percent of individuals convicted of a felony were sent to state prison, and about 30 percent of those persons were classified as committing violent or serious crimes.
Under the Three Strikes law, prison sentences are longer for individuals who have been previously convicted of a felony. For example, if a person has committed one violent or serious felony in the past and commits any new felony