Punishment and Democracy: Three Strikes and Youre Out in California

Paperback | November 13, 2003

byFranklin E. Zimring, Gordon Hawkins, Sam Kamin

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"Getting tough on crime" has been one of the favorite rallying cries of American politicians in the last two decades, and "getting tough" on repeat offenders has been particularly popular. "Three strikes and you're out" laws, which effectively impose a 25-years-to-life sentence at the momentof a third felony conviction, have been passed in 26 states. California's version of the "three strikes" law, enacted in 1994, was broader and more severe than measures considered or passed in any other state. Punishment and Democracy is the first examination of the actual impact this law has had. Franklin Zimring, Sam Kamin, and Gordon Hawkins look at the origins of the law in California, compare it to other crackdown laws, and analyze the data collected on crime rates in Los Angeles, San Diego, andSan Francisco in the year before and the two years after the law went into effect. They show that the "three strikes" law was a significant development in criminal justice policy making, not only at the state level, but also at the national level. They conclude with an examination of the trendtoward populist initiatives driving penal policy. The importance of the subject and the stature of the authors make this book required reading for policy analysts, criminal justice scholars, elected officials, and indeed any American seeking to know more about "get-tough" criminal sentencing.

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"Getting tough on crime" has been one of the favorite rallying cries of American politicians in the last two decades, and "getting tough" on repeat offenders has been particularly popular. "Three strikes and you're out" laws, which effectively impose a 25-years-to-life sentence at the momentof a third felony conviction, have been pass...

Franklin E. Zimring is William G. Simon Professor of Law and Director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of American Youth Violence (Oxford, 1998) and co-author (with Gordon Hawkins) of Crime Is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America (Oxford, 1997) and Incapacitation: ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 5.59 × 8.82 × 0.71 inPublished:November 13, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195171179

ISBN - 13:9780195171174

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Origins and Structure1. Three Strikes Come to California2. The Largest Penal Experiment in American HistoryPart II: The Study3. Building a Research Design4. The Role of Recidivists in Urban California Crime5. The Impact of Three Strikes on Criminal Punishment6. Three Strikes as Crime ControlPart III: Impacts7. The Jurisprudence of Imprisonment in California8. Living with Three Strikes: Courts, Corrections, and the Political ProcessPart IV: Implications9. The Changing Politics of Criminal Punishment10. Democracy and the Governance of Criminal Punishment11. Legacies and LessonsReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Reading this book should be penance and a must read for California Governors and legislators, past and present, who helped make this ill-conceived law a reality. [It] should be helpful to public policy makers throughout the United States as they contemplate better crime controlmeasures."--John Van de Kamp, former Attorney General for California