Friday, July 11, 2014
The story is at Reuters:
California's highest court has softened implementation of the state's "three-strikes-and-you're-out" criminal sentencing law, marking the second time the rules for identifying and imprisoning career criminals have been loosened in recent years.
The judges made their ruling in the case of a woman who had been charged with two felonies - carjacking and robbery - for the same offense of stealing a car, saying that the legislature and the voters clearly intended for defendants to have three chances to redeem themselves before they are put away for life.
"The voting public would reasonably have understood the 'Three Strikes' baseball metaphor to mean that a person would have three chances - three swings of the bat if you will - before the harshest penalty could be imposed," Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote in the court's opinion, released late on Thursday. "The public also would have understood that no one can be called for two strikes on just one swing."