This Article suggests that the power of judges to reduce sentences imposed under California's Three Strikes law has not diminished the severity of punishment meted out under the law. The Article traces the development of California's Three Strikes Law, assesses the importance of judicial discretion in analyzing the constitutionality of the Three Strikes Law, and illustrates the limited nature of judicial power under the law. The Article also analyzes empirical evidence concerning the Three Strikes law to determine that the evidence corroborates the inefficacy of judicial power. The Article concludes that there are only two meaningful ways to alleviate the impact of the law: remedial legislation and/or through a constitutional decision categorically barring a life sentence for most nonviolent, non-serious crimes.
The Broken Safety Valve: Judicial Discretion's Failure to Ameliorate Punishment under California's Three Strikes Law,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol41/iss1/3