Prop. 36 would alter California's "Three Strikes" law by imposing a life sentence only when the crime committed is a serious violent crime. Some offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who are currently serving life sentences for many nonserious, non-violent felony convictions could be resentenced to shorter prison terms. Life sentences would remain for felons with a non-violent third strike if the prior convictions were for murder, rape, or the sexual abuse of children.
For more information on this proposition, including voter resources, in-depth analysis, and endorsements, please see the California Choices web site.
Supporters of Prop. 36 believe the state's current Three Strikes law is costing the states millions in housing costs for non-violent criminals. They say that the measure will make the punishment more fairly fit the crime committed and will ensure violent offenders are off the streets.
Opponents of Proposition 36 say that the three strikes law works and that crime has gone down since its passage in 1994. They claim that the third strike convictions would not have been given by the judge or jury without reason. They believe Prop. 36 will put violent criminals back on the street with no alternative but committing more crimes.