Letter: Allow review of 3-strike sentences
Thursday, May 17, 2012
I am serving a life sentence in a Washington state prison. There is plenty wrong with Washington state’s Superior Court sentencing guidelines, not the least of which is the capricious and draconian manner in which the three strikes law is applied to defendants convicted of second-degree robbery and second-degree assault.
It is not so much whether these individuals deserve life sentences without the possibility of parole or not, it is the fact that once there is a conviction, there is no process for these defendants to present possible mitigating factors or extenuating circumstances that might otherwise call for leniency, or a lesser sentence. It could be called a “sentencing hearing,” which is afforded to even some serial murderers.
This kind of running roughshod over relatively nonviolent defendants is unconscionable on any level, anywhere, much less the United States of America, which supposedly prides itself on being fair and balanced. This law needs to change now before everyone’s rights disappear.
John D. Letellier