Amidst budget cuts, layoffs, attrition and the closure of courthouses and courtrooms, California is struggling to accommodate the volume of litigation on court dockets. The passage this month of Proposition 36 is only going to add to that challenge. Proposition 36 reforms California’s three strikes law so that defendants whose third strike is a non-serious or nonviolent felony cannot be sentenced to life in prison. Moreover, the amendment applies retroactively, so that many life prisoners are eligible to be re-sentenced under the new California three strikes law to a reduced prison term.
It’s estimated there may be more than 3,000 prisoners in this position. Most of them will be petitioning the courts to have their sentences modified. One can imagine the toll this will take on judges, prosecutors, public defenders offices and the court system generally. Counties will need to develop streamlined processes, and quickly, to hear these cases without further overburdening an already resource-strapped and overburdened system.
If you need Prop 36 help, contact My Rights Law today.