Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Three Strikes Is Out 

AP via Yahoo! News reports that on Monday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a three strikes conviction in which the first two convictions were for unarmed robbery and the third strike was for theft of a $199 VCR. The AP report points out that the Supreme Court has upheld the three strikes rule, if the first two convictions were for serious or violent felonies.

The opinion concludes that:

"Ramirez’s sentence of 25 years to life in prison is grossly disproportionate to the offenses he committed. The California Court of Appeal’s decision to the contrary is an objectively unreasonable application of clearly established federal law because it erroneously characterizes and otherwise fails to consider the unique, objective factual circumstances of Ramirez’s case. Because this is indeed the “exceedingly rare” case, Ramirez is entitled to habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. §2254(d)(1)."

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:30 PM