The question of, “When does someone deserve a second chance?” has been pervasive through international politics, social discussions, and even of course, interpersonal relationships. But when it comes to the question of someone’s physical freedom, versus incarcerating them for a crime for the rest of their natural existence, sh*t gets serious.
Many critiques of the United States justice system say that millions of prisoners are victims of over sentencing due to three-strikes laws used in states across the nation. Taxpayers spend $80 billion dollars a year on 2.3 million prison, half of which are behind bars for non-violent crimes. For context’s sake, three-strikes laws have state governments impose harsher sentences on habitual offenders – usually offenders whose crimes are more serious, and in most states these offenses are mainly comprised of those at the felony level – even if these crimes are non-violent.
So if you’ve been found carrying drugs, and are arrested with a baggy that has trace amounts of cocaine the third time, it’s very possible that you’ll go away to prison for life, depending on where you live. Opponents of these laws aren’t saying one shouldn’t serve time for the crime – but they’re asking if the crimes fits the punishment.
Take a look at the artfully shot mini-doc above about the family of Rufus, a convict who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after police found a baggie with residue of crack cocaine on him.
What are your thoughts on three strikes laws and federal mandatory sentencing? Leave ’em in the comments below!