Several years ago, a measure was passed permitting persons currently serving an indeterminate life term under the California Three Strikes Law to file a petition in the sentencing court seeking to be resentenced to a determinate term as a second striker. If the trial court determines in the exercise of its discretion that the criminal defendant meets the criteria of Penal Code Section 1170.126(e), the court may resentence the defendant. This is a very complex area of criminal law which should be handled by a competent and caring West Covina three strikes law attorney.
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In approving the Reform Act, voters found and had declared that its purpose was to prevent the early release of dangerous criminals, but also to relieve prison overcrowding. By allowing low risk, non-violent inmates serving life sentences for petty crimes to receive twice the normal sentence rather than life sentence, these goals can be achieved. This had come in the wake of criticism that a petty crime committed by a third striker (technically a second striker) would incur unduly excessive punishment by incurring life incarceration.
The electorate also approved a mandate that the reform act be construed in a liberal fashion so as to effectuate the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the people of California. In essence, the reform act amended the three strikes statutes to require that before a defendant can be sentenced to an indeterminate life term in a California State Prison under the Three Strikes Statute, the new felony must generally qualify as a serious or violent felony.