Saturday, March 11, 2006

News Advisory

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sara Amir, 310.270-7106
Pat Driscoll 916.320-6430
Susan King 415.823-5524

Green Party of California backs measure to reform ‘3 Strikes' law, calls current law ‘unfair and cruel' to families of those wrongly incarcerated

SACRAMENTO – The Green Party of California today voiced its support for major reform of the so-called "Three Strikes" law, calling the current code "unfair and cruel" to not only people victimized by it, but also their families.

The Greens' statement comes on the 12th anniversary of the signing of the law, and a demonstration this week at the State Capitol, hosted by Families to Amend California's Three Strikes (FACTS).

Mothers, grandmothers and other family members cited at the demonstration how the controversial law is unfairly targeting people of color, and giving people, in effect, death sentences for committing non-serious or non-violent felonies.

"People are being sent to prison for life for tearing off a tag from a dress, or stealing an inexpensive radio. Others, who are facing personal addictions, are receiving 25 years to life rather than the help that could make them a productive part of society again," said Pat Driscoll, a Green Party spokesperson.

"The governor, fellow Republicans and even Democrats have failed to amend this law, which is unfair and cruel to the families of the those wrongly incarcerated for 25 years to life for non-violent violations of the law," added Driscoll.

The Green Party supports, as a stop-gap measure, SB 1642, authored by Sen. Gloria Romero. The proposed legislation would restrict the use of "Three Strikes" for some, but not all, potential "three-strikers" by having it apply only to "serious or violent" felonies.

The measure would make exceptions for certain drug or sex crimes. It's due for a final vote this Spring. If passed, it would send the question to the voters for approval.

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