Protests against Three Strikes continue
A cross section of Angelenos recently converged on the Hollywood Police station to mark the 17th anniversary of the Three Strikes Law and continue their demands that what they call an unjust law be amended.
David Beck Brown, (4th picture), who was almost a victim of the law himself, spoke about his case. Brown said he was being attacked with by a man with a gun, used his cane to defend himself and after calling 911, was arrested and charged himself. It would have been his third strike, had he not beat the case.
Margarita Ibarra, (3rd picture), came out to advocate for her son and others who have been unjustly given 25 to life sentences. She said her son committed a nonviolent crime and has reformed himself during his incarceration time. Consequently, he should have the option of being released as do rapists and other dangerous criminals.
Danielle Dennis (1st picture) has been on lockdown herself, and believes the laws need to more fair.
Families to Amend Three Strikes has pushing to change the law, and expects to make another ballot run next year.
A substance abuse counselor was charged with murder and other counts for allegedly driving drunk, running into a pedestrian and driving two miles with him embedded in her car’s windshield before other motorists stopped her.
Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 51, of Torrance, was arraigned Tuesday in Torrance Superior Court on one count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury, driving with a .08 percent or higher blood-alcohol content causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident, according to the district attorney’s office.
Proposition 36 revises the Three Strikes Law (Proposition 184, adopted in 1994) to impose life sentence only when a new felony conviction is serious or violent. It authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences, if third strike conviction was not serious or violent and the judge determines the sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety.
It continues to impose life sentence penalty, if the third strike conviction was for certain non-serious, nonviolent sex or drug offenses or involved firearm possession.
In 1994, Dorothy Erskine’s nephew, Brian Smith, was arrested for shoplifting at Cerritos Mall soon after the public voted to pass the controversial Three Strikes law. Smith, 30 at the time, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
After spending 16 years advocating against California’s Three Strikes law, South Los Angeles resident Erskine believes this time next month she will have something to celebrate. If voters pass Proposition 36 in November, as she believes they will, her nephew could be released.