Three Strikes and Strike Priors 

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Three Strikes and Strike Priors

In California, new sentencing laws have made punishment more severe for persons charged with certain crimes or for persons with a past history of criminal acts. Nowhere is this more evident that in the Three Strikes law. Basically if you have two felonies of a violent nature, any third felony conviction will result in a sentence of twenty-five years to life. If you have one violent felony in your past, a new felony will result in denial of probation and doubling of the prison sentence of the current felony.

There are a lot of persons charged in the system who find themselves in the predicament. You see a lot of persons who were in significant trouble when they were younger, and then later on in life picked up a felony which resulted in strike application. Or you see a lot of young people who went to prison for something serious and, before they are able to get their act together, end up with a new charge that is a strike situation.

Fortunately, strikes can be stricken by the court, which means that much plea and sentence bargaining can be done if you find yourself in this position. Because the judges have the power to strike one or more strikes, the district attorneys bargain more actively. It is important to establish a good relationship of trust and a team mentality with your lawyer as quickly as possible. You may have to plea at an early stage to take advantage of a judge who will strike a strike. You want to be fully informed of the facts and your position so you do not make the mistake of passing up a deal that might not surface again.

Even if you are facing three strikes, do not panic or give up. There are many points in the system where you can avoid the maximum punishment. A good lawyer knows what elements are involved in convincing the court to strike a strike, and they will prepare accordingly. Sometimes you have to subpoena or otherwise acquire prison records, parole records, old probation reports, and other important documents to show that you were a different person then than you are now. Sometimes your lawyer will reconstruct your history to show how good you were doing for a long time until you stumbled and fell into a three strikes situation.

Your lawyer may need to have a psychological evaluation done to show the court the important information about your past and why you have had problems or why you are having problems now. It is really important to not give up. It cannot be stressed enough to have a good lawyer on these cases. Someone who is talented on sentencing and human life will be able to use that talent to show the courts or the district attorney office why you do not deserve extreme punishment. A good lawyer will also know the technical limits of the strike law. Sometimes what appears to be a strike is not judged that way in the California courts.

Unfortunately, sometimes you have to take these cases to trial. If they will not bargain, and a judge will not agree to strike the strike the accused may have to fight the current charge aggressively to avoid twenty-five years to life. This means the investigation and expert testimony and much lawyer preparation needed. Many times, if the jury knows the case is a three strikes, they will be more vigilant in applying reasonable doubt. Regardless, you cannot fight too hard if you are facing twenty-five years to life in the state penitentiary.

The voters of the State of California will vote on Proposition 66 during the upcoming November 2004 General Election. Should this proposition gain voter approval, it would substantially alter the Three Strikes Law. These changes would impact both defendants charged in new cases after the election as well as defendants currently serving sentences that would not have resulted under the language of the proposition. Needless to say, the changes included this proposition are highly technical and the language in the proposed law fails to address a number of legal issues that will likely result in litigation that could take years to fully resolve. If you are someone who may be impacted by a change in the current Three Strikes Law, you should speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.



Упражнение 1. Работая в парах, отредактируйте полученный компьютерный вариант перевода, используя свой самостоятельный перевод текста и словарь.

Упражнение 2. Объясните, как вы понимаете следующие слова и выражения:

a felony of a violent nature, a predicament, plea and sentence bargaining, a team mentality, to fall into a three strikes situation, a psychological evaluation, to know the technical limits of the law, to result in litigation, to be impacted by.


Упражнение 3. Подготовьте комплекс вопросов по тексту 4 таким образом, чтобы они представляли собой план пересказа текста.

Упражнение 4. Используя подготовленные вопросы к тексту 4, передайте его содержание на русском языке.

Прокомментируйте следующее:

  It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive. (Справедливость жива благодаря духу, а не букве закона.) Anonymous  







Суффикс -ary, (-ory)



Суффикс –ary (-ory)является суффиксом прилагательных и существительных, образованных от глаголов и других существительных. Например:

tradition (традиция) – traditionary(традиционный)

parliament (парламент) – parliamentary(парламентский)

advise (советовать) – advisory(консультативный)



Упражнение 1. Переведите производные слова, принимая во внимание значение слов, от которых они образованы:

disciplinary (a) (discipline – дисциплина)

obligatory (a) (to oblige – обязывать)

stipendiary (a) (stipend – стипендия)

functionary (n) (to function – выполнять обязанности)

supervisory (a) (to supervise – наблюдать)

discriminatory (a) (to discriminate – дискриминировать)

probationary (a) (probation – испытание)

penitentiary (n) (penitent – осужденный преступник)

evidentiary (a) (evidence – доказательство)

judiciary (n) (judge – судья)

compulsory (a) (compulsion – принуждение)

complimentary (a) (to compliment – поздравлять)


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