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January 24, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Sonia J. Stamm
Three Strikes Laws
Last Featured: 9/22/2003

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California’s passage of a "three strikes" law in 1993, giving an automatic 25 years to life sentence for third time felons, began a wave of legislation passed in at least 22 other states and by the federal government. Proponents call “three strikes” a significant deterrent and credit the law for keeping career criminals behind bars. Detractors counter that one-size-fits-all justice unfairly results in life sentences for people convicted of petty offenses. Limiting the discretion of so-called “lenient” judges, they say, may play well politically, but is no way to dispense justice.

Mark D. Rosenbaum is the Legal Director of the ACLU of Southern California. In his almost 30 years as an attorney with the ACLU, Rosenbaum has successfully argued cases before the United States and California Supreme Courts, in military courts and on a wide range of civil rights and civil liberties issues. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California and Loyola Law Schools. Rosenbaum has twice been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California and has received numerous awards including the Clarence Darrow Award in 1993 and achievement awards from the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, and the ACLU.

The Honorable Dan Lungren is a partner with the Washington, D.C. law firm Venable, LLP. Prior to joining the firm, he served for 10 years as a United States Congressman and, later, as the Attorney General for the state of California. Congressman Lungren has argued successfully before both the California and United States Supreme Courts and in 1995 he received the Wyman Award from the National Association of Attorneys General as the nation's most outstanding attorney general.

Closing Quote
"The law isn't justice. It is a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer."

— Raymond Chandler

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Join the Debate
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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Three Strikes and You're Out homepage
Sacramento Bee series on Three strikes
Families to Amend California's Three-Strikes (FACTS)
California Criminal Law Observer
Families Against Mandatory Minimums Foundation
The Sentencing Project
Citizens Against Violent Crime
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Crime and Punishment in California: The Impact of Three Strikes and You're Out
by Franklin E. Zimring, Sam Kamin, and Gordon Hawkins
Three Strikes and You're Out: A Promise to Kimber: The Chronicle of America's Toughest Anti-Crime Law
by Mike Reynolds, Bill Jones, and Dan Evans
Three Strikes and You're Out: Vengeance As Public Policy
by David Shichor (Ed.) and Dale K. Sechrest
The Right to a Jury Trial
Bail Bondsmen, Bounty Hunters and Private Prisons
Innovations in Policing