California Supreme Court Deals Blow to Three-Strikers

Michael Jackson Could Go to Santa Barbara Jail

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The California Supreme Court says judges can reject lighter sentences for so-called "three-strikes" inmates, even if the prisoner qualifies for a reduction under new state laws. The 4-3 decision by the California Supreme Court gives judges lots of leeway in deciding whether an inmate is a public safety risk. 

The decision says judges are allowed to consider an inmate's entire history and potential danger to the community. 

The majority of the court ruled that 2012's Proposition 36 only allowed judges to remove a third strike if the offense was not serious or violent. 

Language in 2014's Proposition 47 was also mentioned in the judge's decision. They said the language in the ballot measure failed to mention three-strike offenders when it said judges could reduce an inmate's sentence. 

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