Initiative to Revise 'Three Strikes' Law Cleared For Signature-Gathering

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Backers of an initiative to amend the ``Three Strikes' law have received authorization to begin gathering signatures, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced today.

What authors Thomas R. Loversky and Victoria Johnson have dubbed ``The People's Fair Sentencing & Public Safety Act of 2018'' would revise the ``Three Strikes'' law to impose a life sentence with the possibility of parole only when the third or subsequent conviction is for a violent felony, unless the new offense is a specified sex- or firearm-related crime, or a prior offense was for rape, child molestation, or murder.

The initiative would also require resentencing of inmates serving sentences of life with possible parole if they would have received different sentences under this measure.

The initiative would apply the savings from reduced incarceration to schools, colleges, prison rehabilitation programs and youth crime prevention programs

If the initiative were to become law, the net state criminal justice system savings would likely be in the high tens of millions of dollars initially and could eventually exceed $100 million annually, according to an analysis made by the Legislative Analyst's Office and Department of Finance.

The analysis also found there would be increased county costs that could exceed $10 million annually, primarily due to increased county community supervision populations.

Valid signatures from 365,880 registered voters -- 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 general election -- must be submitted by July 16 to qualify the measure for the November ballot, Padilla said.

Photo: Getty Images

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