April 1, 2002
US Supreme court agrees to take California 3-strike cases
On April 1st, the US Supreme Court agreed to take two California Three Strike cases. The court decided to take the Andrade case (who received 50 years to life for stealing video tapes in two separate incidents) and another case called Ewing v. California (Gary Ewing received 25 years to life for stealing 3 golf clubs from a pro shop at an El Segundo golf course). By taking the Ewing case, the court appears to also be taking on the issue of clarifying which prisoners might have or not have the ability to continue the appeal or habeas corpus process for their 3-strike cases.
California State Attorney General Bill Lockyer (Democrat) has taken on the option of fighting these 3-strike cases when he had within his powers the ability to let the Federal 9th Circuit opinions remain as law within California. FACTS hopes voters will remember Lockyer's stance on this issue in the future as a person who upholds the opinion that shoplifters can get 25 years to life--definitely an unjust and unreasonable position. As Nietzsche said "Distrust all men in whom the impulse to punish is powerful."
The oral arguments are scheduled for Noveber 5, 2002 and the decision is not expected until sometime during the first half of 2003.