In the next few days I will post my critique of the upcoming initiative to water down the Three Strikes law. In the meantime, I’ll hopefully whet your appetite with some quiz questions designed to illustrate some of the most outrageous provisions of the law, as it would be amended if the initiative were to pass.
For a period of several months in 1984 and 1985, Los Angeles was terrorized by Richard Ramirez, also known as the “Night Stalker.” The Night Stalker broke into residences in the middle of the night, through open windows or doors. He slaughtered any men inside. He raped, sodomized, beat, and cut up women and children. He would leave the women for dead, and would often kidnap the children.
Ramirez was tried for his crimes in one case. He was convicted of 13 counts of murder, as well as 30 additional counts of rape and residential burglary.
a) How many strikes does Ramirez have on his record?
b) How many strikes will Ramirez have on his record once the new law passes?
You read that right. Under the amended law, Ramirez’s 43 felony convictions — 13 for murder — would amount to only one strike prior. Each strike prior must be “brought and tried separately.” Separate violent crimes in separate incidents — including the crimes of serial rapists and murderers — count as only one strike prior, if those crimes are tried in one case.
What would happen if Charlie Manson were paroled today?