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Three-strikes law

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"Three-strikes laws" are laws that have been passed in many states during the last decade of the twentieth century and since, intended to imprison the worst criminal offenders for life.

The essential theme of these laws is that any person who commits a third felony must then be jailed for life without possibility of parole[?]. In the case of felons who were thrice-convicted before the laws were passed, any new conviction would then trigger the penalty.

The underlying philosophy of these laws is that any criminal who commits more than two felonies can justifiably be considered incorrigible and chronically criminal, and that permanent imprisonment is then mandated for the safety of society.

The principal problem with these laws is that many felonies do not involve any actual threat to society. In some states, possession of a small amount of marijuana may be treated as a felony, so three times carries permanent imprisonment. There are many other felonies which call into question the advisability of strict three-strikes laws, such as some minor white-collar crimes[?] which barely qualify as felonies.

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