I'm not even sure I agree with that last offense being considered a felony. That is such a tiny amount of money. Make him pay the victim and give him a fine and some community service, and send him on his way. Even if he continued to reoffend, for what were just financial offenses, then we could continue to fine him again and again and taxpayers would make out better than sending him to prison.
If this was a huge financial offense like on the level of what Madoff did then I'd agree he should get life in prison even for a first time offense, but we're talking about a little over two hundred dollars (and less than even a hundred each for his first two offenses). That's not worth sending someone to life in prison especially considering that imprisoning a person for life costs hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
Conservatives talk about being fiscally responsible but then support expensive things like three strikes laws. Try some consistency for once and maybe people will start taking your party more seriously in states besides Texas.
The Three Strikes Laws across the nation have now been gutted so that in the states where this approach has been implemented, it must be completely rewritten now if it is to exist at all. This is great news for people who agree that no one should serve a life-sentence for bouncing checks!
The Texas man who was sentenced to life in prison as the result of a three-strike law is a great example for why we should not allow these laws to continue. Recently, President Obama and the justice department have been reforming our criminal justice practices as a nation, by reducing sentences for minor offenses and ending long incarcerations for nonviolent offenders. Three-strike laws hurt people who commit minor offenses, and the man in Texas was no exception: his "fraudulent activity" amounted to about $230. It will cost US and Texas taxpayers much more than $230 to imprison this man for the rest of his life. Three-strike laws are not only irrelevant with recent criminal justice reforms; they are also a waste of taxpayer money.
Yes, the Supreme Court should strike down these laws. If a Texas 3-strikes law has caused a man to be sentenced to life in prison for refusing to return a refund after an air conditioner repair, then this law is ridiculous and should be changed. The punishment should not be that severe.
These laws are the very definition of cruel and unusual punishment and they should be struck down by the Supreme Court based on these reasons alone. If they get struck down it will be because someone sued, which this man should do because of the rediculous nature of his conviction.
This case paints the picture of a man who is pushing the boundaries. Given the length of his legal battle, one would surmise that the man in question knew he was up shit creek. His prior convictions would have each come with a warning about the 3 strike rule and yet he felt it worth the risk to commit fraud again and again. (We only know of his convictions, not what he has gotten away with.) What message does this give future generations? Go ahead and commit crime, if you get caught, just make sure that you cry loud enough and when you are let off, do it again because there is no real consequence.
Yes it seems excessive, but it is needed if society hopes to remain free. After all, why should one man with a history of conning and scamming be allowed to negativity impact potentially 26.96 million Texans?
This was his third offense and that is only the times he has been caught for fraud. Clearly giving him lighter sentences did not work so maybe the best way to protect people from his actions is to have him behind bars for much longer. In the end, he's the one at fault, not the state.