The release of Stevan Dozier, the first ever “three-striker” to be allowed clemency, is certainly good news. He had served 14 1/2 years of a life sentence in prison for purse-snatching, crimes triggered by his expensive drug addiction. Ordinarily, the sentence for this lower-level offense would be three months to seven years, plenty of time for treatment, education and rehab.
In the present time of budget crisis, how can we afford to house these people who are no threat to anyone anymore? Crime must be punished, but Stevan Dozier certainly was in excess. There are many more like him languishing in our prisons who do not need to be.
Three out of every four of those serving life sentences under three-strikes have been convicted of lower-level offenses. A life sentence without the possibility of parole should only be doled out to the violent, incorrigible and depraved who need to be incarcerated for the safety of us all.