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Three Strikes Project: Criminal Justice Reform in Action

This past November, Californians overwhelmingly voted to reform California's "Three Strikes and You¿re Out"? criminal sentencing law, making relief possible for thousands of prisoners sentenced to life for minor crimes. This is the first time in U.S. history that voters have reduced sentences for people in prison; now Stanford students have an opportunity to test the new law and put it into practice. This seminar will focus on criminal justice reform in real time. Students will read and discuss a variety of cases and articles, examining the evolution of the Three Strikes law as a case study in the history, politics, practical considerations and legal regulation of sentencing in the United States.nnIn addition to studying the law, students will have an opportunity to test their skills in the field, representing an inmate sentenced to life in prison under the Three Strikes law for a minor crime. Students will visit the client in prison, conduct factual investigation in the field, write and file petitions on the client¿s behalf and argue the case in open court. The course offers the opportunity to both study the theory behind the law, and to hone practical litigation skills in and out of the courtroom. The seminar will meet for 3 hours per week. Students will also meet for 1 hour individually and in teams with Project director Mike Romano each week to discuss work on the litigation projects. Consent Application: Interested students must apply to enroll in the seminar by sending a one-page statement of interest, resume, and transcript to Mike Romano (mromano@stanford.edu). Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.


Instructors for this course (Past and Present)

Michael Romano