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AP Exclusive: New '3 Strikes' Law Varies By County

Publication Date: 
May 04, 2013
San Jose Mercury News
Paul Elias

 Michael Romano, director and co-founder of the Three Strikes Project, spoke with Paul Elias of the San Jose Mercury News about the effects of Proposition 36 and his frustration with prosecutors who are "stubbornly refusing to follow the law" by opposing petitions for resentencing.

Majorities in every California county voted last fall to scale back the state's Three Strikes law so thousands of inmates serving life sentences for relatively minor third offenses would have the chance to be set free. Five months later, there is no such unanimity among counties when it comes to carrying out the voters' wishes.

Whether a third-strike felon eventually will gain freedom varies greatly depending on the county that sent him away, according to an Associated Press analysis of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation data.


"We are frustrated that some DAs are stubbornly refusing to follow the law," said Michael Romano, who authored Proposition 36 and runs the Three Strikes Project at Stanford Law School. The project represents about 20 inmates seeking resentencing.