Proposition 36 Not Expected to have Major Impact in Shasta County

Proposition 36 Not Expected to have Major Impact in Shasta County

SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - Officials at the Shasta County District Attorney's Office said they do not expect any major impacts after the passing of Proposition 36.

The prop was passed overwhelmingly Tuesday night with a 69% vote. It revises the state's "three strikes" law, meaning changes for prisoners serving life sentences.

Deputy District Attorney Thomas Toller said they had a feeling it would pass because of early poll projection.

He thinks part of the reason it did so well is because voters didn't fully grasp what it meant.

"It sold as something that would benefit the economics of California and I think that's why voters chose to pass it without really understanding what it does," Toller said.

While there will most likely be stronger impacts in other areas of the state, he said Shasta County doesn't convict as many third strikers.

"There's only been 12 third striker inmates in the last four years," Toller said, "there are 75 third striker inmates from Shasta County. Of those, there are about 41 who will be eligible to petition for re-sentencing."

Toller said it's not realistic that every inmate will win their petition,"Judges are able to consider their past criminal history and their future dangerousness so in some cases, it wouldn't surprise us if judges did not grant the petition."

He also added that many inmates have already had the chance to argue in their defense, meaning some judges will be less likely to make any changes.

"Each of these defendants has already had an opportunity to try and convince the judge that they deserve a lesser sentence," said Toller.

Toller said the biggest change will be that there now needs to be a serious or violent felony in order to trigger the third strike.

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