What Is the Three Strikes Law?

Three strikes laws are statutes enacted by state governments which mandate state courts to impose harsher sentences on habitual offenders who are convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. Twenty-four states have some form of habitual offender law. Pennsylvania enacted a three strikes law in 1995.

Three strikes laws in Pennsylvania mandate courts to impose harsher sentences on habitual offenders who are convicted of three (3) or more serious criminal offenses. Depending on the seriousness of the current and the prior crimes committed by the offender, the sentence can range from a minimum of 25 years to a maximum of life imprisonment. Pennsylvania’s three strikes rule is set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9714.

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