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Q: What is the "three strikes" law?

A: "Three strikes law" is a common way to describe "mandatory sentencing laws" which have been enacted by state governments in the US. Generally these laws allow for long term or even life imprisonment after a person has been convicted of three felonies, or other serious qualifying crimes, usually drug offenses. Behind these laws lie the assumption that if a person commits more than two felonies, this is an indication that the person is "chronically criminal" and that the safety of society justifies permanent imprisonment. The "three strikes" usage comes from the familiar
baseball phrase, "Three strikes and you are out."  -- Linda Byard

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