The controversial “three strikes” law has come before the Supreme Court no less than five times in past seven years.
The court justices has now decided that the constitutionality of the law needs to be weighed in on.
Justice Antonin Scalia explained the court’s decision to declare the provision unconstitutional, noting that there is nothing in place that would ensure this law would be carried out fairly or in an nondiscriminatory manner.
Scalia wrote, for the 8-1 majority, that “it has been said that the life of the law is experience. Nine years’ experience trying to derive meaning from the residual clause convinces us that we have embarked upon a failed enterprise.”
Samuel Alito, argued a dissenting opinion, saying that the man in the case before them – Samuel James Johnson – was a violent offender who should be punished severely.
Both Justices Kennedy and Thomas agreed with the assessment of this specific anecdotal case, but said that the law itself has unconstitutional elements that cannot be allowed to stand.
The Three Strikes Laws across the nation have now been gutted so that in the states where this approach has been implemented, it must be completely rewritten now if it is to exist at all. This is great news for people who agree that no one should server a life-sentence for bouncing checks!