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Three-Strikes law

    Three-strikes laws are statutes enacted by state governments in the United States which mandates state courts to impose harsher sentence on persons convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. In most jurisdictions, only crimes at the felony level qualify as serious 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 (typically the defendant is given the possibility of parole with a life sentence). Twenty-four states have some form of habitual offender law.
    The name comes from baseball, where a batter is permitted two strikes before striking out on the third.
    The three-strikes law significantly increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies, and limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence. Violent and serious felonies are specifically listed in state laws. Violent offenses include murder, robbery of a residence in which a deadly or dangerous weapon is used, rape and other sex offenses; serious offenses include the same offenses defined as violent offenses, but also include other crimes such as burglary of a residence and assault with intent to commit a robbery or murder.
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia