Eighteen years ago, Californians voted to hold certain criminal offenders to a standard made famous by the Great American Pastime: Three strikes and you're out. However, this formidable and mandatory standard which forced anyone convicted of three felonies to a life in prison resulted in some unbelievably unfair sentences. For example, some non-violent individuals convicted under the three-strikes law had stolen a pair of socks and forged a check valued under $150 for their third strikes.
Baseball and criminal sentencing are different things, and they should be treated that way. But since 1993, California and 22 other states have adopted so-called "three strikes" laws, under which someone convicted of a third felony faces life in prison.