Golden Gate University Law Review


Dawn Philippus


This Note first provides an overview of the Three Strikes law, and explains how a court determines sentence enhancement under the Three Strikes law. Sections III, IV, and V describe the facts, procedural history, and the California Supreme Court's rationale for upholding the appellate court's decision. Section VI of this Note critiques People v. Benson, and the majority's conclusion that the language of the Three Strikes law is sufficiently explicit to allow enhancement of a sentence based on a conviction stayed pursuant to a statutory prohibition against punishing an act or omission under more than one penal provision. Section VI also compares the Supreme Court's holding in People v. Benson with its holding in People v. Romero, and critiques the amount of discretion awarded to the trial court. Finally, Sections VII and VIII conclude that danger lies in relinquishing discretion to the trial court, as it remains unclear whether voters intended that an act that may only be punished once could generate two strikes.

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