240 CA Prisoners Out Under Three Strikes Reform; The Story Of One


Since the November election, 240 California prisoners facing potential life sentences have been set free because voters amended the state’s California’s tough three strikes sentencing law, reports NPR. That law sent thousands of people to prison for terms of 25 years to life for minor, nonviolent crimes. Now those prisoners can ask judges to have their sentences reduced. One of those set free under the new law is Shane Reams. He owes his freedom partly to his mother Sue’s 17-year campaign to change the law. Sue Reams and her husband picked Shane up outside of Ironwood State Prison on the morning the day before Easter. Shane had served about 17 years of his potential life sentence. He got his third strike for being involved in the sale of a $20 rock of cocaine. He says he was a bystander. The prosecution said he was a lookout. It was Shane’s first two strikes that caused his mother heartache. She’d been trying to get her son off drugs and Nothing seemed to work, so she tried tough love. “Tough love tells you that you take a stand,” she said. “So I took a stand.”

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