The Three Strikes Memo [...]

The Federal Three Strikes law was underused by federal prosecutors in the first years after its enactment. This led to the 1995 Three Strikes Memo, encouraging prosecutors to make better use of the law in their existing cases.

This provision should play a key role in every district’s anti-violent crime strategy. To help us make the most effective use possible of this potential tool, please ensure that state and local prosecutors are aware of the federal “Three Strikes” provision and your willingness to coordinate prosecutive decisions in cases that are “Three Strikes”-eligible. You should have in place a referral mechanism, perhaps through your violent crime working group, to ensure that appropriate “Three Strikes” cases are presented to you for potential prosecution.

In determining whether to bring prosecutions under this statute, you should be guided by the Principles of Federal Prosecution. Trial of an eligible defendant under “Three Strikes will often provide a more effective punishment than a prosecution under,other federal statutes. For the state prosecutor, “Three Strikes” provides a vehicle to take the most dangerous offenders out of the community and keep them out. This is particularly important in states where prison overcrowding results in early release even for violent criminals. (Source)

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