Pubdate:   Tuesday, March 2, 1999
Source: Fresno Bee, The (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Fresno Bee
Author: Mary Martinusen, Fresno


I am writing regarding Theresa Carr's Feb. 20 response to Raymond
Lee's letter in support of the "Three Strikes" law.

Ms. Carr is of the opinion that we should educate and rehabilitate
career criminals and not send them to prison.

Many people may not be aware of how many opportunities these career
criminals have had to rehabilitate. When these criminals go through
the court system they are almost always given an opportunity to do a
drug program, usually at the taxpayers' expense. The success rate is
disappointing at best.

Drug addiction is a serious affliction in America, but there are many,
many drug addicts. Most important, they are not committing the
serious, violent crimes that are required to fall within the "Three
Strikes" law.

Drug addiction is not a valid excuse for criminals. If a criminal is
finally convicted of a crime that falls within the "Three Strikes"
law, prison is the only place they belong.

Mary Martinusen Fresno
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