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CRUEL AND UNUSUAL Documentary by Sam Banning

 
Sam Banning investigates the historic change to California’s Three Strikes law enacted in 1994, which was the harshest sentencing law in the United States. In 2012, California voters approved by a margin of 69% to 31%, Proposition 36, which changed the most draconian aspects of the law and gave over 3,500 non-violent three strikers eligibility for an early release.
 
CRUEL AND UNUSUAL also tells the stories of three individuals sentenced to life under Three Strikes for minor, non-violent crimes, including writing a bad check, shoplifting a VCR, and taking a slice of pizza.  Among the many voices featured on the documentary are former California Superior Court Judge La Doris Cordell, County of Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen, County of Santa Clara Public Defender Molly O’Neal, and Deputy Public Defender Michelle Vasquez.  The documentary also features the County’s Re-Entry Resource Center, which offers training and wraparound supportive services to help clients like Greg Wilks to successfully reintegrate into their communities as law abiding, productive residents. 
 
Kudos to Stanford professors David Mills and Michael Romano, who co-wrote Proposition 36, and to the Three Strikes Project Team for your work to end an unjust law and seek the release of non-violent offenders who have served disproportionate sentences.  
Last updated: 7/9/2020 2:22 PM