the statewide measure to amend the 1994 "three strikes" law was approved by voters by a large margin on Nov. 6.
Proposition 36 allows offenders who receive a third felony conviction that is non-violent or relatively less serious to be sentenced to a lesser penalty than the original law, which called for a 25-years-to-life commitment for a third felony offense.
Voters apparently were swayed by analysts who said the measure would save tax dollars spent on housing prisoners for life, would relieve prison overcrowding and would reform sentencing guidelines to be less harsh for a person found guilty of a third felony that was non-violent.
As a result, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported this weekend, the measure's passage is expected to lead to requests from dozens of area inmates for reduced prison terms.
North Coast defense lawyers are said to be in demand to prepare resentencing petitions — although the number of offenders in North Bay counties who could be eligible for the reduced terms is relatively low, the newpaper said.
Statewide, about 3,000 inmates could be eligible for resentencing, according to the article.
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