California's unique version of the three strikes law could see some changes if voter's pass Proposition 36 in November. The type of felony committed in a third strike would determine how much prison time a felon gets, instead of an automatic 25-to-life.
When the law was passed in 1994, it was designed to keep violent and serious repeat felons off the street. While it's been effective, some say it's had unintended consequences.
Out of the 137 thousand inmates in California, only about six percent of them are three strike offenders. Proponents say many of those inmates committed non-violent felonies in their third strike and are taking up space in over crowded prisons.
Changing the law would save about 100 million dollars a year but opponents say the three strike laws are working and reforming the law would mean putting proven habitual criminals back on the streets.
"Many times in police reports or looking over reports, you'll hear a suspect make a comment about to the police or whoever, this is my third strike. They are well aware that a third felony as the law states now could cause them to go to prison for 25 years," said District Attorney Lisa Green.
Under the Three Strikes Reform Act, a non-violent felony would receive twice the normal sentence, similar to other states who have three strike laws. Both District Attorney Lisa Green and Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood say they are opposed to reforming the law as it is now.