Metaxas’ Ewing Case: Unpersuasive Argument Against 3 Strikes


Eric Metaxas posted an article to breakpoint.org arguing, based on the story of non-violent repeat offender Gary Ewing, in favor of revising California’s “Three Strikes” law: “Enough of Three Strikes, Unjust and Expensive” (http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/%2020657). I found a key statement in the article to be in error, and so found the argument overall unpersuasive, and posted comments to that effect under the title, “Ewing Case Study Not Persuasive Argument Against Three Strikes,” which the site has truncated to “Ewing Case Study Not Persuasive Argument Against T”: http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/%2020657#comments. I’ve provided a copy of those comments below. I welcome your comments here and/or on the Breakpoint site. (Please note my bracketed correction below of an error in my original comments.)

Re: “None of this mattered, because under California‚Äôs ‘three-strikes’ law, stuffing $1,200 worth of golf clubs down his pants earned Ewing life without the possibility of parole. Let me repeat: Life in prison for stealing golf clubs.”

Your statement is in error. This was not life in prison for stealing golf clubs; this was life in prison for a pattern of repeated criminal activity for which the third offense happened to be stealing golf clubs. I see nothing in your [post] suggesting that, were Ewing to be released as he was after his prior two strikes, he could be expected to do anything but offend again.

Though there may be legitimate reasons for opposing or revising the three strikes law, your Ewing case study does not make a persuasive argument for doing so.


FYI. Under the title “Two Corrections to My Prior Comment,” I posted this follow-up comment on 02 November 2012:

Two minor corrections: (1) The full title I assigned my comment, which title has been truncated, was “Ewing Case Study Not a Persuasive Argument Against Three Strikes”; (2) my reference to “your email” should read “your post” (“email” is a holdover from my response to the emailed version of the same article).



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