LA judge begins cutting 3 strikes sentences

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge has reduced sentences of five three-strikes inmates as a first step in carrying out a voter-approved initiative.

Proposition 36 was overwhelmingly approved by voters. It provides for reducing sentences for relatively minor crimes under California’s tough three strikes law.

The Los Angeles Times reports Tuesday that the first reconsideration resulted in reduction of five sentences. Among those cases was a 74-year-old man who has served more than 15 years for possessing $10 worth of drugs and an 81-year-old who served 17 years for stealing cigarettes.

The men have already served more time than their reduced sentences and will be released.

The Times says the judge is expected to reconsider sentences of 1,000 inmates in hearings likely to continue through the year.

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