Modifying 3-strikes theft enhancement would ↓ TX state-jail population

On Monday, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will hear a good little decarceration bill modifying the enhancement for misdemeanor three-strikes theft. This one should have been changed long ago.Under current Texas law, if at any time in your life you commit three incidents of misdemeanor theft, regardless of the value of the property, prosecutors can charge it as a state-jail felony. Even if the third "strike" is stealing candy from the grocery-store check-out line, prosecutors can seek a felony conviction and sentence.HB 1240 by Rep. Yvonne Davis would revise this statute in two important ways: First, it would require that the lower-level thefts be within five years of one another to count toward a penalty enhancement. Piecing together a new, theft with two others that are decades old will no longer be allowed.Second, the penalty increase stemming from a third "strike" would only bump the charge up by one category. So if the third strike were…

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