three strikes and you're out

three strikes and (one's) out

Three mistakes, transgressions, or infractions will lead someone to failing or being dismissed. He's got two strikes against him for coming into work late; three strikes and he's out. The school takes truancy very seriously: three strikes and you're out.
See also: and, out, strike, three

three strikes and you're out

INFORMAL
If a country or an organization has a three strikes and you're out policy or law, people who commit three offences are punished very severely, even if the separate offences are not very serious. Note: In baseball, a `strike' is a legal pitch or ball which the batter fails to hit. The batter is out after three strikes. California has recently introduced a law known as three strikes and you're out, meaning that after a third conviction the authorities lock you up and throw away the key. A Merseyside burglar has become one of the first in the country to be jailed under the new `three strikes and you're out' law.
See also: and, out, strike, three
References in periodicals archive ?
In response to the country's fear and desperation, politicians began touting "three strikes and you're out" as the solution to the problem of violence.
Take the case of Steven Drake Gordon, who holds the dubious distinction of being the first person in Sacramento to be prosecuted under "three strikes and you're out." Addicted to drugs and homeless for the past nine years, Gordon had a record typical of small-time crooks: a few charges of drug possession, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, and two convictions for theft.
But on March 8, the morning after Governor Pete Wilson signed "three strikes and you're out" into California law, Gordon stole a wallet that contained $100 from a bicyclist.
Suddenly "three strikes and you're out" didn't look as fail-safe as Californians had thought.
The key to crafting truly smart and tough "three strikes and you're out" bills is to remember Polly Klaas, the young girl whose murder got the country thinking about "three strikes" to begin with.
Former Attorney General Edwin Meese, in The Washington Times, wrote that "three strikes and you're out" would "materially increase public safety and improve our citizens' confidence in the criminal justice system." In the other comer, Rep.
The simplicity of "three strikes and you're out," which liberals attack as shortsighted, betrays the fact that, in some cases, it makes a great deal of sense.