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Home > Animal Cruelty Law, Dog Health, Dogs and the Law > California Man Faces Possible Life Sentence for Killing Chihuahua Puppy

California Man Faces Possible Life Sentence for Killing Chihuahua Puppy

California Man Could Spend Life in Prison for Killing Puppy

Animal welfare activists often wish that people who engage in barbaric acts of animal cruelty would be punished in a way that fits the crime, including mandatory prison terms for the worst offenses.

CBS News reports that Bud Wally Ruiz of Gilroy, California, is facing a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison for an act of animal cruelty.

During an argument with his wife on Thursday, Ruiz picked up her 6-week-old Chihuahua puppy and slammed it into a wall, killing it.  Ruiz has been charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty.

Life in Prison for Killing a Dog?

The reason Ruiz faces a potential term of life in prison for killing the dog has less to do with California’s animal cruelty laws than it does with the state’s “three-strikes” sentencing law.  By referendum, in 1994, California’s voters overwhelmingly approved a recidivist sentencing law in which an offender with two prior felony convictions could face 25 years up to life in prison for a third felony conviction. 

In a pair of decisions in 2003, the United States Supreme Court upheld California’s “three-strikes” law, ruling that the law does not violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Ruiz has four prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon.


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  1. Petey Pooh
    June 8th, 2011 at 10:35 | #1

    Shows that the 3 strikes law does have some excellent benefits.

    I am certain Frankie approves

  2. July 7th, 2011 at 19:29 | #2

    The silver lining, if there is one, at least the third strike wasn’t on killing his girlfriend or another human being. This guy had it coming. This one unfortunate puppy might have saved the life of a person.
    Diana´s last blog post ..Learn Reiki Online

  3. October 1st, 2011 at 12:28 | #3

    three strikes should be done everywhere, but what kind of person picks up a defencless atom sized dog and kills it??

  4. Brenna
    October 1st, 2011 at 14:27 | #4

    Yeah, this kind of thing just shows the guy is really violent and should be locked away forever. @rhyn

  5. andrew
    January 17th, 2012 at 14:26 | #5

    they should put him in prison on throw away the key

  6. July 20th, 2012 at 16:52 | #6

    i agree with Andrew
    ghassan´s last blog post ..Welcome to Muammar Law Firm

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