When handing down a mandatory minimum sentencing a judge must impose a fixed minimal term in prison for individuals convicted of certain crimes, no matter what their role in the crime or other circumstances. A minimum prison sentence of five years is given to anyone that is convicted of selling 500 grams of powdered cocaine under federal law Guidelines for sentences are based on the type of crime, the weight of the drug, and the number of prior convictions, and defenders are required to serve the entire sentence (85 percent in some state) without parole. A judge can only issue a sentence shorter than mandatory minimum only if the defendant provided corporation in the prosecution of another offender (Levinthal, 2012, pg. 132).
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“Finally!” Today I went to a school assembly about bullying. The principal said, “If anyone is caught bullying in school, you will be suspended for a week.” I told the principal that we need to make harsher punishments if anyone is bullying. Here are the reasons why there should be harsher punishments for bullying.
Three salient points from the films/lectures were assessments of change from the five stages of change model (Norcross, j. c., n.d.), the Fair Sentencing Act for mandatory minimum sentences (American Civil Liberties Union, 2010), and eliminating government involvement in regulation of drugs and alcohol substance, while allowing the various states to manage control (ABC News.com, 2007).
Inconsistent punishment currently issued by judges creates an increase in persons sentenced to prison. There is a moral dilemma by incarcerating a person for a non-violent crime based on the type of drug. Crack cocaine holds a much tougher sentencing guideline than powder cocaine. According to Families Against Mandatory Minimums, prior to the enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act, it took one hundred times as much powder cocaine as crack cocaine to receive the same five, ten, or twenty year mandatory minimum prison sentence. After the Fair Sentencing Act, the ratio is
The concept of mandatory sentencing is a relatively new idea in the legal field. It was first introduced in 1951 with the Boggs Act, and it made simple marijuana possession a minimum of two to ten years with a $20,000 fine. This was eventually repealed by Congress in 1970, but mandatory sentences came back with the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Since then, the scope and presence of mandatory sentencing has only grown, especially mandatory sentences for drug related offenses. Recently, there has been a growing concern over the use and implementation of mandatory minimum sentencing, with many believing it reduces a judge’s ability to give out a sentence that they feel accordingly fits the crime. Many advocates for mandatory
1. Mandatory minimum sentencing is a protocol made to provide accurate sentencing for a crime. The purpose is to provide a standard where judges cannot reduce sentences, in order to encourage a fairer judicial system.
The mandatory sentence of two years’ imprisonment is unconstitutional because it is “cruel and unusual punishment” which infringes upon the accused’s right not to be subjected to such treatment. Firstly, it is determined that the mandatory minimum sentence in this case is grossly disproportionate to the accused’s circumstances and would be reasonably foreseeable that the provision would have the same overreaching effect on other offenders. Secondly, the provision in question in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is not saved by section 1 of the Charter as it has failed the prescribed Oakes test. The test gives weight to the law’s objective in comparison to the means of achieving it, which in this case, impaired too heavily on the right of the accused.
The Anti- Drug abuse act allowed a decree on longer sentencing when it came to criminal drug charges causing unbalance in the penal system when it came to the sentence granted depending on race. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act was brought to congress a few years after the introduction of the Sentencing Reform Act. The Sentencing Reform Act was to bring equal stability when it came to sentencing criminals regardless of origins. The introduction of the Anti-abuse act was brought forth by the tough on crime era, in which it center was preventing crime by upping criminal sentencing. Conservative President Ronald Reagan brought forth this notion with congress in the midst of continuing being tough on crime. It was seen as controversial because it went
Since the inception of mandatory minimum cocaine laws in 1986 to the advent of the Armstrong case, not a single white offender had been convicted of a crack cocaine offense in federal courts serving Los Angeles and its six surrounding counties. Rather, virtually all white offenders were prosecuted in state court, where they were not subject to that drug’s lengthy mandatory minimum sentences. The impact of the decision to prosecute the black defendants in federal court was significant. In federal court they faced a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 10 years and a maximum of life without parole if convicted of selling more than 50 grams of crack. By contrast, if prosecuted in California state court, the defendants would have received a minimum sentence of three years and a maximum of five years (United States v. Armstrong, 1996).
In the article “Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: A Failed Policy,” the author highlights how mandatory minimum sentencing is a policy that has failed in attempt to put an end to drug crimes. Batey stated that the attempts of federal and state thought that they could “get tough on crime,” particularly drug offense, by eliminating the sentence discretion of judges and restoring it with long minimum sentences that applied regardless of defendant's individual circumstances (Batey 24). Moreover, the mandatory minimum sentences take authority away from the judge and give it to the prosecutor, who decides whether to charge the defendant with a crime carrying a long minimum sentence or much less offense. Withal, mandatory minimum sentences have failed due to giving America’s power too much power in plea bargaining, an imbalance that has led to the incarceration of persons too fearful to insist on a hearing that might have released them (Batey 25). Finally, Batey mentions that mandatory minimum sentence policy has filled prisons with the wrong people, which are minor players, not drug kingpins, and even some who are innocent (Batey 25).
A majority of laws containing mandatory minimums like the Anti-Drug Abuse Act and Major Frauds Act were passed in the 1980s, along with the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 that established the United States Sentencing Commission. The USSC’s main job is to create sentencing policies and guidelines for the federal courts. A 2011 report to Congress regarding mandatory minimum penalties states “In fiscal year 2010, 27.2 percent of all cases (19,896 of 73,239 cases) involved a conviction of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty.” (Sarris 120). This is stripping away
Common crimes in the judicial system include drug offenses, firearm offenses, and sexual assault, and the depending on the judge the repercussions could vary. To have unvaried penalties, mandatory minimum sentencing laws were enacted. These laws help keep citizens protected, while criminals are incarcerated. John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, talks about how mandatory minimum sentencing increases the number of criminals incarcerated, and he believes the length of their prison time is longer than it should be. He shows videos of criminals who were convicted under the mandatory minimum law with drug crimes. These videos explain how this law affected each of these individuals and their families, and some were sentenced to life in prison for their crimes. Oliver states, “Mandatory minimum sentencing laws designed to stop [drug crimes] have done way more harm than good (Oliver).” Although Oliver believes mandatory minimums are damagining, it was an illegal action that put those criminals in jail. Without breaking the law, they would have a free life. Removing mandatory minimum sentencing on drug offenses from the judicial system is unethical. It is necessary in the judicial system, because the safety of citizens is in the hands of judges. With drug crimes that are reoccurring in the court system, mandatory minimums enable judges to give sentences to criminals without sympathy interfering with the penalty deserved. Along with this, it keeps criminals off
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported 6.7 million people were supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at year end 2015. President Obama has conveyed tax payer pay $80 billion dollars to house incarcerate individuals yearly. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 limited federal judge sentencing discretions. In 1980 the USA had 500k people incarcerated, the population of prisoners has more than doubled the last two decades. The United States Mandatory sentencing requires offenders receive a predetermined minimum sentencing for some offenses. Since the implementation of mandatory sentencing, prison populations have risen sharply with sky rocking costs. On certain offenses, Federal judges no longer have discretion on the sentence length. Mandatory sentencing laws have shifted the power of punishment to the prosecutor as they have the discretion of charges brought against offenders. According to Peter Wagner and Bernadette Rabuy in their article “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017,” the United State criminal justice leads the world in the percentage of its citizens incarcerated. Mandatory minimum sentencing has led to large prison populations, skyrocketing costs and social family challenges.
Mandatory minimum sentences are court decisions where judicial discretion is limited by law. Usually when people are convicted of certain crimes they must be punished with at least a minimum number of years in prison. The article I picked to review is an article on mandatory minimum sentences. The article reviews the pros and cons of mandatory sentencing. I will go over the pros and cons described in the article and give my opinion on how I feel about them.
The United States is home to five percent of the world population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoner. There must be a change to the current prison system which is doing more harm than good in American society and must be reformed. Reasons for this claim are that American prisons are too overcrowded with inmates, which creates a dangerous and unhuman environment. The cost to run a prison has gotten too expensive for tax payer pockets, and lastly the prison system is more as a punishment instead of rehabilitation with about sixteen percent of inmates most serious offence being drug charges. Prisons fall short of reforming criminals and the government is obligated to completely reform the prison systems in the United States.
Each year in America many people received prison sentences for crimes that pose little if any danger or harm to our society. Mandatory Minimum Sentencing in the American Justice System has long been argued by both Lawmakers and the public. We will go over some of the history of mandatory minimum sentences as well as the many pros and cons to these types of sentences. Some examples of pros and cons are the overall effect on public safety, the effect on the offenders, the cost to taxpayers, the lack of discretion for Judge’s, and whether the law should be repealed.