Another law that benefits private prisons is mandatory minimum sentences. This is a law that ensures a minimal number of years is sentenced for a certain crime, as decided by the Supreme Court. The law, therefore, doesn’t allow for the consideration of individual circumstances such as criminal history. This law has caused a tremendous increase in the prison population. The mandatory minimum sentence law is enforced on judges, but not prosecutors. However, under the circumstance, it is considered that prosecutors who would gain professionally from successful convictions, do not have sufficient incentive to exercise their discretion responsibly.
A. Death penalty is the sentence of death for a person convicted of a capital offence, is currently used in 58 countries around the world, and is also legal sentence in 33 states. (Harrison, Tamony P2)
In order to determine whether or not the inmate is suitable for parole the board will review his/her record. This record has past convictions, education obtained, prior employment, and behavior in prison among other things. The way that the system is set up only those who have been reformed and rehabilitated and serve as no threat to society will be released. In theory this is an excellent system if used right.
The moral and ethical debate on the sentencing and enforcement of capital punishment has long baffled the citizens and governing powers of the United States. Throughout time, the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and the vast majority beliefs of Americans, have been in a constant state of perplexity. Before the 1960s, the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution were interpreted as permitting the death penalty. However, in the early 1960s, it was suggested that the death penalty was a "cruel and unusual" punishment and therefore unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. Many argue that capital punishment is an absolute necessity, in order to deter crime, and to ‘make things right’ following a heinous crime of murder. Despite the belief that capital punishment may seem to be the only tangible, permanent solution to ending future capital offenses, the United States should remove this cruel and unnecessary form of punishment from our current judicial systems.
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
The goal of parole is to reduce recidivism and help rehabilitate offenders. That is not always the case; offenders will reoffend anyways and be sent back to prison to finish out their sentence. There are many programs out there that try to help parolees become a part of the community again and stay out of trouble. The programs are out there; it is up to the parolees to join them and stay committed. The programs goals are to help the offenders reintegrate into society by using procedures and community resources.
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).
As agreed by Prisons: Problems and Prospects Prisons and the War on Drugs, “incarceration rates for murderers, robbers, and burglars have remained steady over the years, but the number of drug offenders who have been imprisoned has steadily escalated”. The “war on drugs” has, for the most part, added to prison overcrowding. However, it has particularly extended the degree of minorities who are sent to prison. Further readings by Nathan James (2016), “mandatory minimum penalties have contributed to the growing federal prison population”. In addition, this report also added some alternative to this development problem, “Even if Congress chooses not to repeal any mandatory minimum sentences, policymakers could review current mandatory minimum penalties to ensure that they are (1) not excessively severe, (2) narrowly tailored to apply only to those offenders who warrant such punishment, and (3) applied consistently” (James, 2016). “(1) Today narcotics offenders occupy 61% of the beds in federal prisons. (2) Meanwhile, 1 in 7 state facilities continues to operate beyond capacity. (3) Ohio leads the pack with a stunning 182% of capacity” (Smolowe, 1994).
Capital punishment: The most serious crimes in most states, generally first-degree murder. The offender could be eligible for the death penalty.
4.The parole board is responsible for parole releases and for revoking the release of criminals that has violated the policies (Bohm, 2012). A meeting is conducted by the parole board to determine if certain violators are responsible enough for early release.
Mandatory sentencing has been a big driver in the large population of incarcerated individuals in the United States. District attorneys are more aggressive in how they file charges against the arrestee. While the country has seen a decline in crime, new
The criminal justice system in the United States is not a single system, but rather a combined network of systems, reconfigured as one. This means that communication and transparency is even more important than it might be within a more one dimensional system. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws require binding prison terms for people convicted of certain federal and state crimes. These inflexible, “one-size-fits-all” sentencing laws may seem like a quick-fix solution for crime, but they undermine justice by preventing judges from fitting the punishment to the individual and the circumstances of their offenses. One question being considered within the legal community now is, while new crimes are being recognized as they are committed, should mandatory minimums really be “mandatory”, or should they be “suggested”, and serve more as a guideline, while the actual sentence is left to the discretion of the court? Not all crime is created equal and motive, or lack thereof, are factors that should play a role in the court’s determination of an appropriate sentence, should one in fact be imposed
I look at the example of a single mother who has gotten caught up with the wrong people and has committed a crime that falls under mandatory sentencing. Juries can easily be manipulated by the defendant’s lawyer into feeling sorry for this woman who has committed a crime. With mandatory sentencing the juries do not have to take into account the single mother’s hardships that sentencing may cause ("8 Pros and Cons of Mandatory Minimum Sentences").
Typically, people convicted of certain crimes must be punished with at least a minimum number of years in prison. Mandatory penalties—such as mandatory minimum sentences, automatic sentence enhancements, or habitual offender laws—require sentencing courts to impose fixed terms of incarceration for certain federal or state crimes or when certain statutory criteria are satisfied. (Subramanian, Ram and Delaney R, 2014). The most common of these laws deal with drug offenses and set mandatory minimum sentences for possession of a drug over a certain amount.
The author would have to say that the statistics coupled with the creation of the United States Sentencing Committee reveal that judicial discretion was at a much higher level prior to 1984, and has been on a decline as legislature has begun to regulate the discretion in which judges having in regard to sentencing in criminal cases. “Anderson, Kling, and Smith (1999) investigated 77,201 criminal cases decided between