Disadvantages Of Mandatory Sentencing

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Because prosecutors and judges often get around them, mandatory minimums lack predictability and certainty. The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported in 1991 that 40 percent of the federal offenders whose crimes should have triggered mandatory‐minimum sentences were able to avoid these sentences. Prosecutors can avoid mandatory minimums by entering into certain kinds of plea bargains. Federal law (Grime & Rogers,2002) for example, allows prosecutors to ask for sentences below the mandatory minimum for defendants who cooperate by providing evidence against other criminals. The enactment of mandatory‐sentencing laws also has resulted in the government's having to spend millions of additional dollars to keep more offenders locked up longer.
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Elimination of the parole may reduce discretionary release decisions, but prosecutorial discretion is only a substitute. This only cause the discretion that is exercised in private, and there is no review or public consideration of the use of plea bargaining.
4. Advantage of the use of parole boards is they can reduce disparity in sentencing decisions that may be by an individual judge if there were no sentencing guidelines.5. Parole boards, consciously can act as a safety valve for prison overcrowding. Formally the parole board can identify the more deserving inmates for release when itis a need because of prison overcrowding. In some states (such as Maine), abolishing parole has also meant abolishing supervision of convicts after their release (Chaiken,
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Prescribed punishments for crimes can be found in state and federal statutes. The Eighth Amendment places limits on the severity of punishments. The death penalty
Thirty‐eight states and the federal government impose capital punishment. It is usually reserved for those who commit first‐degree murder under aggravating circumstances. Defendants convicted of capital offenses have a right to bring mitigating circumstances to the attention of the sentencing authority in order to ensure that only those individuals who deserve to die for their crimes receive the death penalty. Similarly, defendants also have a right to be free from the arbitrary and capricious imposition of death as a penalty.
To prevent the arbitrary application of the death penalty, death‐penalty statutes contain many safeguards. Particularly significant are requirements that limit the discretion of the sentencing jury or judge, that require the presence of aggravating circumstances, that allow the introduction of evidence showing mitigating circumstances, that mandate a two‐part proceeding (one for the determination of innocence or guilt and the other for deciding the sentence), and that provide for the automatic review by an appellate court of all death sentences.
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