Essay on Level of Punishment Does Not Fit the Crime

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It is insulting to the victims and families of victims of serious crimes that the justice system fails to make sure that criminals pay the price for the devastation that they cause. For example, Johannes Mehserl only served 2 years in prison for the killing of innocent member of public, Oscar Grant. At the same time, there are examples of 5 years prison sentences for the possession of marijuana. This is enormously unfair, as someone who can take the life of another human being should receive a far harsher punishment than someone whose crime only effects themselves.
In today’s society, the level of punishment for crimes are decided and applied by the laws of every country. However, in recent years there has been an increasing sense that …show more content…

How is this possible? How can it be fair that the justice system give a woman who was motivated by love to end her child’s suffering, twice the sentence that was given to a man who set out to harm innocent people? These cases demonstrate the inequality in the justice system that can be caused by judges having too much power to vary the sentences they give to people. If there were clearer guidelines on minimum and maximum sentencing, it would significantly help to address these miscarriages of justice.
Although the public want to see criminals punished, the justice system today has been criticised for applying punishments which can seem excessive and sometimes ridiculous. For example, a pub landlord was jailed for six months and fined £10,000 for allowing people to smoke in his 2 pubs when the smoking ban came in to force in 2008. With the cost of a place in the UK prison totalling to £119,000, how can this be seen as good value for the tax payer? In addition to these costs, this approach to justice leads to the greater problem of prison over-crowding. A clear example of this problem can be seen when looking at United States of America. One adult American in every ten will go to prison (one in nine for young African American men). America has a prison population of a staggering 2.5 million – nearly half the total population of

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