Mandatory minimum sentencing laws are fundamentally un-American. The Boston University Law Journal states that “mandatory minimum sentences provide plenary decision-making power to prosecutors of the executive branch, while heavily restricting the discretion of the judiciary”(Riley, 2011, p. 286). This significantly weakens the checks and balances of the criminal justice system. This means that mandatory minimums are in conflict with the
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).
This essay explains sentencing in the United States Criminal Justice system. The objectives of punishment in the United States corrections is to help deter crime and to ensure reoffenders don’t reoffend. Sentencing impacts the corrections system and society in a positive manor by eliminating offenders out of the community. Sentencing may include one of the following: probation, fines, prison, community service, probation and so forth depending on the state you reside and the type of offense you commit. Each crime committed doesn’t have a set sentence, therefore they are determined on a case to case basis. The main goal of the criminal justice system is to defend the community and serve justice. Sentencing plays a vital role in the Criminal Justice system.
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.
seem like the best way at first, in the long run money would be better
Why are so many violent criminals walking free while so many non-violent offenders are locked up? Although various aspects have fueled this inequity of justice, the factors that have contributed the most to this development are, undoubtedly, the War on Drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing laws which have led to punishment disproportionate to the offense.
People in The United States have been affected by the prison system, it has saved many lives, but on the other hand, people have prosecuted for minor crimes, to end up spending a lot of time in jail, which breaks apart families for far too long, it also creates a big rift between the people of this fine nation and their distrust of the law. Back in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan has issued a law that has cut funding for the mental institutions in the United states as called the deinstitutionalization of mental health, and to show ways of how we can bring our mental health system into place. Also in the same era laws have been put in place to put harsher laws on drug offenders called mandatory minimum sentencing, some people like non-violent, first-time drug offender are being treated the same way as a drug lord, and a way that we can fix that is push laws in congress to loosen minimum sentencing. Not to forget to mention the death penalty, how tax payers are wasting our money on keep prisoners on death row. Having a poor mental health system, strict mandatory minimum sentencing, racial bias in our prisons, and death penalty laws has led people to enter our prison system wrongfully. By fixing those rules we can help our society grow, and achieve greatness by doing right to our prison system.
Current mandatory minimum sentencing laws are in dire need of reform. A mandatory minimum sentence is a court decision where judicial discretion is limited by law. As a result, there are irrevocable prison terms of a specific length for people convicted of particular federal and state crimes. As of January 2014, more than 50 percent of inmates in federal prisons are serving time for drug offenses, and more than 60 percent of people incarcerated are racial and ethnic minorities. The use of safety valves and implementation of the Fair Sentencing Act are a few methods Congress employed to combat racial disparity in prisons. Mandatory minimum sentencing harshly punishes non-violent offenders, disproportionately affects minorities, and skews the balance of power between judges and prosecutors.
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
Federal sentencing practices and mandatory minimum laws are far too harsh, and ruins the lives of thousands of united citizens every year. In a modern era where the affects of drugs such as marijuana are well documented there is no logical reason that it should still be classified as a schedule 1 narcotic on a federal level. Even if it made sense in a sane world for marijuana to be a schedule 1 drug, the penalty for having it, or any other drug of the same classification is entirely too harsh. The unfair laws in place can lead to situations that no one in their right mind would consider fair or right. This is the kind of situation Clarence Aaron found himself in when he was 24 years old, and still finds himself in today. Aaron is serving 3 life sentences for being a part of a 1500 dollar cocaine deal in college. Ronald
This is true because of the drastic number of blacks getting arrested for small crimes compared to whites. The black arrest rate for drug manufacturing/selling skyrocketed by 363 percent after mandatory sentencing laws were passed. Compared to white’s which only went up 127 percent. This is an incredible high number given the fact that blacks only made up 12 percent of the population at the time. These massive amounts of black people were getting lots of jail time for these small crimes, which led to overpopulated prisons. Soon thereafter the mandatory sentencing laws were passed the number of sentenced inmates rose 111 percent . The prisoners were getting long sentences (10 to 20 years for drugs) so prisons weren't turning out people they
Ben Whishaw once said, "The criminal justice system, like any system designed by human beings, clearly has its flaws." For many years, the criminal justice system has been criticized for its many problems and errors; one in particular that caught my attention was the mandatory minimum sentencing laws. These laws basically set minimum sentences for certain crimes that judges cannot lower, even for extenuating circumstances. The most common of these laws deal with drug offenses and set mandatory minimum sentences for possession of a drug over a certain amount. Sentencing procedures can vary from jurisdiction to Jurisdiction. Most of these laws are ineffective and causes unnecessary jail overcrowding.
While the United States’ justice system has been a model for many countries around the world, the injustice of certain aspects in our court’s system is prominent. Mandatory minimums are just one example the of injustice in our justice system. The Supreme Court has “…casted doubt on the constitutionality of the federal sentencing guidelines used for nearly two decades” (Kenneth Jost, 2004), despite this, nothing has been done to correct it. And while the idea of mandatory minimums is a good thing, they don’t work in the American justice system or in current American society.
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.
Life imprisonment is any sentence of imprisonment for a crime under which convicted persons are to remain in prison on unlimited time, traditionally for the rest of their life or if possible until paroled. State and Federal governments maintain correctional facilities. Prisons are categorized by levels of security. Minimum security prisons house inmates convicted of non-violent offenses. Minimum security prisons sometimes are surrounded by single fences. Medium security prisons the inmates are housed in their own cells, but they have more opportunities to leave them. Medium security prisons are primarily for inmates do have a history of violence. Medium security prisons have a single fence instead of a triple fence. Medium security prisons are surrounded with fences wrapped at the top with barbwire. Medium security prisons allow for inmates to attend treatment programs. The inmates are locked in their cells each night and a bed check and an inmate count performed to make sure each inmate is accounted for and in their correct cell. The outside of the prison isn't as secure as the maximum; however, it still prevents inmates from escaping easily. Maximum security prisons are the highest security prisons. Inmates are housed in cells and most have a history of violence. Maximum security prisons have either thick walls or multiple reinforced fences. Maximum security prisons also have armed guards in watch towers. Criminals that are incarcerated in maximum security have been