The Concept Of Mandatory Sentencing

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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 This was eventually repealed by Congress in 1970, but mandatory sentences came back with the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986.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…show more content…
Although both are committing basically the same crime, one could serve years in prison while the other serves mere months (Larkin 2) The first scholarly, peer-reviewed source I read is called Too Severe?: A Defense of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (and a Critique of Federal Mandatory Minimums) ,by Paul G. Cassell. It was published by the Stanford Law Review, and in it Cassell defends federal sentencing guidelines and believes some aspects of mandatory sentencing are necessary, but criticizes the federal mandatory minimums as they stand now. It has a lot of information on the effects of mandatory minimum sentencing that should prove to be useful for this research assignment. The other source I’ve read so far is web article titled Reconsidering Mandatory Minimum Sentences: The Arguments for and Against Potential Reforms, by Paul Larkin. Although it is not a peer-reviewed, scholarly article, it does provide a lot of insight into both the problems and benefits of mandatory minimum sentencing, including the unduly harsh minimums, how the “move up the chain” method for law enforcement isn’t working, and how they eliminate the dishonesty in sentencing that characterized the 20th century. I will obtain different peer reviewed sources to examine and interpret both facts and opinions provided by the authors. I will also use some web articles and books to gather more information on mandatory minimum sentencing and its effects on society. With this in mind, I will
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