Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Under this sentencing, the offender must serve a minimum number of years in prison. Chapter 9 1. Pros And Cons Of Mandatory Sentencing 837 Words | 4 Pages. It triggers a shift in personal bias. Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), a proponent of mandatory sentencing, has introduced a bill to Congress called "Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2004." 1. Cons of Mandatory Drug Sentencing Laws Opponents to the mandatory sentencing feel that such punishment is unjust and does not allow for flexibility in the judicial process of prosecuting and sentencing individuals. Tougher penalties discourage criminal activities, decreasing the number of crimes committed every year. The goal of mandatory sentencing is definitely worthwhile to achieve, and if we are willing to take its pros and cons together and find a middle ground, then we can make its guidelines to have common sense areas of exceptions so justice can always be served. The minimum sentences are usually extremely long sentences. Montaldo, Charles. I think the author made a strong point when discussing how mandatory minimums remove some discretion from the prosecution. Supporters of mandatory minimums view it as a way to deter drug distribution and use by extending the time that a criminal is incarcerated therefore preventing them from committing more drug-related crimes. Sentencing used to be in the hands of a jury or judge, but with mandatory sentencing, a guilty verdict would mean that prosecutors are given more control of the sentence the offenders would receive. It includes mandatory sentencing of 10 years to life in prison for any person age 21 or over who attempts or conspires to offer drugs (including marijuana) to someone younger than 18 years old. Mandatory guidelines for sentencing greatly curtail judges' sentencing discretion. They deal with so many things and the number of times they get it wrong, I would suggest, are very much in the minority. 1. These laws made jail terms mandatory for drug dealers and anyone in possession of certain amounts of illegal drugs. In states where these drug courts have been established, officials are finding this approach to be a more effective way of approaching the drug problem. Pros And Cons Of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing 2594 Words | 11 Pages. List of Cons of Determinate Sentencing. Charles Montaldo is a writer and former licensed private detective who worked with law enforcement and insurance firms investigating crime and fraud. Pros and Cons of Determinate Sentencing. When low-level criminals are threatened with high-level mandatory sentences, they would often say or do something to get out of multiple years serving in prison. These intransigent sentencing laws may appear as universally adaptable and a quick solution for crime. This article presents a couple interesting points about the pros and cons of mandatory minimums. Of course, every person deserves a fair chance, but a very lenient sentence would almost make it seem like offenders will just get away with their crimes. It helps to eliminate personal bias. Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana in the U.S. Overview of the Sentencing Stage in Criminal Cases, The Black Codes and Why They Still Matter Today, Statistics from the War on Drugs Tell a Story, What Is Double Jeopardy? Research shows that drug court alternatives are not only more cost-effective than prison sentences for defendants who commit non-violent crimes, they help reduce the rate of defendants who return to a life of crime after completing the program. Mandatory sentencing has been observed in a variety of jurisdictions as a deterrent for criminals to repeat their offences. After being caught, the judge sentenced her to a 10-year mandatory sentence as dictated by law. It has also been incorporated into certain statutes to stop specific crimes from happening, such as those related to drugs or guns. They see these laws as part of a system of systemic racism which oppresses people of color. It encourages an environment where coercion exists. Mandatory minimum sentences raise serious issues of public policy and routinely result in excessively severe sentences. Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Mandatory minimum sentencing laws entail binding prison terms to a minimum length for certain crimes that judges can not lower even under the most justifiable circumstances. It is helpful in eliminating personal bias. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws have gained popularity in the United States over the last couple of decades. It is important to note that any judicial system can have flaws and imperfections. Its goal is to make the consequences of committing crimes less beneficial than the perceived rewards. Definition and Examples, The First 10 Amendments to the Constitution, Timeline of Gun Control in the United States. Mandatory sentencing is a set penalty approved by parliament for committing a criminal offence. Mandatory minimum sentences were established as the response to complaints from politicians and the public that offenders weren’t serving long enough terms for their convictions. Mandatory sentencing is a very, very bad proposition. Instead of these mandatory sentences, alternative sentencing, such as community service, faith-based rehabilitation, and drug treatment should be practiced when in the process of rehabilitating a However, the accuracy of the information they receive might be questionable. But, the reality is, the rules are the rules for everybody in this type of sentencing, and nothing could be more fair. Though, the judge felt it was irrational and unjust. The other major advantage of federal sentencing guidelines is that they make sentencing more predictable and transparent. This bill was never enacted.Â. 8 Pros and Cons of Mandatory Minimum Sentences Mandatory minimum sentences refer to court decision settings that require people convicted of crimes to spend time in prison for a minimum number of years, regardless of the individual circumstances they find themselves … Lv 6. Here are some key pros and cons to consider about this practice. In the US, each of the 300 million people have a unique opinion on any given subject, and this is true in any justice system. It eliminates the sympathy factor. 2. We hear calls for this every now and then, when we see what we consider, as individuals or as communities, a mistake by the judiciary in adequate sentencing. Mandatory sentencing legislation was introduced in the 1990s in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Anyone who has offered, solicited, enticed, persuaded, encouraged, induced, or coerces or possess a controlled substance, will be sentenced to a term not less than five years. It does not include the sympathy factor. 3. Montaldo, Charles. So far, I only have 2 pros. They are 1) Sometimes the judges let some criminals off to easy, so this helps the verdict be fair every time the same case comes up. But with mandatory sentencing, uniform sentences are guaranteed throughout the justice system, so offenders will be punished based upon their overall moral culpability. The seizure of 3,906 pounds of cocaine, valued then at over $100 million wholesale, from a Miami International Airport hangar on March 9, 1982, brought about the public's awareness of the Medellin Cartel, Colombian drug traffickers working together, and changed U.S. law enforcement's approach towards the drug trade. 2. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/mandatory-drug-sentencing-laws-972228. Mandatory sentencing refers to the practice of parliament setting a fixed penalty for the commission of a criminal offence. The Pros of Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Cons--Some judges will let criminals off way too easy. The mandatory minimum sentencing law provides a judge with a set minimum sentences based on the charges against the defendant. Mandatory minimum sentences are also frequently arbitrary because they are based solely on ‘offense characteristics’ and ignore ‘offender characteristics.’ I need at least 1 pro and 3 cons for Mandatory Sentencing. In an article posted on the ABA website, he states, "The idea that Congress can dictate a one-size-fits-all sentencing scheme does not make sense. Pros And Cons Of Minimum Sentencing. What are the pros and cons … "Mandatory Drug Sentencing Laws." 2. View Lesson 6 Assignment.rtf from CRIJ 1301 at Central Texas College. Pros and cons of sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences and other kinds of academic papers in our essays database at Many Essays. Mandatory Drug Sentencing Laws. 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