Mandatory minimums, the majority passed in 1986, due primarily to the ‘war on drugs’ (Stewart 114), are laws that were passed by Congress which set a mandatory minimum sentence that judges must relinquish to an offender. There is no allowance for mitigating situations and the judge has no power to change the sentence’s length. Only the prosecution can change the sentencing, and it is usually only reduced for a guilty plea (Stewart 113). This means that men comparable to Todd Davidson get 10 years in prison, regardless of a judge’s opinion. Laws parallel to these statutes crowd prisons, and it is shown that after the prisoners’ sentences are served, those who did use illicit substances quickly resume their drug habits (Bayer 62), proving the laws to be ineffective in rehabilitation. Therefore, mandatory minimums must be repealed, as they have only resulted in the unjust long-term incarceration of thousands, which is unsuccessful in the rehabilitation of prisoners and in reducing drug use in the United States.
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... and Delaney). Judges will be able to fit punishments for criminals; Todd Davidson would not have a 10 year sentence and Jay would most likely be let off with probation.
This proposal, this alternative system, will therefore end drug habits, lower crime rates, save taxpayers money, allow punishments to be appropriate to crimes, and also benefit the lives of any criminals involved, whether it be they no longer have to serve a comically long sentence or than their drug habit has finally been terminated.
For, if mandatory minimums do nothing but waste money, unjustly imprison criminals for long periods of time, fail to deter crime rate or drop the use of narcotics, the system is clearly broken. It is for these reasons that mandatory minimums must be repealed. It is for these reasons that a new program, based upon rehabilitation and compassion, needs to be set in place.
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