Pros And Cons Of Mandatory Minimums

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It was June 18, 1971, the day that the United States of America would change forever. It was the day that President Richard Nixon declared that the war on drugs was the number one priority in the American criminal justice system. Throughout the years following this speech congress enacted a number of laws to keep with the president 's wishes, one of which, was mandatory minimum drug sentences. Mandatory minimum drug sentences are exactly what they sound like mandatory sentences for various drug offenses. Throughout the last 15 years, the public view on mandatory minimums has changed from a positive reaction with the vast majority of reasonable people backing it, to one where the name simply brings on a negative connotationbut why? And are mandatory…show more content…
5) While that sounds great in theory, the problem arises when the public is unaware of these laws. If the punishment for breaking a law in unknown, than the fear for breaking the law is nowhere to be found. According to Dr. Mulhausen, mandatory minimum drug sentences are necessary for combatting indeterminate sentences done by judges. With these indeterminate sentences, Dr. Mulhausen feared that judges were giving criminals a second chance at life at the expense of the safety of the ppublic. By doing this, criminals who should have been spending time in jail, were let free and often went on to victimize others instead of using their second chance for good. While the above two claims may make mandatory minnimum sentences seem like a positive and much needed law, what they are failing to mention is the negative social, economical and emotional effects that mandatory minimum drug sentences have on not only the person who committed the crime and their family, but on the nation as…show more content…
Anyone who reads this scenario will easily say that Michaela deserves to be rehabilitated and given a second chance at a new life, while Lucie should serve the rest of her life behind bars. Once again, everyone seems to agree with this besides the United States legislature. They believe that Michaela and Lucie are equally guilty of committing a crime and breaking the law, and therefore should be equally guilty when it comes to deciding whether or not they should serve time. Outrageous? I agree. Mandatory minimum drug sentences had a great hypothesis and were good enough to make it to the trial round when deciding how to end the war drugs. 20 years and many sad and horrifying cases later, we realize that mandatory minimum drug sentences do not in fact lower the drug crime rate. Instead, they help with overcrowding prisons, taking money away from taxpayers, and keeping non­violent offenders locked away fro outrageously long period of time while allowing violent offenders to walk freely among the rest of us. Mandatory minimums need to be a done away with and drug sentences need to be handled on a case by case basis due to the fact that the majority of them are not committed with the intent to hurt anyone or
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