Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Should Be Mandatory Essay examples

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Should Be Mandatory Essay examples

Length: 1495 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Mandatory minimum sentencing is the practice of requiring a predetermined prison sentence for certain crimes. The most notable mandatory minimums are the ones implemented in the 70’s and 80’s, hoping to combat the rising drug problem. Mandatory minimum sentencing has existed in the United States nearly since its very birth, with the first mandatory minimums being put into place around 1790. Recently, as the marijuana laws of many states have scaled back in severity, the issue of mandatory minimums has caused controversy in the US. There are two distinct sides to the argument surrounding mandatory minimum sentencing. One group believes we have a moral obligation to our country requiring us to do no less than lock up anyone with illegal drugs for a long time. The other group believes that mandatory minimum sentencing is outdated, and does not reflect our country’s newer, more progressive view on drugs. In my eyes there are three main questions to be asked about mandatory minimum sentencing: For one, are mandatory minimum sentences fair? I do not mean this in the “Johnny got two cookies and I only got one” type of fair. When referring to fair, I am asking if we are giving our country’s judicial system the freedom to exercise all of their privileges and powers. Also, if compared to less heinous and more heinous crimes, are the mandatory minimums surrounding drug offences unjustly strict? The second question: What is the impact of mandatory minimum sentences on the criminal justice system and jails as a whole? Are other problems being created by mandatory minimums? Finally, I’d like to know what alternatives to mandatory minimums exist, and if they are more or less effective. It is very important to be able to look at angles of this is...


... middle of paper ...


...ison, unable to get a job once they are released. We must spend more of our effort and time pursuing rapists, murderers, and other violent criminals who seek to do physical harm to innocent people. As our country become more accepting of other people’s cultures and ways, we must become more accepting of non-traditional drug prevention. Instead of locking up drug addicts we should help rehabilitate them, and release them into society as working civilians, and not as ex-cons. Stanley Sporkin, a U.S. District judge in Washington D.C., said “We need to deal with the drug problem in a much more discretionary, compassionate way. We need treatment, not just punishment and imprisonment.”. This quote rings true to me, and many others hopefully. We need to treat this as a human problem, as we are dealing with humans whose lives can be ended by simply being caught with a joint.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Should Be Mandatory Essay examples

- Mandatory minimum sentencing is the practice of requiring a predetermined prison sentence for certain crimes. The most notable mandatory minimums are the ones implemented in the 70’s and 80’s, hoping to combat the rising drug problem. Mandatory minimum sentencing has existed in the United States nearly since its very birth, with the first mandatory minimums being put into place around 1790. Recently, as the marijuana laws of many states have scaled back in severity, the issue of mandatory minimums has caused controversy in the US....   [tags: Crime, Drug addiction, Illegal drug trade]

Better Essays
1495 words (4.3 pages)

Mandatory Sentence : Mandatory Sentencing Essay

- Mandatory Sentence Mandatory sentencing refers to the practice of parliament setting a fixed penalty for the commission of a criminal offence. Mandatory sentencing was mainly introduced in Australia to: prevent crime, to incapacitate the offenders, to deter offenders so they don’t offend again, to create a stronger retribution and to eliminate inconsistency. There is a firm belief that the imposition of Mandatory sentencing for an offence will have a deterrent effect on the individual and will send a forcible message to the offenders....   [tags: Mandatory sentencing, Crime, Judicial discretion]

Better Essays
1349 words (3.9 pages)

Mandatory Minimum Sentences Are Not Effective Essay

- Mandatory minimum prison sentences are punishments that are set through legislation for specific offenses. They have been used throughout history for different crimes. The four traditional goals of punishment are: deterrence, incapacitation (incarceration), retribution, and rehabilitation. With the state of our national economy, cutting prison and corrections costs would be a huge savings. On the surface, it may seem that mandatory minimum sentences would serve the traditional goals of punishment....   [tags: Mandatory Minimums,Costly and Ineffective]

Better Essays
1318 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Mandatory Minimum Sentences For Nonviolent Offenders

- 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....   [tags: Prison, Mandatory sentencing, United States]

Better Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

Mandatory Minimums : Prison Sentences Imposed On Offenders By Law Essay

- Mandatory minimums, harsh prison sentences imposed on offenders by law, where discretion is limited. Offenders, most of the time nonviolent, are faced with prison terms that are meant for a drug kingpin, not a low level first or second time offender. Mandatory minimums have been proven not to be the answer in our criminal justice system and need to be changed. Mandatory Minimums has created a problem within our society where we send everyone to prison and don 't present offenders with better opportunities....   [tags: Prison, Mandatory sentencing, Crime]

Better Essays
1528 words (4.4 pages)

Federal Sentencing Guidelines And The Crime Rate Of The Twentieth Century

- In the 1980’s the crack epidemic was in full swing. To combat drug-related crime, congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act in 1986 (Edwards). For the first time mandatory minimum sentencing went into effect for the criminal possession of cocaine and other illegal drugs. Then in 1994, to combat violent crime, Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (Edwards). New mandatory sentencing guidelines were recommended by the federal government. States that accepted the new guidelines were then awarded funds by the feds to build additional prisons and jails, and thus the prison-industrial complex was born (Schlosser)....   [tags: Mandatory sentencing, Crime, Prison]

Better Essays
1253 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Canada

- Introduction This paper will be focusing on the controversial issue of mandatory minimum sentences in Canada. There has been much debate over this topic, as it has quickly become implemented for the sentencing of drug offenders, drug-related crimes and banned firearm offences. I will argue that every case that comes through the criminal justice system is different and deserves a fair trial with a sentence that is not already determined for them. There have been many cases where the judge has no discretion in the sentence due to the mandatory minimum sentences pre-determined for the case, no matter what the aggravating or mitigating factors were....   [tags: firearms, criminal justice system, prison, trial]

Better Essays
2985 words (8.5 pages)

Mandatory Minimum Sentences Should Be Mandatory Essay

- In Canada, over two-dozen offences in the Criminal Code carry mandatory minimum sentences. These offences include first and second-degree murder, a series of firearm-related offences, impaired driving and related offences, high treason, and gambling offences (Gabor and Crutcher 2001). Although there are so many crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences, they are not the best way to reduce crime in Canada. Mandatory minimum sentences make up a large proportion of the criminal penalties in Canada; yet, there is little reliable evidence showing that variations in the severity of punishment have a substantial deterrent effect (Durlauf, Steven N., Nagin, and Daniel S....   [tags: Crime, Criminal justice, Prison, Criminology]

Better Essays
1314 words (3.8 pages)

Mandatory Sentencing Essay examples

- Mandatory sentencing is not anything new. It began in the 1970s. The main purpose for mandatory sentencing was to try to get rid of the drug lords and to eliminate most of the nation’s street drug selling. It was to impose that the same crime would have the same sentence all over the nation. Some of the negatives that rose from mandatory sentencing were nonviolent drug offenders and first time offenders who were receiving harsh sentences. Inmate populations and correction costs increased and pushed states to build more prisons....   [tags: Criminal Justice ]

Better Essays
1772 words (5.1 pages)

Essay about Negative Consequences of Mandatory Sentencing

- Negative Consequences of Mandatory Sentencing In recent years several mandatory sentencing laws have been put into motion. The original goals of the mandatory sentencing laws were to stop repeat offenders and to exhibit a "get tough attitude" on crime. These laws have not been working as intended, instead mandatory sentencing has led to some unfortunate consequences. Some of these consequences are overcrowding in prisons and less prison based rehabilitation. Mandatory sentencing laws do not narrowly target major drug traffickers....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
738 words (2.1 pages)