Mandatory Sentencing Laws Essay

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Untie the Judges Hands Imagine you are a fifty-one year old man and you have not eaten in two days, and you resort to theft. Stealing a fifty-cent package of doughnuts from the corner store. You are at your home when suddenly officers burst in and arrest you. Then during your court proceedings, the prosecutor brings up two prior convictions from thirty years earlier so he can charge you under mandatory sentencing laws. This means a life sentence without parole over a fifty- cent pack of doughnuts. Though this scenario sounds too outrageous to be true, it happened to Robert Fassbender, a California man. States Attorney Yraceburn stated," Because of his (Fassbender) history of recidivism and the number of crimes he 's been convicted of," Fassbinder…show more content…
In the early 1980s, the United States declared an all-out war on drugs and over the past several decades the United States of America has traveled down a dark road when it comes to sentencing for drug offenses. One of the major tools that they used in this war on drugs is the mandatory sentencing laws. These laws were enacted in 1984 to help combat and get violent drug dealers off our streets. What these laws did was set a mandatory minimum sentence that stated if you are arrested for fifteen or more grams of crack cocaine, you would be charged as if you had five hundred grams of powder cocaine thus getting you a minimum of a ten year sentence in prison. If you are arrested for growing 100 marijuana plants under these draconian laws, you would be charged as if you were possession of 100 pounds of marijuana which carries a minimum of a five-year…show more content…
With the economy in the turmoil that it is in America cannot continue to support these sentencing guidelines. The Mandatory Article Sentencing declares that the laws are becoming a huge drain on the Justice Bureau’s budget, and in 2012 the United States had far beyond more people incarcerated than any other country. Most of these prisoners are low-level drug offenders sentenced under mandatory sentencing guidelines with a cost draining on American taxpayers $6.8 billion a year, as of 2012. These costs do not seem to have a ceiling and continue eating up about twenty-five percent of the federal justice system’s yearly budget.

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