Mandatory Sentencing Pros And Cons

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The mandatory minimum sentencing law provides a judge with a set minimum sentences based on the charges against the defendant. The minimum sentences are usually extremely long sentences. Judges are not able to reduce the charges no matter what the defense’s argument may be. Normally in court, the defense is able to argue for a shorter sentence, but that is not the case for mandatory sentencing laws. All the power of sentencing lies with the prosecutors in these cases. Mandatory minimum sentencing policies were set into action with good intentions, but the law did not turn out as expected. The mandatory minimum sentencing acts were created to provide equality that every offender of the particular crime will serve the same punishment. This ensures that there will be no bias. They were expected to lower crime rates, because people will possibly think twice before committing a crime if the mandatory minimum sentence is five year or if they have been convicted before, they will not want to be incarcerated again for double the time. Judges cannot change the sentence. All the reasons that the mandatory minimum sentencing laws were set into place appear to be good ideas, but they are ineffective. The law has not shown crime reduction. The history of mandatory sentencing in the United states for federal drug crimes had started with the passage of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, also known as SRA. Congress had changed sentencing by rejecting the idea or the possibility of
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