Pros And Cons Of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

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Mandatory minimum sentencing requires a minimum sentence based on the crime that the offender committed (Levinthal, 2012). The majority of the laws involved illicit drug activity and is based on the amount of the substance that was in the individual’s possession. Unlike general sentencing, the judge involved in the mandatory minimum sentencing must follow strict guidelines that are provided. The judge cannot decrease the term of the sentence, no matter the circumstances that are involved in the matter. However, depending on the severity of the crime involved, the judge can decide to increase the sentence if it is determined that the factors require more than the minimum (Dahl, 2014). In the case of drug offenses, an individual found guilty for possession on the first offense will serve a lesser term than that of an individual who is serving time for a second…show more content…
For example, a first offense for 1 to 49 plants of marijuana will get a person no more than five years in prison, while the second offense for the same charge will increase the prison term to no more than ten years (Levinthal, 2012). In a criminal court system, the use of mandatory minimum sentencing has its own share of pros and cons. As judges are provided with strict guidelines they must follow in sentencing, the judges are not able to use their personal bias or sympathy for the individual involved to determine what their sentencing term should be (Taslitz, 2013). It also places more significance on the charges that the prosecution team files against them. The judge cannot vary from the required sentencing; however, the prosecutor can assure a steeper minimum sentence if they tack on additional charges instead of
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