Pros And Cons Of Mandatory Sentencing In The United States

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Mandatory sentencing began in October 27 1986 Reagan signed a law Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Frontline writes that the law allocated funds to new prisons, drug education, and treatment. But its main result was to create mandatory minimum sentences. The harsh sentences on crack cocaine use disproportionately affect African-Americans April 22, 2014. Mandatory sentencing was meant for certain crimes commonly serious and violent offenses. Judges are bound by law for these sentences are produced through the legislature not the judicial system. They are instituted to expedite the sentencing process and limit the possibility of irregularity of outcomes due to judicial discretion. Mandatory sentences are typically given to people convicted of…show more content…
Mandatory sentencing laws often target moral vices like alcohol, sex, drugs, and to friendships and family via prohibition, and crimes that threaten a person's livelihood. The idea is that there are some crimes that are so serious there is no way to accept the offender back into the general population without first punishing them sufficiently. Some crimes are viewed as serious enough to require an indefinite removal from society by a life sentence, or sometimes capital punishment. It is viewed as a public service to separate these people from the general population, as it is assumed that the nature of the crime or the frequency of violation supersedes the subjective opinion of a judge. Remedying the irregularities in sentencing that arise from judicial discretion are supposed to make sentencing more fair and balanced. In Australia and the UK, sentencing has been heavily influenced by judicial idiosyncrasies. Individual judges have a significant effect on the outcome of the case, sometimes leading the public to believe that a sentence…show more content…
"While I do believe being tough on crime is a good thing in general, it's the role of the judge to determine it." Mandatory minimum sentences often tie a judge's hands, robbing them of their right to tailor sentences to a specific situation. I suppose tough-on-crime laws “worked" if success is only measured by the increase of prisoner populations. However, one of the unbelievable little details of this new tough-on-crime stance is how differently the federal government views crack cocaine and powder cocaine. I am thankfully not an expert on cocaine or its use, but a cursory Google search tells me that crack cocaine is just powder cocaine mixed with baking soda. However, what's interesting is how these new laws targeted crack cocaine but not powder cocaine. Well, crack cocaine was an inner-city drug, while powder cocaine was something for the Wall Street lifestyle. Basically, white people chose to use powder cocaine, and powder cocaine doesn't result in nearly the same kind of damaging prison sentences as crack does. Ironically, crack is more frequently used by poorer minority populations due to its
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