Arguments Against Mandatory Minimums

1206 Words 5 Pages
In the United States, the use of mandatory minimums became commonplace with support from both sides of the political spectrum. With public support for tough laws, these sentencing minimums were enacted across the country due to increasing crime rates. However, in certain states, lawmakers and taxpayers are beginning to see that these laws cost more than they help. In Tallahassee, Florida, a twenty-five-year drug sentence for selling thirty-five pills for $300 will cost taxpayers an average of $18,064 per year, or $451,600 by the time the offender is released (Klas, 2017). Others will argue that mandatory minimums increase sentencing disparity because these do not follow federal sentencing guidelines. One can see, while created with good intentions, mandatory minimums have proven only to hurt rather than help. Mandatory minimums have been around in some fashion throughout history. Death or banishment were the typical punishments unless the offender was pardoned (Doyle, 2013). During the very first congress, a series of mandatory minimums were …show more content…
By keeping these offenders imprisoned and from continuing their illegal activities, it is seen as keeping the public safe from any further harm. Before mandated minimums, it was possible to receive a fair sentence from a judge who could assess the situation and decide based on their experience. With minimums, one can argue that it reduces sentencing disparity (Caulkins, J., Rydell, C., Schwabe, W., & Chiesa, J., 1997). Now offenders committing similar crimes will all receive the same sentence, no matter the circumstance. When an offender is faced with a lengthy sentence for a crime committed, it provides a tool for prosecutors to use to find others involved. If the defendant assists with the investigation or prosecution of others involved, it is possible to receive a reduced sentence (Caulkins et al.

Related Documents