mandatory minimum sentence Essay

1357 Words 6 Pages
English Composition II

Research Paper

A mandatory minimum sentence occurs when judicial discretions are limited by law (Famm). Those who are convicted of certain crimes must be punished with at least the minimum number of years depending on the offense. Amanda Dollak who received her criminal justice degree at CTU, states “Mandatory sentences require every individual to receive the same punishment for similar offenses, regardless of how much a judge may object to the sentence”. These mandatory sentencing laws however vary from state to state, and in other countries. In 1994 California introduced a policy called “3 strikes you’re out”, which meant after a third criminal conviction the arrested person would be
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This led to some convicted felons being sentenced to long prison terms and others with much more lenient sentences. Risley believed such disparity in sentencing was inherently unfair. This movement was changed by Congress who established mandatory minimum sentencing guide lines for serious drug offenses (Carrillo). Once the guide lines for mandatory minimum sentencing were set for the possession and distribution of drugs, other mandatory sentencing guidelines were established for crimes such as possession of a gun while committing another crime, gun possession, robbery, and rape. “There continues to be much debate whether or not this approach is actually improving the system.” According to Amanda Dollak, with the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines in effect for some crimes; most judges (state and federal) oppose mandatory sentencing. Judges argue that every person should have their unique situation heard in court on an individual bases. Some judges fill that some sentences were inappropriate for the crimes that were committed. Opposition to mandatory minimum sentencing is strong. “In 1993 a survey of over 400 states and federal judges found that 90% opposed mandatory minimums (Waller p 185). Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens condemned mandatory minimum sentences as

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