Discussion Board responses

Need help with my Law question – I’m studying for my class.

1- Mandatory minimum sentencing has no place for non-violent crimes in the United States criminal justice system. Criminal acts such as aggravated robbery, murder, and aggravated sexual assault should implement mandatory minimums as they are more heinous. Often, these required sentences for non-violent offenders are completely inappropriate (McNelis, 2017). It is completely justified to argue that these rulings violate the 8th amendment of the U.S. constitution (McNelis, 2017). Federal and state legislation conjured mandatory minimums in order to deter criminal activity (McNelis, 2017). One issue with these policies is that there is not much discretion involved (McNelis, 2017). If one commits a particular crime, they must serve the minimum sentence that corresponds with that crime. Despite the United States having around 5% of the global population, we control nearly 1/4 of the word’s incarcerated individuals (McNelis, 2017). The United States must eradicate mandatory minimums from our justice system if we wish to give it some sort of relief. A more efficient method for crime control would be to implement restorative justice measures and an increase in educational funding.

Reference:

McNelis, A. A. (2017). Habitually Offending the Constitution: The Cruel and Unusual Consequences of Habitual Offender Laws and Mandatory Minimums. George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal, 28(1), 97–126.

2- Mandatory sentencing is a sentencing strategy that takes discretion away from judges. The law, not the judge, sets the sentence (Worrall, 2015). In my opinion minimum mandatory sentences is not an efficient method of determining sentencing because people could change their lives around without going to prison. Most people are incarcerated for non-violent crimes such as possession of marijuana and they are serving mandatory sentences. In 1987 when the Federal Sentencing Guidelines were enacted, people had concerns about this policy because it implemented harsher sentencing for drugs that involved black people such as crack, and lighter sentences to their white counterparts who were dealing powder cocaine (Worrall, 2015). Basically, the criminal justice is a modern-day way to enslave many minorities. White people that commit the same crimes as minorities get lighter sentences. According to Worrall (2015), minimum mandatory sentencing increases the probability of incarceration on conviction and the severity of sentences imposed, they also result in fewer overall arrests, indictments, and convictions.

Reference

Worrall, J.L. (2015). Crime control in America: What works? Retrieved from https://viewer.gcu.edu/GJYFEA

3- I believe that minimum mandatory sentences are not always an efficient method of determining a sentencing. Minimum mandatory sentences were primarily only created to target the minority community. Because of this, minorities have had to serve long amounts of time due to non-violent offenses. According to Mirza (2001), mandatory minimum prison sentences change the criminal justice system. They channel the control of the legal executive over rebuffing offenders and present semi-legal forces on police and prosecutors. This move-in power repudiates the acknowledged understanding that in the criminal justice system the police, the Crown (better known as the district attorney), and the legal executive accept particular, yet correlative jobs. The police are responsible for investigating crimes, arrest, and charging people associated with penetrating the law. The job of the Crown lawyer is to indict the offender. Lastly, judges manage preliminaries and are liable for forcing sentences. Late investigations of the cooperation of Black people with law enforcement authorities give a convincing proof of racist policing. In particular, the information shows that there is over-policing of communities with concentrated Black populations, explicitly through the act of racial profiling. Racial profiling happens when certain crimes are anticipated onto a particular racial group, at that point followed upon by law enforcement utilizing forces to stop, detain, and search. The African-Canadian Legal Clinic assets that in cases of racial profiling, the race is misguidedly utilized as an intermediary by the police for the criminality or general criminal inclination of a whole racial group (Mirza, 2001).

Reference

Mirza, F. R. (2001). Mandatory minimum prison sentences and systemic racism. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 23, 491.

4- Answer this: Has mandatory sentencing impacted specific communities? Explain.

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