MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE LAWS 7
MandatoryMinimum Sentence Laws
Theminimum fixed sentencing laws need binding terms of a prison of acertain length for the human being convicted of definite state crimesand federal. Minimum sentencing laws are based on a fast-fix solutionfor crime where they weaken justice by not allowing judges fittingthe penalty to the person and their incidents of their offenses(Haerens, 2010). The minimum mandatory sentencing laws have positiveand negative effects worldwide. Effectiveness of mandatory includesincreasing deterrence, removal of unnecessary judicial discretion,avoid of injustices, incapacitation effectiveness and rise ofconsistency in the system of justice (Brinkley, 2003). However, thereare negative effects where some genders and ethnicities are affectedthan others. In our case, black men and black communities were mostlyaffected than whites.
Thereasons for enacting mandatory minimum sentencing laws included.Reduction of crime in that the offenders will experience life in jailwhere most of them will opt not to be criminals later in life. Theminimum sentences reflected on societal judgment whereby a specifiedminimum permit is demanded for certain offences in that who commitsthat crime cannot evade a just penalty. Minimum mandatory was a toolof law enforcement. The prosecutors and police are supplied with thepower to protect the testimonial and cooperation low-level criminalsagainst their senior confederates. The sentences were also enactedfor drug offenders and rapists. Another reason was to eradicate thedishonesty that involved sentencing many people in 20th century.
Effectivenessof mandatory minimum sentencing laws
Accordingto me the mandatory minimum sentencing laws are effectives as one,they eliminate unnecessary judicial discretion. Discretion is forboth unintentional and intentional bias. Through discretion, judgesengage themselves in corruption. This was eliminated afterestablishment of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Judges may alsotry to be impartial but the information shows that people areclassified to be more concerned to a particular group (Haerens,2010).
Deterrenceis another important issue, which comes after imposing mandatoryminimum sentences. Deterrence appears in many mechanisms likelihoodof being caught, severity of a penalty, and disapproval by thepublic. Severity is most effective in mandatory minimum sentences asa deterrent. With a set of minimum sentences, a potential is awarethat in any way when commits a crime he/she must face a substantialpenalty for his/her offence. With that knowledge, majority peoplewill avoid committing crimes leading to reduction of crimes thusimproving the overall living standards (Brinkley, 2003). Mandatoryminimum sentence helps in avoiding injustices which can be donethrough “safety valves." This was mainly for defendant meetingcertain criteria, like being low-level member or lacking formercriminal history. The safety valve gave flexibility to low-riskcriminals not receive greatly harsh penalty (United States, 2008).
Thus,mandatory sentencing strategy has adequate flexibility to supportvarying circumstances, while retaining adequate rigidity to giveconsistent punishment. Mandatory minimums help in eliminatingoffenders out of the community for a period of time rather than beingjailed, thus reducing their opportunity of committing crimes. Thesystem of criminal justice is compelled to cease from unusual orcruel punishment, but the main aim is to protect the community fromcriminals through punishing and preventing illegal activity(Wicharaya, 1995). Mandatory minimum penalties satisfy the need ofhumane punishment if is proportionate to the harshness of crime whicha way protecting the community. Mandatory minimums also raise theconsistency in the system of justice.
Effectof mandatory minimum sentencing on Black Communities and Black Males
Basingon criminal justice system of America, it was believed that whitesand blacks committed the same total of overall crime. Additionally,there was enforcement of drug crimes in minority societies moreforcefully than in white regions. Other minorities and black werecommitting drug crimes more than whites in order to get money forsurvival. Black men who were committing a crime increased uniformlythus deteriorating the black community. Police abandoned peoplediscretion in America. After abusing their authority, they unjustlyarrested black people who seem suspicious because of walking inwhites’ regions. Through the abuse of discretion issues ofminorities was created as the black males who were in labor forceended up imprisoned because of the pessimistic biases of police(Wicharaya, 1995).
Blackmales from black communities, who were the minority, were arresteddue to drugs crimes. They were being harassed in their motoristsector as regarded of being drug dealers while the whites who did thesame acts were never questioned. The actions tended to create anaggressive attitude between several minorities and police (Samaha,2006).
Asa result of mandatory minimums there came an issue of judicialdiscretion. This was tended to favor whites and discriminate blackmale from black communities. Judges made laws which discriminated theminorities and favored the whites. An argument came where the whitepower elite experienced an increase of jobless white males. They hadinformation that jobless white males were working in steel mills andother regions which appreciated unskilled labor once a time. Judgescame with an issue of writing laws so that that offenses made bywhites would either not be included under mandatory minimumsentencing or would have small penalties (Wicharaya, 1995). Thepractice resulted to a huge rise in the amount of black males fromminor communities being sent to prison. Since the penalties wereharsh, the black men ended up spending a longer time in jail thanprevious years. The imprisonment of black males was meant to creatework opportunities for white people who had no skills of labor suchthat they would not conflict elite of white power.
Mandatoryminimums brought in prison industrial complexity. America built aprison industry which was for unlimited provision of latino and blackoffenders who fell into similar criminal justices. Legislators knewthat if a lot of prisons are constructed in diminishing communitiescan serve like an economic benefit in the rooting cities (UnitedStates, 2008). They ensured that they had people whom would fillthese prisons and jail where minorities, most probably black males,were chosen.
Mandatoryminimums on the black community had drastic consequences upon theblack society. The first effect was existence of single parenthood asa result of black men imprisonment. Women ended up being responsibleon their own financial problems resulting to poverty since they hadinadequate skills to be employed in firms. Black male imprisonmentled to rate of voting in black communities (Samaha, 2006). After themen were being released from jail they had no right to vote inelections. Final negative consequence of increased male imprisonmentwas enforcement to spend time in jail leading to loss of negativestigma. This created a negative impact on children who ended growingbelieving that going in prison is a rite of passage which is not thecase.
Brinkley,L. V. (2003). Mandatoryminimum sentencing: Overview and background.Hauppauge: Novinka
Haerens,M. (2010). Mandatoryminimum sentencing.Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning.
Samaha,J. (2006). Criminaljustice.Belmont: Thomson/Wadsworth.
UnitedStates. (2008). Mandatoryminimum sentencing laws — the issues: Hearing before theSubcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of theCommittee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One HundredTenth Congress, first session, June 26, 2007.Washington: G.P.O.
Wicharaya,T. (1995). Simpletheory, hard reality: The impact of sentencing reforms on courts,prisons, and crime.Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.