Essay Example on Mandatory Sentencing

Published: 2021-06-29
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Carnegie Mellon University
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Criminal activities are punished differently depending on the nature of the crime and the laws of the nation concerning the particular crime. Some nations have imposed mandatory sentencing as one of the ways of punishing certain crimes within the society (Zimring 164). Mandatory sentencing since its initiation has received different reactions from the public and other human welfare organizations across the world. Most people have rejected the mandatory sentencing terming it as an unfair means of punishing crimes that are minimal. In the same sense, other people have supported mandatory sentencing citing its various advantages to the society (Greenwood et al. 1). For instance, researchers have claimed that mandatory sentencing helps in controlling minor crimes within the society especially on the youth and drug addicts who often engage in minor criminal activities. Therefore, in this essay the benefits of mandatory sentencing that makes it a good practice for punishing various crimes in the society would be discussed.

Imposing mandatory sentencing on various crimes would act as prevention against future crimes. Potential criminals would know the punishment that awaits them hence they would refrain from criminal activities as much as possible (Schulhofer 199). The awareness of the punishment that awaits a criminal is necessary for controlling the rates of crime as the mandatory sentencing is feared by most criminals. In most societies where the practice has been imposed, it has been realized that it is an effective way of reducing criminal activities. The mandatory sentencing demands that all criminal activities are punished through detention of the criminals. The isolation of the criminals from the society has been found out as an effective way of controlling minimal crimes within most societies (Cassell 1023). The societies have been cleansed by mandatory sentencing to an extent that it has been appreciated by most people.

The mandatory sentencing has also reduced the pressure from the public demanding a harsher form of punishment on various criminal activities. Increasing the sentence for the criminals by making it mandatory that after being found guilty is important in scaring people from various criminal activities within the society (Weinstein 87). Those who have engaged in criminal activities are eliminated from the society and kept in custody. The remaining people with criminal minds in the society are controlled by the fear of the consequences of crime. Researchers in areas where criminal activities were severe before the implementation of the mandatory sentencing have proved that despite the isolation of the criminals, the other influence of mandatory sentencing is that it controls the engagement in crime as a harsh form of punishment that is feared by most people in the society (Greenwood et al. 1). Therefore, mandatory sentencing has provided the society with a solution to the unwanted criminal activities.

Judicial discretion in the practice of the law has been influenced by the introduction of mandatory sentencing. The judges for most cases have been presented by the opportunity to improve their decision making as they are allowed by the constitution to incorporate the mandatory sentencing within their judgments (Cassell 1023). The judges are aware of the need for the system in the society hence thy have taken an active part in it. The power bestowed upon the judges allowing them to make free decisions that would not be disputed by any other aspects. The judges exercise their freedom to rule in addition to the concepts of the situation for which the judgment is based. The mandatory sentencing has therefore been an effective way of controlling criminal activities.

Recidivism has not been managed properly in many criminal systems of the world. However, the introduction of the mandatory sentencing has improved the situation to a great extent. The chances of people who have been passed through the mandatory sentencing to commit such crimes after being released are rare (Schulhofer 199). Before the introduction of the criminal punishment through the mandatory sentencing, there were common vices within the society. The continuation of the criminal activities from criminals who had been punished for similar crimes was a common activity for most societies (Weinstein 87). It is suspected that the means of punishing the criminal activities before were not as effective as the mandatory sentencing system.

The levels of car theft and other crimes have been reduced by the introduction of the mandatory sentencing. The common instances of car theft and other common criminal activities within most societies were a problem because most cases were not punished accordingly. The punishments imposed for the crimes were those that would be served and the criminals would still have the urge to engage in criminal activities (Schmertmann, Amankwaa, and Long 452). There was a need for a higher or more severe means of punishing crimes such that the society would be relieved of serious crimes that were neglected in most societies. Car theft is one of the most notorious crimes in most parts of the world that requires a prompt solution. The best form of control to such crimes has been found to be mandatory sentencing. The thought of being sentenced if guilty scares the criminals from engaging in car theft and other criminal activities within the society (Cassell 1023). The method has been a perfect control of crime in most parts of the world where it has been applied.

Mandatory sentencing has also helped in removing lengthy sentencing in many nations. Most constitutions demand that if a person is constantly engaged in criminal activities, it would reach a time when it will be necessary to subject the people to lengthy sentencing as a means of eliminating them from the society and a punishment (Schulhofer 199). In such cases, the people must have been notorious criminals. The introduction of the mandatory sentencing is one important way of controlling criminal activities such that once an individual has been found guilty of any crime irrespective of its intensity (Greenwood et al. 1). The mandatory sentencing has therefore helped in controlling long jail terms as it is a perfect way to control criminal activities within most of our societies.

In conclusion, the introduction of mandatory sentencing has been a great achievement in crime control for the areas it has been implemented. Not everybody supports the use of mandatory sentencing in controlling criminal activities. Some people argue that the method has been applied to certain cases that should have been neglected (Schmertmann, Amankwaa, and Long 452). Mandatory sentencing has been an effective way of controlling minor crimes within most societies for the areas where it has been implemented perfectly. The method is beneficial for it can be used to avoid long sentences when the criminal activities are controlled at lower levels. As opposed to other methods of punishment, mandatory sentencing is one of the most important ways that most societies are using to control crime. The method has introduced help to the society over their demand for a more severe punishment for minimal crimes that took place among most societies.

Works Cited

Cassell, Paul G. "Too Severe?: A Defense of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (and a Critique of Federal Mandatory Minimums)." Stanford Law Review (2014): 1017-1048.

Greenwood, Peter W., et al. "Three strikes and you're out: Estimated benefits and costs of California's new mandatory-sentencing law." Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp (2014).

Schmertmann, Carl P., Adansi A. Amankwaa, and Robert D. Long. "Three strikes and you're out: Demographic analysis of mandatory prison sentencing." Demography 35.4 (2015): 445-463.

Schulhofer, Stephen J. "Rethinking mandatory minimums." Wake Forest L. Rev. 28 (2013): 199.

Weinstein, Ian. "Fifteen years after the federal sentencing revolution: how mandatory minimums have undermined effective and just narcotics sentencing." Am. Crim. L. Rev. 40 (2013): 87.

Zimring, Franklin E. "Imprisonment rates and the new politics of criminal punishment." Punishment & Society 3.1 (2011): 161-166.

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