- The focus on specific types of offenses has a tendency to have a majorly negative impact upon certain categories of offenders as well as certain social groups, which is one of the primary arguments against mandatory sentencing.
- Other arguments against mandatory sentencing include: (1) sentences are often vastly disproportionate to the severity of the offense; (2) the sentences tend to be excessively harsh; and (3) the removal of judicial discretion.
Why are mandatory minimum sentences bad for the justice system?
- Due to the fact that it treats every guilty individual in the same manner, it takes away the authority that a judge has for exercising sentence discretion.
- When a judge is required to hand down a predetermined sentence for a crime, the scope of their function is significantly constrained.
- Because of mandated minimum penalties, judges are forced to take on the role of administrators rather than genuine judges.
Do mandatory minimum sentences eliminate sentencing disparities?
Because they do not do away with sentencing discretion entirely, mandatory minimum sentences have not been successful in eliminating sentencing inequalities. Instead, they have just transferred sentencing authority from judges to prosecutors.
Do mandatory minimum sentencing laws prevent lenient sentences?
Since judges are also human, they are susceptible to the temptation to hand down soft sentences if they are familiar with the offenders or if they have a favorable attitude toward them. Thankfully, rules that impose mandatory minimum sentences can prevent anything like this from occurring.