Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Essay by Research Group

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
An examination of the principles behind mandatory minimum sentencing.
# 27425 | 989 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jun 04, 2003 in Law (Criminal) , Criminology (Criminal Justice and Corrections)

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This paper analyzes the issues concerning mandatory minimum sentencing, created by politicians convinced that crime was out of control. It looks at how the public wanted something done and that one aspect of the problem was that judges were exercising too much discretion and not sending enough people to prison for a long enough period of time. It discusses how mandatory minimum sentencing began as a tool in the drug war in 1986 when House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. ordered his Democratic committee chairmen to produce a crime bill that toughened penalties on drug dealers.

From the Paper:

"There is considerable public support for the idea that criminals need to be given harsher punishment and almost none for the idea that some other means should be taken to reduce crime. Those concerned about crime can point to a number of statistical studies to show that crime is increasing and is not being punished at the level the public would prefer. A National Punishment Survey conducted by the Population and Society Research Center at Bowling Green State University in 1987 showed that the public recommends prison sentences for a variety of violent and other serious crimes that would be approximately three times longer than offenders actually serve."

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