Pros and cons of sentencing guidelines

They can lead to a decrease in crime. He was sentenced in federal court to a 10 year prison term.

advantages and disadvantages of sentencing guidelines

Sentencing Guideline amendments take effect no later than November 1 of the calendar year in which submitted, "except to the extent that. They can pave the way to higher government expenses.

While the Department of Justice recognizes that some adjustment of the current penalty structure may be appropriate, any such adjustment must reflect the greater dangers associated with crack than cocaine powder.

Concurrent sentencing pros and cons

It comes with a high cost to taxpayers. Each country has its own mandatory sentencing laws, and several crimes such as offenses involving drugs, guns, and pornography come with their own mandatory minimum sentences. Judges sentence based on the recommendations of a jury, a plea agreement, or a bench trial. Under current law, defendants convicted of trafficking 50 grams of crack cocaine receives the same ten-year mandatory minimum penalty as defendants convicted of trafficking 5, grams of powder cocaine. Congress and many state legislatures adopted new laws that stiffened the penalties for anyone convicted of trafficking certain illegal drugs. This is an example of a determinate sentence. As opposed to indeterminate term where a prisoner can be released when granted parole for good behavior while another can remain behind bars when not granted one, determinate sentencing prevents discrimination and ensures all offenders are paying for their crimes. They can lead to a decrease in crime. An increase in prison population can lead to an increase in government expenses. Determinate sentencing is now popular in more states than before and it has both benefits and drawbacks.

In supporting this decision, he asserted that since crack cocaine "is only minutes away from" powder cocaine, the disparity in sentences for the two forms of the same drug cannot be justified, particularly when the disparity has such an obvious disproportionate impact upon African Americans.

Despite these realities, the Sentencing Commission has taken two steps to lower crack penalties to precariously low levels.

Pros and cons of sentencing guidelines

Judges are humans, too, and they can be tempted to award lenient punishments if they know the defendants or if they feel favorably towards them. The significance of this targeted enforcement strategy is not that it explains he disparate impact current law has on the African American community, but that the existence of such a facially flawed sentencing scheme undermines the credibility of our entire system of federal laws and might invite discriminatory behavior by federal law enforcement personnel. The intent was to provide determinate sentencing. By requiring a judge to hand out a mandated punishment for a crime, their role becomes quite limited. They warned Congress, in unmistakable terms, not to lower crack penalties to those of powder cocaine offenses, because of the more destructive nature of the crack market. List of Cons of Mandatory Minimum Sentences 1. Just as beer and wine are two forms of the same drug alcohol , crack cocaine and powder cocaine are two forms of the same drug. In fact, for drugs that are more frequently used by the African American community, there are even harsher sentences than those used by the majority white population.

One reason mandatory sentencing guidelines are established is to increase sentencing uniformity—to guarantee that defendants, who commit similar crimes and have similar criminal backgrounds, receive similar sentences. In fact, the national homicide rates during the earlier powder cocaine war exceeded current national homicide rates associated with crack cocaine.

support for mandatory minimum sentencing

Three members of the Commission dissented from the majority recommendation that base penalties for crack and powder cocaine trafficking offenses be equalized with sentencing enhancements added to address aggravating factors often associated with crack trafficking.

Many of the hearing witnesses, including members of the Sentencing Commission, acknowledged important differences between crack and powder cocaine: crack is more addictive than powder cocaine; it accounts for more emergency room visits; it is most popular among juveniles; it has a greater likelihood of being associated with violence; and crack dealers have more extensive criminal records than other drug dealers and tend to use young people to distribute the drug at a greater rate.

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Pros and Cons of Determinate Sentencing