Variation in Sentencing with Armed Robbery
St. Leo University
There are many questions surrounding the sentencing process in the State of Georgia surrounding several crimes. Why is there a variation in the process depending on where the crime was committed, who committed it, who the victim was, how many cases are on back log? Why do we allow these factors to play a part in the decision making process? Serious violent crimes are subject to a mandatory minimum in the State of Georgia, if you are convicted of one of the seven deadly sins which consist of (Murder, Rape, Aggravated Sodomy, Aggravated Child Molestation, Aggravated Sexual Battery, Armed Robbery and Kidnapping) you are guaranteed to serve 100% of your sentence (Timothy S Carr, 2008). The thing we must remember is the statement reads mandatory minimum, who make the decision on the maximum and why is it not the same all the way around? In 1995 the State of Georgia entered into the Truth in Sentencing (TIS) program with the federal government allowing them to receive payment for tougher punishments. The “Seven deadly sins” law was passed and for the first time a first offense, a non-parolable sentence of at least ten years for kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, and aggravated child molestation. Minimum sentence for first offense of murder is life, with no parole eligibility for 25 years. Second offense of any of the “seven deadly sins” gets life without possibility of parole. The monies received from the program is supposed to offset the cost of building more prisons to accommodate the longer sentencing (Timothy S Carr, 2008). One of the prison terms extended was armed robbery. In this paper I will address the charge of armed robbery and talk about some of the different sceneries surrounding the charge and the sentencing associated with it. One thing that will remain the same is, no matter how you change what happen, if you are charged with the crime and convicted, the minimum amount of time you
will receive is ten years nothing less, but the question also remaining is why is it okay for some individuals to receive more time than others. Currently in the State of Georgia there are 5,334 offenders serving a sentence for armed robbery with a sentence of at least ten years with no possibility of parole (Inmate Statistical Profile , 2011). What we need to look at is should individual charged and convicted of this crime be treated the same, whether they produced the hand gun, was the lookout person or was the driver? Or should there be discretion in the decision making process? Scenario one: Joe Doe had been in Atlanta for one week and he attend a party with his boss in Cobb County in 2006. At the party Joe got drunk and invaded the comfort zones of several women with a camera. He was asked to leave the party and because he had rode with his boss, his boss and another friend drove him home. On the way he became upset and enraged about being asked to leave. His boss called 911 and pulled out a pocket knife and threatened him for calling. His boss gave him the phone and he threw it to the floor of the car. His boss pulled the car over to the shoulder on the interstate and they got into a physical altercation. Police arrived and Joe Doe who has no prior record was charged and convicted at trial of armed robbery of two cellphones. In which he received 10 years in prison with no possibility of parole (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2010). Scenario two: Mr Pitts, Mr. Chapman, Mr Brown and Mr. Randolph all came up with a plan to rob Auto Zone. During the journey to find a stolen car Mr Chapman got scared and asked to be dropped off. The other three gentlemen proceeded to find a stolen and car and drove out to Auto Zone on Cobb Parkway. Mr. Pitts stayed in the car while the other two individuals went into the store and rob it and everyone...
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