Week Paper

Page 1 of 3

Week Paper

By | July 2010
Page 1 of 3
In determining whether to advocate in favor or against this bill that would double the maximum penalty for armed robbery to a legislator, I would first have to consider both sides of the argument in order to decide which position makes the most sense for society and the justice system.

First, a primary argument in favor of the bill is that public opinion supports the bill, and its passage may give the public at large a stronger feeling of security and a higher level of confidence in the criminal justice system. As the public consists of future victims, witnesses, and jurors, this increased trust in the judicial system can only enhance the process. Further, this bill could make sense in light of the goals of the criminal justice system. One such goal, deterrence, may be achieved by the passage of this bill, because it is possible that having a higher maximum penalty for armed robbery may dissuade would-be criminals from engaging in this potentially deadly behavior. In looking at the potential payoff of the criminal activity in light of the fact that the penalty is now doubled, a future perpetrator might realize that the risk far outweighs the reward. Moreover, this bill may also enhance the punishment goal of the criminal justice system as well; because it would give judges a higher threshhold when considering the appropriate punishment for an individual who has committed a crime like armed robbery. The bill would give judges the ability to punish an individual more severely when the crime is particularly heinous or offensive. And arguably, just because the potential for increased punishment is there does not mean judges have to take advantage of it. Rather, it gives members of the bench the option to give a defendant an increased sentence if the facts of the case and the record of the defendant indicate that such a sentence is warranted.

However, a bill doubling the maximum penalty for armed robbery could just as easily be ineffective and cause more...