I am writing my research paper on the topic of mandatory minimum jail sentences. Why do we have mandatory minimum sentences for certain criminal offenses that cause individuals to do extended prison terms when their offenses are totally different from someone who commits a similar offense but do the same amount of time? My work in law enforcement leads me to believe that people should not be sentenced to mandatory sentences. I’ve seen a number young men incarcerated for minor crimes who received mandatory sentences that appeared to be very harsh in comparison to the offense they were convicted of. This argument should be of interest to those who have the power to change the law, opposers of the law, and those in favor of mandatory sentences who feel they are equitable. I will argue that the laws governing mandatory minimum sentences should be amended. I believe the length of a sentence, should depend upon the severity of the offense committed. For example, someone apprehended with a small bag of marijuana for personal usage should not be required to complete the same sentence as someone with pounds of marijuana that was planned to be widely distributed.
To be sure justice is served, which is the goal of the court system, criminal sentences should be decided on an individual basis with due consideration to guidelines given by the law. It should also be argued that the first purpose of the court should be to rehabilitate. This can only be done by personal consideration of each case and punishment. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this provocative issue.