Posted: February 13th, 2023
Sentencing disparities are an issue of serious concern in the criminal justice system, as they can lead to injustice and create suspicion about the fairness of the system. Sentencing disparities exist when two offenders with similar backgrounds, crimes, and circumstances receive different sentences. The United States criminal justice system has been criticized for its widespread sentencing disparities due to the fact that judges have wide discretion when it comes to making decisions on sentencing. In other words, judges may take into account their personal beliefs or preferences when deciding what type of punishment should be given out to a particular offender. This lack of consistency often leads to unfair outcomes in which some offenders receive much harsher punishments than others who committed similar offenses or had similar backgrounds.
To address this issue, some lawmakers have proposed eliminating maximum and minimum sentencing requirements for certain crimes. By removing these limits on what judges can give out as sentences for certain types of offenses, defendants would no longer be subjected to predetermined punishments that could be overly harsh or not correspond with the severity of their offense(s). Instead, judges would be allowed greater flexibility in determining punishments based on individual circumstances and needs associated with each case. This means that each defendant would receive a fair sentence tailored to his/her unique situation rather than a one-size-fits-all approach in which all defendants are subject to the same set rules regardless of any extenuating factors at play.
The removal of maximum and minimum sentencing requirements could also help reduce racial disparities within the criminal justice system. Research shows that minority groups are more likely than white people to receive tough sentences such as longer prison terms or higher fines even when they commit similar crimes as white individuals do (e.g., drug possession). By taking away these predetermined limitations on punishments imposed by law, judges could make decisions free from implicit bias and prejudices against certain racial populations so everyone is treated equally under the law regardless of race or ethnicity—something that is essential if we want our society’s legal systems to provide true equal protection for all citizens (i.e., equal treatment under law).
As mentioned above, another benefit from removing maximum/minimum sentencing guidelines is providing more appropriate punishments to fit each person’s crime rather than relying solely upon predetermined standards such as “mandatory minimum” penalties for drug convictions. For example, instead of giving someone convicted with drug possession a mandatory five year sentence regardless if it was his/her first time being caught without considering any mitigating factors at play like addiction issues or economic hardship; judges will have freedom assess each case individually instead thus enabling them hand down fitting punishment according too circumstance surrounding it—something much fairer since no two cases are identical after all!
In conclusion ,the removal maximum and minimum sentencing requirements is paramount if we want address disparity present today within criminal justice system since they limit judge ability consider context behind crime while passing judgement – something critical ensuring equality before eyes law without regard class gender race etcetera Furthermore doing so would help ensure all defendants treated fairly judging process devoid implicit biases allow more appropriate tailored punishmetns fit person’s offense avoid over incarceration thus allowing public trust remain intact overall justice systems throughout country
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