Mandatory Minimum Sentences

I’m moving my response here because I don’t wish to derail the original topic. (Thanks, @Mindysan33
for pointing it out.) The point I had made was that mandatory minimum sentences decrease justice at the level of the prosecutor rather than at the level of the judge. A prosecutor with a bias towards the rich young white kid will not even try a case against him if he knows that there is a mandatory minimum sentence because he doesn’t want to send the kid to jail for that long. A prosecutor with a bias against a poor black kid will try a marginal case against him even if the nature of the crime doesn’t really seem to fit the sentence that is mandated. The chain is complex but I haven’t yet seen a case where more penal punishment mandated has ever helped minorities.

This sounds like a job for Critical Legal Theory!

The Brennan Center has lined up against it.

Of course, this could always be a nefarious libertarian plot to pull at our heartstrings.


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