"Research over many years has shown that mandatory penalties are limited because they address severity of punishment, not certainty," says Jeremy Haile of The Sentencing Project. "Because most people engaged in criminal activity do not expect to get caught, few think about the penalties they will face if convicted."
"The decent thing to do would be to repeal all existing mandatory penalties and to enact no new ones," Tonry concludes. One reason for this is that, though they are intended to bring consistency and transparency to the justice system, mandatory minimums instead create disparity and confusion. Prosecutors use the threat of draconian sentences to compel guilty pleas to lesser charges behind closed doors and nail those who want their day in court as harshly as possible.
May 2, 2013
"The Worst Gun Control Idea Has Bipartisan Support: Why states should not pass new mandatory minimums for firearm possession."
An article in TNR by Daniel Denvir. Excerpt: