Comments about ‘In our opinion: Mandatory sentencing: Let judges use judgement’

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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radically_independent
Orem, Utah

To lock non-violent people up in an extremely violent facility seems to only breed the problems we seek to avoid. Judges need to be able to pass judgement that best fits the particular situation, to end the cycle of what ever crime, rather then blindly put people into an environment where seldom is there a positive outcome.

Let Judges use Judgement seems very appropriate. A one size fits all criminal justice systems serves no one well.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What would work? What sentence is "just" when a drug dealer has sold drugs that destroy lives? How can that drug dealer repay his victims? How can he repay his debt to society? Keeping him locked up like an animal won't help him or society.

Why not give open-ended sentences to those convicted of dealing drugs. Why not give them a three to five year sentence on condition that they have counciling that changes their behavior. If the councilors find that the convict has not been "rehabilitated", then change the sentence to life. When those drug dealers are released, they should be put on life-time probation, meaning that if they ever sell drugs again, they go back to prison for life.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Locally...
Weldon Angelos, the son of a Greek immigrant, was accused of selling marijuana to a police informant on several occasions worth a total of $350; the witness stated that Angelos had a firearm strapped to his body, but no photographs or evidence existed other than his testimony, and Angelos never used or brandished his gun.

The judge in the case, Paul Cassell (of the U.S. Court for the District of Utah) sentenced Angelos to 55 years, but said he had no choice but to do so and urged President Bush to commute the sentence, calling it "unjust, cruel, and irrational", noting the sentence is much more than the minimum for hijacking, kidnapping, or rape.

Let the Judge decide!

VST
Bountiful, UT

We need to remember that the origin of mandatory sentences for federal drug felonies originated because Congress felt that the Judges were being too lenient in administering sentences. If we (the citizens) along with Congress feel that the law is overly stringent, then the law should be repealed or modified by Congress – not just ignored.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

That pendulum is always a swingin' and never resting quite in the middle where it would be best. Mandatory sentences to me are sort like those dumb zero tolerance policies schools have. They were an (over)reaction to some problems that arose, in this case judges that were too lenient or some offender of one crime getting a light sentence and committing a horrific crime or a person that never seems to "learn" his lesson. But in the end I'd rather trust judges than congress in regards to these type of things...

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

If you support mandatory jail you support doubling taxes to pay off the mess.

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