Published: Thursday, March 27 2014 6:21 a.m. MDT
Wow, this is so refreshing! Deseret News is actually advocating something that
makes good sense.Of course we should do away with most of those
minimum sentencing requirements. They don't benefit anyone unless you
happen to work within the judicial-penal-industrial complex or hold stock in a
company that operates prisons.Even with the loss of those prisoners,
it's not likely the United States will lose its position of preeminence as
the nation with the highest incarceration rate in the world.States
should also take a close look at their criminal justice system, and perhaps
focus more on offering social programs that can help prevent crime.Many businesses, especially major corporations, freely borrow ideas from other
businesses and even other industries in their eternal quest for greater
efficiency and continual improvement. It's called implementing best
practices. Governments can and should do that to.Sure, the US may be
the greatest nation in the world, but we can improve. Why not look at our next
door neighbor Canada, and see what they're doing right. They have a much
lower incarceration rate and lower crime rates in every major category as well.
And reform the indeterminate sentencing in Utah, and incorporate dual-mode
sentencing. BOPP's sentencing is the very definition of arbitrary, without
any kinds of standards.
This article is right on spot. Justice must be just. There is no way justice can
be done by giving all power to a prosecutor.
While there are always exceptions to the general rule, most judges understand
the specifics of a case better than a handbook with specific sentences for
specific crimes. The system would be better served to allow Federal judges more
discretion in sentencing individuals. I believe that most judges would agree
that they should have more discretion. The punishment needs to fit the crime to
betterment the needs of society to see that justice is done.
I agree, except that there must be a review process. There have been too many
instances when judges have imposed sentences that are either way too lenient or
way too harsh. Both the prosecution and defense should be able to appeal a
sentence to a panel of judges. This would be different, and a much quicker and
less expensive process, than appealing the verdict. The only 3 people present
before the panel of judges would be the sentencing judge, the lead prosecutor
and the lead defense attorney. Each (including the sentencing judge) would have
X minutes to present their case for keeping, decreasing, or increasing the
sentence. The panel of judges would then have X minutes to ask questions, then X
minutes to confer, following which they'll deliver a binding, ultimate
I'm surprised where the DN is on this issue.
The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 which defined mandatory minimum sentences was
signed into law by which American President? A. Ronald ReaganB. Ronald ReaganC. Ronald ReaganD. All of the Above"This legislation is not intended as a means of filling our jails with
drug users." - October 27, 1986. No offense to the
Reagan-Republicans out there, but if his goal was not intended to fill jails
with drug users - he FAILED miserably.
CHS 85At least Reagan tried to do something about the drug crime in
America. I didn't notice any Democrat President like Clinton or any
Democrat controlled Congress doing much to change it after it didn't work.
They FAILED more miserably because if something is not working, it needs to be
changed. Kind of like Obamacare needs about a 90% overhaul. And, mandatory
sentances would never have been needed if judges didn't do things like give
very light sentences to child molesters and such. Liberal judges are why the
American people wanted legislatures to pass these laws in the first place.
Liberalism once again rears its damaging head. Live with it GaryO and others.
It's all your fault.
What is the reason/logic for reducing the sentences?Are the
penalties too high? If they are too high, you would think it would discourage
people from doing it. Are less people doing it?I would be for
reducing mandatory sentences for these drug crimes IF people were learning that
this is not acceptable (the reception of that message would be indicated by less
people doing it).I would not be for reducing the mandatory sentences
if the number of people doing it is increasing. That would indicate that
society is giving up and the drug users won. I don't think we should give
up. I think they should give up drugs.===If society has
decide we don't care if people do drugs... I can be convinced to go along
with that. I think people should be able to make and be responsible for their
own decisions (even bad ones). But if society is going to pick up the pieces
when someone does drugs... we have a stake in that problem and need to be able
to help change the bad behavior. They won't just do it on their own (ask
ANY drug user).
Hey SCfan - "At least Reagan tried to do something about the drug crime in
America."Yes, he sure did. His administration contributed to
drug crime in America by facilitating the shipment of tons of cocaine into inner
American cities at the beginning of the Crack Cocaine scourge.That's right. While Nancy Reagan was telling kids to "Just say
NO" to drugs, Ronnie's boys were busily dreaming up all kinds of ways
to fund the Contra guerrilla's (a vicious band of murdering rapists made up
mostly of Somosa's former soldiers) to fight the Sandanista's in
Nicaragua. Ingenious means of funding included arming our Iranian
enemies to the teeth and selling cocaine to Americans, thus addicting thousands
and causing the devolution of inner city America. And nobody really knows how
much of that dirty money was actually used in arming the Contras.Of
course, Reagan repeatedly claimed "I have no memory of that," and he
probably wasn't lying, since Alzheimer's was steadily eating at his
brain.But face it. The Reagan administration could well be the worst
thing that ever happened to America.It's no wonder that modern
"Conservatives" idolize Ronald Reagan.
GaryO Virginia Beach, VA,Wait a minute. You or Open Minded Mormon need to
get your message straight.OMM told us Ronald Reagan would be thrown
out by today's Conservatives, and that only he likes Reagan (Conservatives
do not like Reagan, only liberals like Reagan). Now you tell us "modern
Conservatives idolize Ronald Reagan". Well... which is it? Do
we idolize him? Or would we throw him out? Since you can judge us and know
what we would do... decide which it would be. It can't be both.I just want to know... can I like Reagan, or not? I'm confused...
I agree with this article. But I don't believe it is stock-holders in
prison's (are there such stocks?) that are driving arrests. That seems
fairly far-fetched and outlandish.Rather, it is more sinister. I
believe it is politicians who have found a winning formula when it comes to
campaigns and the criminal justice system: be tough on crime to win elections.
Judges should be free to sentence according to the facts and nature
of the offense before them. I dislike the idea of minimum sentencing
2 bits - “I'm confused...” Of course you are.OMM
has his own opinions. We’re not joined at the hip.You
don’t have to ask me whether to like Reagan. The Great Right Wing Hive
Mind will make that choice for you, . . . as usual.And the Great
Right Wing Hive Mind says Reagan was the savior of the planet and is the very
model of “Conservatism.”But OMM does have valid points.
If you look at the reasonable things Reagan accomplished (he did a few things
right although they are outliers and not indicative of the Reagan
administration), those actions may have made Reagan unelectable today.Reducing our nuclear arsenal for example. That’s just crazy. How can we
threaten to destroy Russia, South Korea, and Iran fifty time times over, if we
only have enough nukes to destroy them 10 times over?And Reagan
very quickly responded to the ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere by
eliminating the production of Chlorofluorocarbons. These days, Tea Partiers
would fight such silly, Liberal precautions to the bitter end, and no Republican
politician would dare argue for sanity.
I was the Church leader for a fine young man who went astray after his LDS
Mission and got involved in drug issues. He was sentenced to a mandatory 10
year sentence here in Utah. The prosecutor had no choice. Later she told me
that he should never have gone to prison. He should have had probation and
supervised therapy. She was sick this happened but had no choice. Luckily he has a good group of people that support him and try to keep him up
on the outside world. But this mandatory sentence did nothing to solve his
problem and forced a burden on the taxpayers of this state.It was a
sad experience for the bad choice he made. But he should have been able to
reform and repent without being placed in an environment that even the
prosecutor said he shouldn't be in!
Don't get to ahead of yourselves...did you forget why mandatory sentencing
became popular, our crime rate was out of control and Judges and District
attorney's were letting criminals off with a slap on the wrist, just to go
out and victimize someone again (that means it could be you or a member of your
family). Bringing some common sense in to certain mandatory sentencing and
certain crimes is one thing. Be careful what you wish for.
2 bits,The answer to your question is both. Today's far right
idolize Reagan, but would throw him out. Meaning, very simply that you make
Reagan into something he wasn't so that you feel good idolizing him. The
real Reagan was way to moderate, way to willing to compromise for the current
group of far right republicans that control the party.
It is easy after 30 years to forget why mandatory sentencing became necessary.
Judges were giving lenient sentences, with nothing more than a sob story and a
promise of rehabilitation. Perhaps mandatory sentencing needs to be looked at
again, but not ended. Judges today are likely to be just as lenient and giving a
slap on the wrist as they were 30 years ago.I spent 2 years in the
Utah State Prison, as a volunteer, and many of the inmates that I met were back
in 3 or more times for drug related offences. Often their crimes were committed
against the public in general, but more often they were selling. Rehabilitation
for drug offences more often than not is ineffective, because they are also
users. It is terrible the grip illegal drugs have on some people. I
think that this article is more about federal sentencing than Utah sentencing
guide lines. In addition there is no parole in federal prison, while there is
parole for most Utah crimes. Many on parole end up back in prison before their
parole is finished on new drug charges.
These draconian sentencing provisions were the result of the Republican majority
in the early Bush Administration. Now they are left with Iraq war and he great
recession as their legacy.
Ok this article is spot on, BUT I think the system needs to go another step
further. Right Now in America, if you are convicted of a felony and lets be
clear here, a felony can be something as simple as burning your trash, all the
way to Murder or Rape. If you are a Felon and you do get out of
Jail or were never in Jail, YOU are still being punished for the rest of your
life. HOW may you ask. Well 1 way is that you can't get a decent job
that pays above min. wage and most of the time you can not even get that min.
wage job. NO Matter how minor the crime or the fact that you have not committed
a crime before or since or even the fact that you had no idea you were
committing a crime to begin with, You are forever PUNISHED. How is this right?
I feel that if a person has not committed but the 1 crime, that after they have
completed the jail or probation period that the crime should be sealed and all
rights restored to the individual.
I understand that if it child abuse, or Murder or Rape that these things deserve
the individual to be watched a lot closer, but if they can not get a job, how
are they going to do better? The system seems to want them to commit crimes
over and over just to live. I understand that you can get expunged, but the
expungement cost money and if they can not get a job, how can they get expunged.
there should be a way to do this.
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