Monday, May 11, 2009

No to mandatory minimums

I prosecute drug traffickers and I endorse this screed:


Nick said...

This whole issue is always mystifying to me. So flagrantly political. Surely the public at large does not believe that, without aggressive minimum sentences, judges routinely dole out 1-week sentences to drug kingpins. (Or is it just a kind of mental illusion, where people mistakenly parse being against *minimum* sentences of x as being against *any* sentences of x?) What are judges there for, if not to ensure that legal rules and guidelines are applied appropriately in the circumstances of particular cases? If we'd rather have a perfectly rigid legal system devoid of liberal flip-floppery, we should really stop paying the massive salaries of judges and replace them with robot judges. Robot judges would be more entertaining than real judges. There would probably be some environmental objections because they drink oil, but maybe we can develop some that lubricate their joints using hydrogen instead.

Ryan Marr said...

The current incarceration rate of 737 per 100,000 residents places the United States first in the world in this regard. We currently sit at 107 per 100, 000. But with a bill like this we may be able to close the gap.

In the words of Jack ripper, "We can not allow for an incarceration gap!"

or maybe he said mine shaft gap...

There was actually a good article in the vancouver sun of all places on this topic.

Ken said...

I like the crack about Michigan paying more for prisons than higher education. It has the ring of truth.

I can't really bring myself to throw any conservative talking points out to defend this, as much as I so would like to do so.
Though, it should be noted that this eliminates some judicial discretion, not prosecutorial discretion. Even with mandatory minimums, the Crown doesn't have to go after teenagers passing joints.
Still, wrong to eliminate all judicial discretion.