Mandatory minimum sentencing laws require harsh, automatic prison terms for those convicted of certain federal and state crimes. These inflexible, "one-size-fits-all" sentencing laws are popular with Congress and state lawmakers because they seem like a quick fix solution for crime.
But mandatory minimums undermine justice by preventing judges from fitting the punishment to the individual and the seriousness of their offense. Because of mandatory sentencing laws, the population of federal and state prisons has soared, resulting in exorbitant costs to taxpayers and excessively long prison sentences for too many people in the United States.
We the undersigned call on our Congress and State lawmakers to give judges discretion to fit the punishment to the individual. Judges – not legislators, prosecutors, or defense attorneys – should determine appropriate sentences based on the facts of each case they consider.
By eliminating Mandatory Minimum Sentencing we will give courts more sentencing options, save taxpayers money and strengthen families and communities through alternative programs to avoid incarceration.
The Stop Mandatory Minimum Sentencing petition to Elected Officials in Georgia was written by Kate Boccia and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.