*Fairness in Sentencing (Questioning Policy)
Central to the philosophy of determinate sentencing is the declaration that sentencing should be fair. The idea is that legislative mandates will eliminate the impact of the socioeconomic difference among offenders by ensuring that punishment is proportionate to the offense and that is still allows the court to consider the criminal history of offenders. The first part of this equation- that punishment be based on the seriousness of the crime- does address concern for public safety and is consistent with public-support ideas that serious crimes can be avoided in the future with harsher sentences. However, the secondary mandate-requiring a judge to add on time for individual’s second or third conviction—is often viewed as unjust.
An offender named Andrade was found guilty and had two prior convictions for petty theft of approximately $150.00, the three-strikes laws resulted in Andrade receiving a prison term of 25 years to life. Some sentences can result in life imprisonment for individuals who commit theft or other low-level offenses. Additionally, from a pragmatic point of view, the more offenders who enter the prison system, the more economic resources are needed to support increased prison populations.
Discuss your views on the requirement to provide consistency in sentencing versus financial concerns that stem from prison crowding during less prosperous times.