In our lesson this week we learned about sentencing. Although judges do have a certain amount of discretion when it comes to sentencing, it appears to be fair and just. There are two primary aims for sentencing. First, the sentence needs to fit the crime. Second, the sentence needs to fit the offender. A judge must weigh the gravity of the crime committed, the circumstances in which it was committed under, and the offender’s criminal record. Additionally, a judge has sentencing guidelines by which they must abide by. Typically there is a low term, mid-term, and upper term range guidance given for a crime as well as mandatory minimums. A judge can deviate from the sentencing ranges; however, the judge must provide a written reason. If a judge deviates, the prosecutor can appeal deviations for lower than normal sentences while defense can appeal deviations for higher than normal/recommended deviations. I largely believe a sentence should fit the crime committed; however, I feel many of the mandatory minimum sentences need to be reconsidered. Using the example we were given in our lesson, a first offence for manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with the intent to distribute a kilo or more of heroin is ten years. A second offense is 20 years. While I understand the reasoning for it, that has dramatically contributed to the overpopulation of our jail and prison systems.
respond to this discussion question in 100 words