Mandatory Sentencing

Mandatory Sentencing

A mandatory sentence is a court decision setting where judicial discretion is limited by law. Typically, people convicted of certain crimes must be punished with at least a minimum number of years in prison. Mandatory sentencing laws vary from country to country; it is mainly an area of interest only in Common Law jurisdictions, since Civil Law jurisdictions usually prescribe minimum and maximum sentences for every type of crime in explicit laws.

United States federal juries are generally not allowed to be informed of the mandatory minimum penalties that may apply if the defendant is convicted, because the jury's role is limited to a determination of guilt or innocence. However, sometimes defense attorneys have found ways to impart this information to juries; for instance, it is sometimes possible, on cross-examination of an informant who faced similar charges, to ask how much time he was facing. This is sometimes deemed permissible because it is a means of impeaching the witness. However, in at least one state court case in Idaho, it was deemed impermissible.

Read more about Mandatory Sentencing:  Mandatory Death Sentence, Other, Other Mandatory Minimums, Three Strikes Law, Race and Mandatory Sentencing, Arguments For and Against Mandatory Sentencing, People Sentenced To Mandatory Sentences

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... has greatly influenced support for mandatory sentencing laws but there have been findings that they support proportional sentencing more than they do utilitarian goals ... have felt that the move towards mandatory sentencing would garner votes when that does not necessarily represent the true opinions of the divided public ... survey could name an offense that is carried in mandatory sentencing ...
Criminal Sentencing In The United States
... In the United States, sentencing law varies by jurisdiction ... growth of federal criminal law, the vast majority of criminal sentencing takes place in state and local courts ... rare), juries have little involvement in sentencing, which is typically left to the discretion of the presiding judge ...

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