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Encyclopedia > Mandatory sentencing
Criminal procedure
Criminal trials and convictions
Rights of the accused
Fair trial  · Speedy trial  · Jury trial
Counsel  · Presumption of innocence
Exclusionary rule (U.S.)
Self-incrimination  · Double jeopardy (Not E&W)
Acquittal  · Conviction
Not proven (Scot.)  · Directed verdict
Mandatory  · Suspended  · Custodial
Dangerous offender (Can., E&W)
Capital punishment  · Execution warrant
Cruel and unusual punishment
Post-conviction events
Parole  · Probation
Tariff (UK)  · Life licence (UK)
Miscarriage of justice
Exoneration  · Pardon
Related areas of law
Criminal defenses
Criminal law  · Evidence
Civil procedure
Portals: Law  · Criminal justice

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. Image File history File links Scale_of_justice_2. ... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... Headline text The rights of the accused is a class of rights in that apply to a person in the time period between when they are formally accused of a crime and when they are either convicted or acquitted. ... The Right to a fair trial is an essential right in all countries respecting the rule of law. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Jury. ... The Right to a fair trial is an essential right in all countries respecting the rule of law. ... Presumption of innocence is a legal right that the accused in criminal trials has in many modern nations. ... In United States constitutional law, the exclusionary rule is a legal principle holding that evidence collected or analyzed in violation of the U.S. Constitution is inadmissible for a criminal prosecution in a court of law (that is, it cannot be used in a criminal trial). ... Self-incrimination is the act of accusing oneself of a crime for which a person can then be prosecuted. ... For other uses, see Double jeopardy (disambiguation). ... Schematic of court system for England and Wales The Courts of England and Wales are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales; they are constituted and governed by the Law of England and Wales and are subordinate to the Parliament of the... In law, a verdict indicates the judgment of a case before a court of law. ... In criminal law, an acquittal is the legal result of a verdict of not guilty, or some similar end of the proceeding that terminates it with prejudice without a verdict of guilty being entered against the accused. ... In law, a conviction is the verdict which results when a court of law finds a defendant guilty of committing a crime. ... Not proven is a verdict available to a court in Scotland. ... The Courts of Scotland are the civil, criminal and heraldic courts responsible for the administration of justice in Scotland. ... In U.S. law, a directed verdict is an order from the judge presiding over a jury trial that one side or the other wins. ... In law, a sentence forms the final act of a judge-ruled process, and also the symbolic principal act connected to his function. ... A suspended sentence is a legal construct. ... A custodial sentence is a judicial sentence, imposing a punishment (and hence the resulting punishment itself) consisting of mandatory custody of the convict, either in prison (incarceration) or in some other closed therapeutic and/or (re)educational institution, such as a reformatory, (maximum security) psychiatry or drug detoxication (especially cold... In the Canadian legal system, the dangerous offender designation allows the courts to impose an indefinite sentence on a convicted person, regardless of whether the crime carries a life sentence or not. ... The Canadian court system is made up of many courts differing in levels of legal superiority and separated by jurisdiction. ... Schematic of court system for England and Wales The Courts of England and Wales are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales; they are constituted and governed by the Law of England and Wales and are subordinate to the Parliament of the... Death penalty, death sentence, and execution redirect here. ... An execution warrant is a warrant which authorizes the execution or capital punishment of an individual. ... Cruel And Unusual redirects here. ... It has been suggested that Medical parole be merged into this article or section. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Under British criminal law, a tariff is the minimum period that a person serving an indefinite prison sentence must serve before that person becomes eligible for parole. ... Life licence is a term used in the British criminal justice system for the conditions under which a prisoner sentenced to life in jail may be released. ... A miscarriage of justice is primarily the conviction and punishment of a person for a crime that he or she did not commit. ... Exoneration occurs when a perason waho hars beoen convaicted osf ah crieme irs laeter proved to have been innocent of that crime. ... For the Breton religious festivals, see Pardon (ceremony). ... The term criminal law, sometimes called penal law, refers to any of various bodies of rules in different jurisdictions whose common characteristic is the potential for unique and often severe impositions as punishment for failure to comply. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the process that courts will follow when hearing cases of a civil nature (a civil action, as opposed to a criminal action). ... In many actions at law or cases in equity the judge is not required by statute or precedent to make a predetermined decision; but is able to make a decision within a range of decisions. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... for other uses please see Crime (disambiguation) A crime is an act that violates a political or moral law. ...



In 1973, New York State introduced mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years to life imprisonment for possession of more than four ounces (103g) of a hard drug.[citation needed] Similar laws were introduced across the United States[citation needed], and at the Federal level, the United States federal courts are guided by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.[1] See War on Drugs for more information about U.S. drug laws. State nickname: Empire State Other U.S. States Capital Albany Largest city New York Governor George Pataki Official languages None Area 141,205 km² (27th)  - Land 122,409 km²  - Water 18,795 km² (13. ... Hard and soft drugs are loose categories of psychoactive drugs. ... The United States federal courts are the system of courts organized under the Constitution and laws of the federal government of the United States. ... The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are rules that set out a uniform sentencing policy for convicted defendants in the United States federal court system. ... For the Barenaked Ladies song War on Drugs, see Everything to Everyone. ...

Both Singapore and Malaysia have mandatory death penalty for certain offences, most notably the possession of a certain amount of illegal drugs.[citation needed] (See Capital punishment in Singapore). In the past Taiwan also had a large number of offences that carried a mandatory death penalty, although most of these laws have been relaxed somewhat in recent years.[citation needed] Capital punishment is a legal form of punishment in Singapore. ...

Three strikes law

Main article: Three strikes law

In 1994, [California] introduced a "three strikes law", which was the first mandatory sentencing law to gain widespread publicity. Similar laws were subsequently adopted in most United States jurisdictions. The law requires imprisonment for a minimum term of 25 years after a defendant is convicted of a third serious felony. Three strikes laws are statutes enacted by state governments in the United States which require the state courts to hand down a mandatory and extended period of incarceration to persons who have been convicted of a serious criminal offense on three or more separate occasions. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

A similar 'three strikes' policy was introduced to the United Kingdom by the Labour government in 1997.[1] This legislation enacted a mandatory life sentence on a conviction for a second "serious" violent or sexual offence (i.e. a 'two strikes' law), a minimum sentence of seven years for those convicted for a third time of a drug trafficking offence involving a class A drug, and a mandatory minimum sentence of three years for those convicted for the third time of burglary. An amendment by the Labour opposition established that mandatory sentences should not be imposed if the judge considered it unjust. The Labour Party is a political party in the United Kingdom. ... Retail selling Street selling is the bottom of the chain and can be accomplished through purchasing from prostitutes, through cloaked retail stores or refuse houses for users in the act located in red-light districts which often also deal in paraphernalia, dealers marketing merriment at night clubs and other events... Class A is the highest classification of illegal drugs in the United Kingdom. ... The Labour Party is a political party in the United Kingdom. ...

According to figures released by the British government in 2005, just three drug dealers and eight burglars received mandatory sentences in the next seven years, because judges thought a longer sentence was unjust in all other drug and burglary cases where the defendant was found guilty. However in 2003 a new 'two strikes' law was enacted (effective April 4, 2005), requiring courts to presume that a criminal who commits his second violent or dangerous offence deserves a life sentence unless the judge is satisfied that the defendant is not a danger to the public.[2] This resulted in far more life sentences than the 1997 legislation. In reponse to prison overcrowding, the law was changed in 2008 to reduce the number of such sentences being passed, by restoring judicial discretion and abolishing the presumption that a repeat offender is dangerous. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 (2003, c. ... is the 94th day of the year (95th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Australia’s Northern Territory in March 1997 introduced mandatory sentences of one month to one year for the third offence regarding property and theft. They were later adopted by Western Australia. For similar terms, see Northern Territories (disambiguation) Slogan or Nickname: The Territory, The NT, The Top End Motto(s): none Other Australian states and territories Capital Darwin Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator Ted Egan Chief Minister Clare Martin (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2004... Slogan or Nickname: Wildflower State or the Golden State Other Australian states and territories Capital Perth Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Ken Michael Premier Alan Carpenter (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 15  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2005-06)  - Product ($m)  $107,910 (4th)  - Product per capita  $53,134/person...

Arguments for and against mandatory sentencing

Adherents of mandatory sentencing believe that it reduces crime and ensures uniformity in sentencing. Potential criminals and repeat offenders are expected to avoid crime because they can be certain of their sentence if they are caught.

Opponents of mandatory sentencing argue that judges lose control over sentencing and cannot apply discretion given the particular facts of a case (i.e. whether a drug defendant was a kingpin or low-level participant). In addition to fairness arguments, they believe that treatment is more cost-effective than long sentences. They also cite a survey indicating that the public now prefers judicial discretion to mandatory minimums. [3]

Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and some other countries employ a system of mandatory restorative justice, in which the criminal must apologize to the victim or provide some form of reparation instead of being imprisoned for minor crimes. In serious crimes, some other form of punishment is still used. Restorative justice is commonly known as a theory of criminal justice that focuses on crime as an act against another individual or community rather than the state. ... In the philosophy of justice, reparation is the idea that a just sentence ought to compensate the victim of a crime appropriately. ...

People sentenced to mandatory sentences

  • Morton Berger - (200 years for twenty counts of sexual exploitation of a minor)
  • Genarlow Wilson - (ten years for aggravated child molestation; released in 2007 after serving one year)
  • Chantal McCorkle - (24 years for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud; sentence subsequently reduced to 18 years)
  • Richard Paey - (25 years for 15 counts of drug trafficking and other charges including fraud; released in 2007 after serving three and one-half years)

Wilson v. ... Chantal Watts McCorkle (born 1968, Slough, England) is a British citizen. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


  1. ^ Text of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 and Text of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997 from The Stationery Office
  2. ^ Text of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and Text of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 from The Stationery Office
  3. ^ Arguments advanced by Families Against Mandatory Minimums

The Stationery Office is a private publishing company that was created in 1995 when the publishing arm of Her Majestys Stationery Office was privatised. ... The Stationery Office is a private publishing company that was created in 1995 when the publishing arm of Her Majestys Stationery Office was privatised. ...


External links

  Results from FactBites:
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidlines (602 words)
During this time, however, sentencing was mainly at the discretion of individual judges who could consider facts regarding the circumstances of an offense and a defendant's past record in their final rulings.
Attempting to halt the growing drug trade and address concerns that judicial sentences were biased by rendering disproportionately longer prison terms to fls and minority groups, mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines were enacted by several states in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Mandatory sentencing is an effective deterrent to the use and distribution of drugs and protects against possible disparities in sentencing.
  More results at FactBites »



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