Originally Posted by MasterOfPuppets
are you kidding me ? why should one person go to prison for years, and another person get 30 days for committing the same crime ,just because they drew a different judge ?
That's not what I was talking about at all. I'm talking about giving the judge some ability to make a distinction between all the various possibilities that can get categorized as a crime under the same law.
Like this one, for example. Say on the one hand, you have a guy who just moved to New York and has an unloaded gun among his stuff, not knowing there's a law against it. While he's unpacking his van, someone comes up and tries to rob him, but he pulls out the gun and scares the thief away. On the other hand, you have a street thug who sells crack, carries a gun out in the open, and menaces people with it on a daily basis because he's looking for trouble. Should they get the same sentence? According to the law, they're both guilty of the same thing. But I don't think you need me to tell you it's really two different crimes and two different sets of circumstances.
I really don't think you can boil it down to by-the-book justice. From every crime from drunk driving to murder, there are going to be things like intent, circumstances and levels of severity that tell you how bad the crime really
is. Those are things that really ought to be considered in any criminal case, but mandatory minimums take that away and make those decisions in advance at the political level, based on assumptions that all cases are the same.
really what you're arguing in support of?