Talk:Mandatory sentencing

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Request for Improvements[edit]

This article has not been touched (with the exception of the sentence I added) for several years. It is an important subject and could be a very interesting article but needs serious improvements, including the correction and reorganization mentioned below. Anyone with legal knowledge interested? Trouver (talk) 01:17, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

--- Though a reasons for mandatory sentencing is given (moral vices), the article mainly focuses on the negative impacts of the policies. It would be beneficial to explain the rationale that led policymakers to institute these reforms, to give more background about why they exist to begin with. This would inform the reader about the historical/societal beliefs around drug and violent crime, and why it may be expedient in some cases to give more discretion to prosecutors and judges in speeding up the sentencing process. Emeeker (talk) 03:53, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

--- This article cites California's "Three Strikes Law" and Booker v United States without much explanation. -Since having a strikes policy history in the United States has been an integral component in the manifestation of mass incarceration, it would be helpful to explain the backgrounds for these laws (why they exist) and exactly how sentencing works under these laws. As cited in the "merger" section, the "Three Strikes Law" is not mandatory in that judges still have the discretion to give an offender a life sentence or a lesser sentence for a given felony or misdemeanor charge. -The author wrote that there is a report of the impacts of Booker v United States on federal sentencing, but does not elaborate. It would be interesting to include what the report says, and how the data is relevant to this article. This would be further evidence of how these sentencing practices help/hurt American communities, and give a direction for how future research can be conducted to improve corrections policy in the future. The citations included are quite relevant, but likely also can be mined further for more information on the topic. Emeeker (talk) 04:03, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

Order[edit]

This page seems a bit chaotic. Each paragraph seems to talk about some aspect of mandatory sentencing from some particular place and time, but they're not organized in any way, so it's very fragmented. I'm thinking of organizing sections by location (US, UK, Australia), or chronologically. I thought I'd post here first, and see if anyone has got any opinions about how this article should be arranged. If there's no feedback in a couple of days, I'll just go ahead and do something. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:57, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I think you should be bold and go ahead. -- ALoan (Talk) 23:17, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I added headers and tidied up the footnotes/references a bit. That's at least an improvement; I'll have another look later. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:39, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The author says "A similar 'three strikes' policy was introduced to the United Kingdom by the Conservative government in 1997". I can find no reference to support that claim. A citation must be added.

--- The arrangement of the topics in this article don't seem to follow any particular order. The article seems to be written about US penal codes, and then switches to international laws, and then back again. When the country is not mentioned, as in "Race and Mandatory Sentencing," it can be assumed that the author is talking about the US. Since multiple countries are mentioned, it's important that the country of origin is explicitly stated rather than assumed. It would be a good idea to restructure this article so that policies specific to a given country were grouped together. This would avoid having to reference the country multiple times throughout the page, and make it easier to read. Emeeker (talk) 16:58, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

Discussion moved here from Talk:Three strikes law.

I think merging with mandatory sentencing would be a mistake. In California, for example, a judge has the power to not sentence under this scheme. Thus, it is not a mandatory sentence. Veniceslug1 03:51, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree; that's a good example. Plus, I think it is a distinctive enough category of punishment that it should have its own article (e.g. capital punishment). Juansmith 07:43, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

I am opposed to the merger. I searched wikipedia for this law and would not have found it if it were merged. There is so much talk about this piece of mandatory sentencing that I think it deserves it own article. Ahimsa52 01:53, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Ok guy, point taken so no merger. I will look at whether both articles could make it more clear that "three strikes laws" are an informal name for a subset of mandatory sentencing laws. 203.198.237.30 03:53, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I support a merger, or a partial merger. There's a lot of redundant information between the two. (The articles could also use some copyediting.) To User:Ahimsa52, what search terms were you using trying to find these articles? We might want to add them as redirects to make others' searching easier in the future. Ewlyahoocom 18:49, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I am opposed to the merger, I would not have found this article had it been seperate. "Three Strikes" is also known unto itself. 11 March 2006

Oppose - "Three strikes laws" are not necessarily manditory - or so I am led to understand by Mr Justice Rehnquist's majority opinion in Rummel v. Estelle. The exact quote was, "The prosecution chose, however, to proceed against Rummel under Texas'[s] recidivist statute." This would seem to imply that not all recidivist statutes aka "Three strikes laws" are mandatory, and thus the articles shouldn't be merged. --Tim4christ17 14:26, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Opposed. There is some overlap, but both subjects are broad enough to warrant seperate articles. 213.112.22.70 01:48, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Much Improvement Needed[edit]

This article is very unimpressive. Essentially no sources are cited and the content seems incomplete. I feel the whole thing should be rewritten by someone familiar with the subject. And appropriate citations are a must. 12 December 2006 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Counterfact (talkcontribs) 14:06, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


I think that mandatory sentencing in United Sates and Australia should be two different articles, so that they are specified and further developed. Links to Obama's Fair sentencing Act that counteracts the racial disparity associated with mandatory sentencing. Jemedina305 (talk) 19:39, 7 May 2014 (UTC)


Mandatory minimum sentencing in the United States itself can be split into multiple articles talking about the pressure given by privately owned prisons and also the variance in mandatory sentences between states. Antiowner (talk) 18:45, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Mandatory Death-Penalty Since Gregg v. Georgia[edit]

There's a mistake in this article. The ruling that declared mandatory death-sentences as unconstitutional was Gregg v. Georgia AVKent882 (talk) 01:58, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Billy Ochoa[edit]

I can't see how the article (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20010409/editors2) that is linked to "Billy Ochoa – 326 years to life for 13 counts of welfare fraud totalling $2,100" relates to that case. 62.152.162.217 (talk) 03:53, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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POV[edit]

The introduction does not include any reference to criticism of mandatory sentencing laws, but only rational and "philosophy" behind the idea. It also uses WP:weasle words "as it is assumed", "who are expected to avoid crime", "they are instituted to expedite", "it is viewed as a public service" etc. The intro also states unsourced POV claims as fact; "In Australia and the UK, sentencing has been heavily influenced by judicial idiosyncrasies", and "they [mandatory minimums] are instituted to expedite the sentencing process and limit the possibility of irregularity of outcomes due to judicial discretion."

It also makes a tangental reference to life imprisonment -- "some crimes are viewed as serious enough to require an indefinite removal from society by a life sentence" -- that does not immediately appear to be relevant to the article.

Mandatory minimum sentencing is controversial and polls show that in the US, a majority favor moving away from using them.[1] BananaCarrot152 (talk) 07:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

@BananaCarrot152: There is already a section in this article that describes criticism of mandatory sentencing. Are there any other significant viewpoints that are missing in this article? Jarble (talk) 04:04, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

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Proposed change ("Arguments for and against")[edit]

I propose that we create two sections out of "Arguments for and against". One called "Impact" which is solely concerned with research on the effects of mandatory sentencing. A second section called "the politics of mandatory sentencing" which is about the back-and-forths between proponents and opponents. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 12:36, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

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