criminal sentencing

If I Ruled the World – Parity with Criminal Sentencing – Part II: Federal Regulation

Part one of this handled parity in sentencing from a state standpoint.  We will assume that we are now after the initial 3-year directive and all states have complied mainly because they don’t want to lose federal funding.  However, I believe this initiative can be refined further.  The federal government would review the new state sentencing guidelines and have 2 years to come up with a universal maximum for each criminal offense that each state must not exceed.  Once this is established the states would have 2 years to update sentencing as needed to stay within the parameters.  Again, any state that doesn’t abide by this will lose some federal funding.  Additionally, states that are repeat offenders would have their percentage penalty doubled with the occurrences tally not resetting for 10 years.  So, for example, if in 2027 a state didn’t comply and fell sure 3%, in 2028 complied, and in 2029 fell short 3% again they would be penalized a total of 6% (3% x 2) in federal funding.  This is to deter states from thinking they can avoid the double luxury penalty by complying every other year.

If I Ruled the World – Parity with Criminal Sentencing – Part I: State Regulation

There’s a lot of talk about how the legalization of marijuana has changed the world.  Something that was once viewed as negative has now become legal in a lot of areas.  People have even built businesses and livelihoods off something that others are in prison for.  I’ve never used marijuana in my life or any drug for that matter, but I don’t think that its right for Alvin to be serving prison time for a quantity of marijuana that Michael is selling everyday legally in his cannabis shop.  It doesn’t make sense nor is it fair.  Additionally, this article isn’t just about marijuana sentencing let’s look at sentencing for everything across the board.  Whether someone is in jail for drugs, theft, murder, white collar crimes, and anything else you can think of, perpetrators of all ethnicities and ages should have a sentence within 10% of each other.  I know that something like that probably can’t be done overnight.  So, I would give each state 3 years to have parity in the sentencing within their state regardless of city, county, race, age, and gender.  States that don’t have 100% adherence to this will lose federal funding for every percent they are below 100.  Additionally, the state must have 100% of previous cases updated with new sentencing standard within that same 3 years.  The standards for these cases would be based on either the most lenient sentencing or an average of the most lenient versus most extreme sentencing depending on the offense.  For example, maybe theft would be based on lenient judgements while murder would be middle point average.  Once a baseline is decided by state government its locked in for at least 5 years.  Lastly, anyone that would now no longer be in violation of something that is now legal would be released from prison immediately within that time frame.  So, in summary if I ruled the world, I would create parity in criminal sentencing regardless of city, county, race, age, and gender.  I would allow each state to take on the initiative within their state.  They would have 3 years to have all sentencing within 10% of each other for any punishment they give out.  Any people that should be free based on a crime they committed that is now legal would be released within that 3-years.  Any state that doesn’t comply would lose funding.  They really isn’t any excuse on why sentencing is different between people of various races, ages, genders, or cities.  We’re all human beings and we need to start treating everyone as such.