Mandatory minimum sentencing is a common term used in the criminal justice system today. One thing you need to know about it is how unfair it is in correlation with drug usage. Many of our government officials have experimented with drugs in the past, including presidents! Drug experimentation is not uncommon in teens and young adults, but yet some young live have been ruined because of it. Mandatory minimum sentencing is a set amount of time an individual must spend behind bars because of their use with certain drugs. While this sounds logical, it has been taken out of hand. Some examples of this today are; driving someone to a drug deal can result in life in prison, get caught with cocaine three times can result in life in prison, and dealing marijuana with a gun can result in a life sentence. While all three of these types of crimes are bad, I don’t believe the punishment fits the crime.
The sentences from mandatory minimum sentencing are too long compared to other crimes. One example on how unfair this type of sentencing is, is Weldon Angelos (pictured below) famous case. This man Weldon Angelos was selling marijuana. He ended up selling the drug to an informant whom told the police he had a gun on him during the drug deal. This resulted in Angelos being convicted and having to serve over 50 years. Breaking this down in comparison to other crimes he received twice as much time as second-degree murderers, plane hijackers, and bomber. He was only 25 years old at the time. This is mind boggling to think that dealing marijuana with a gun on your person can receive more prison time then individuals whom murder people.
The system need to get rid of minimum sentencing in order to balance out the system. Mandatory minimum sentencing is ruining the lives of nonviolent offenders and it isn’t okay. By decreasing these drastic charges, we can help fix the justice system. As well as the lives of many.
Please comment your opinions on Weldon Angelos case!