As a realistic matter, it is smart to sustain a bill that addresses a real concern, creates proper use of resources and effectively addresses the problem for which it was intended. It is known that victims of armed robberies want to see the offenders punished. It is noticeable that the public’s desire is to be safe and protected from being a victim of armed robbery. While on the other hand, the legislature must show caution in legislating across the board sentencing and defend discretion for the judicial system to consider the specific aspects that creates each case. “Yet advocates of deserved punishment argue that it is not automatically evident how intermediate sanctions compare with either prison or probation in terms of severity, nor is it clears how they compare with one another” (Clear, et. al., 2008). For example placing one offender on intensive probation while ordering another to pay a heavy fine may violate the equal punishment rationale of just deserts.
Any recommendation should examine the proposed bill and the Criminal Justice System. Fairness is subjective; in spite of this every society will form a series of regulations through which to defend the individuals and society from damage. If an individual violates one of the regulations dictated by culture, there is usually a consensus of what constitutes a suitable punishment. In the United States, we depend on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in addition to every state’s adoption of the Model Penal Code. Section 1.02(1) of the Model Penal Code instructions the allocation of punishment as “to safeguard conduct that is without liability from condemnation as criminal” (culpability), “to provide fair caution of the nature of the conduct confirmed to represent an offense” (legality) and “to differentiate on logical basis between serious and minor offenses” (proportionality) (“Model Penal Code”, n.d.). Here we are referring to armed robbery. Considered a felony, armed robbery tends to take a large penalty in the majority states. Among the fundamentals measured in determining if a crime has been committed, one must address the diverse levels of culpability and/ or extenuating factors.
Armed robbery can be a violent well designed crime otherwise a clumsy half-witted attempt. Eventually a result of guilt must be made, by a predominance of the proof, with competent lawful protection representation offered to the accused. Only after all these necessities are met can a judge proceed with sentencing. These judges must have discretion in considering the above three aspects and weight them accordingly in order to distribute a sentence that is fair and balanced. While the community may desire a representative to be challenging on crime, the community tends to be sympathetic to media stories of criminals who act out of distraction or need. There has been strong resistance to suggestions that delay individual considerations.
Beyond the instant punitive effect, punishment can serve the need of removing dangerous people from the society, serve as deterrence to those inclined to commit a crime and potentially reform criminals into law abiding citizens. These societies have also recognized that in order for any corrective act to have its preferred effect it has to fit the crime. Take for instance the cutting off of a hand for someone caught stealing. Most western societies would regard this punishment as too severe and those societies that adopted this practice have come under scrutiny for these practices. Armed robbery has no doubt been addressed within these judicial systems. Sentencing guidelines should always represent fairness in reliability and proportionality. Also consideration needs to be taken into account as to why new policy efforts are being made for this particular crime. Is there a belief that the accessible laws have displayed omissions or errors that must be addressed?
Has there been a failure of the justice system in punishment of armed robberies? Are convicted armed robbers being released from prison too early? Do they cultivate to be repeat offenders? Do these crimes tend to rise into murder or other violent felonies? Are there precise instances where the existing laws have failed to serve justice? To decide the practicability of the bill, the discussion of correctional assets would be applicable. The result of this bill regarding maximum sentencing (as opposed to mandatory minimum sentencing) doubles the correction time for the person who is convicted in the armed robbery. In each specific case, to evaluate suitable sentence and to weigh the severity of the crime, the bill’s full force is to provide more choices to judges and the sentencing board. This bill may not help enforcing the provisions but may supply more choices for the severe cases which deserve more severe punishment.
Clear, T.; Reisig, M.; Cole, G. (2008), American Corrections. Retrieved from Google Books.
Model Penal Code. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www1.law.umkc.edu/suni/crimlaw/mpc_provisions/mpc1021.htm