Post Date: January 2, 2014
(The Blaze) Just when we were, as a nation, beginning to realize that putting people in prison for non-violent offenses, an Illinois state representative wants to revive Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed legislation imposing mandatory minimum prison sentences for illegal firearm ownership. Mandatory minimum sentencing has been rightly identified as a human rights travesty and is being repealed across the nation.
If this passes, not only will it be one more failed attempt to prevent gun possession, but it will also represent Democratic willingness to totally ignore the lessons of drug prohibition and the devastation of mandatory minimum sentencing for a futile and authoritarian quest to regulate what people can and can’t own.
Mandatory minimum sentences were devised as a way to circumvent lenient, liberal judges who were supposedly “soft on crime.” What they ended up doing is helping the United States to imprison more people than any other country on Earth, mostly for non-violent offenses. Mandatory minimums have been such a demonstrated human-rights catastrophe that most states are repealing the laws instituting them and the Department of Justice has indicated plans to re-evaluate them at the federal level. In addition, a Reason-Rupe poll found that 71 percent of Americans want mandatory minimum sentencing laws for non-violent offenders eliminated.