Harper on Crime

Harper’s Conservatives are pushing for mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of crimes including drug trafficking, crimes by parolees, and weapons offences.

The Star reports:

Speaking to about 1,200 people at a Manitoba Chambers of Commerce luncheon, Harper said the reforms will include three key measures.

One would impose mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking, weapons offences and crimes committed while on parole, and for repeat and violent offenders.

The Conservatives also want to end what Harper called the “unconscionable” practice of conditional sentences, which let criminals serve out terms at home.

The third measure would be to increase the age of consent for sex between an adult and teen to 16 from 14.

“We’ve made a decision to crack down on crime and we’re going to stick to it,” Harper said. “But we are in a minority Parliament, and that means there are decisions that have to be made by the other parties, especially on the issue of crime.”

He accused the Liberals and other opposition parties of opposing Conservative justice reforms at every turn over the last 13 years and then promising to get tough on crime during election campaigns. The new government plans to bring in each justice measure in a separate bill to force the opposition members to take a stand.

My understanding is that mandatory minimums have been in effect in many states for years and haven’t been particularly effective because it takes the power out of judges’ hands and puts them into the hands of police officers and district attorneys.

If you’re knowledgeable about the subject please leave a note and point me in the right direction to find more info either for or against mandatory minimum sentences.