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Harsher sentences not always answer
Former Judge Sharp doesn't agree with all long terms
Former federal Judge Kevin H. Sharp says there should not be mandatory sentencing minimums, which is the reason he resigned.
Politicians are eager to appear as being tough on crime, but laws mandating harsh, one-size-fits-all sentencing are hurting American society, not to mention many of the people who fall in the criminal justice system.That is the argument of former federal Judge Kevin H. Sharp, who was obliged to sentence defendants to long terms in prison when he knew a different treatment would bring better results for the accused and for society as a whole. The automatic sentences written into federal law, with no regard to individual histories and circumstances prompted him to resign as chief judge of the Middle District of Tennessee, he told The Rotary Club of McMinnville last week.“Harsh sentences are not what’s needed” in many cases, said Sharp, who was nominated to the federal bench by President Obama in 2010 and then confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2011. America needs to understand one of the major factors in criminal justice is opioid addiction and the illegal sale of drugs, he said.