Too many laws
Your comments on Thursday were better directed to today's question on mandatory sentencing.
Your assessment of California laws is correct inasmuch as there seem to be more of them and they seem to be more voluminous in text. If there is a more complicated way to write laws, California seems to find it.
But a sentencing commission is nothing more than political appointments that reflect the makeup of our state legislature at any one time and will raise or lower penalties and politically isolate our elected officials from taking responsibility for their screw-ups. Example: If the commission lowers penalties and allows the release of a violent offender who proceeds to re-offend, everyone asks, "Who let him out?" The way things are now, the elected office holder who changed the law would take the heat. With a commission the blame is lost and it's impossible to assign responsibility.
Mandatory sentences have times when they are too harsh or too weak, depending on the merits of each case and it own circumstances. That's why judges have leeway and flexibility to consider particular factors before handing down the sentences. The law provides each crime with three different penalties and allows a judge to use one that he feels best fits the offense and the offender. When the judge uses the lowest term it is called a mediated term. When he uses the greatest, it is referred to as the aggravated term.
District attorneys or prosecutors are also empowered to reduce or escalate charges, thus you see "plea bargain" prosecutions that never go to trial in over 90% of all criminal convictions in California.
I feel mandatory sentences do serve a very important part in the criminal justice system. They, for the most part, are reserved for the crimes that the public most wants to stop, such as drunk driving, child molestation and repeat offenders. Even driving illegally in the car pool lane will get you a mandatory $247 fine. It's like "mandatory" really means, "we are serious about this law don't do it."
If you get to thinking about it in the laws of nature, the penalties are always the same or "mandatory." A good example is the law of gravity: if you jump a off a 10 story building you're a goner. Nature's law of inertia: if you step in front of a tank you know exactly what will happen.
Our man-made laws seem to have so many exceptions that after a while compliance becomes a joke.
This use of mandatory laws do work in this regard. Either a person is deterred from these types of crimes or they are detained. The end result is exactly the same the crime stops.
I personally feel we have far too many laws, rules and regulations.
Good laws should be simple to understand, tough enough to stop criminal conduct and certain no excuses.
Mike Reynolds is the father of Kimber Reynolds, who was murdered 1992 at the age of 18. He is also the father of "Three Strikes and You're Out" and "10-20-Life (Use A Gun and You're Done)," which are said to be among America's toughest crime laws.