Crime
8:49 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

IL criminal justice experts oppose mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes

30 criminal justice experts and practitioners in Illinois have signed onto a research memo opposing mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes. 

 Mandatory minimums have been largely discredited in this country.  But the concept is gaining some unusual currency in Illinois as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing 3-year mandatory minimum sentences for illegally carrying a loaded gun.  Last week the University of Chicago crime lab published a memo supporting Emanuel’s proposed mandatory minimums.  Julie Biehl at Northwestern law school oversaw the production of a contrasting memo released today.

 BIEHL: The empiracle evidence shows, and the research shows, that mandatory minimums do not have the deterrent effect that some are saying it does and we felt it was important to get that message out. Biehl says research also shows that increased, strategic policing can have a bigger effect on gun violence.  She says legislators should know the research before passing costly mandatory minimums.