One aspect that seems especially objectionable is mandatory minimum sentences. I think it makes a lot of sense for a judge who knows the law and the circumstances of a case to decide what punishment is fitting. Binding the hands of a judge by forbidding sentences of less than a set amount seems like a policy can that only produce injustice. Surely, there are cases where a literal interpretation of the law would apply to someone, but where it would be unjust to punish the guilty party severely. Letting judges keep their discretion is an appropriate reflection of the complexity of the world. I also question whether the supposed problem of excessively lenient sentencing – the basis for establishing minimums – actually exists.
I also think it is counterproductive and unjust to tighten the laws on illegal drugs. Most of the harm done by drugs arises precisely because they are illegal. It would be far better to legalize, regulate, and provide treatment. That is especially true of exceptionally benign drugs like marijuana – which is probably less damaging to the people who use it than most prescription antidepressants. Besides, it is up to properly informed individuals to decide what they want to put into their bodies – not a moralizing state that has bought into the morally bankrupt and ineffective ‘War on Drugs’ mentality.
Finally, I strongly object to the lack of personal security for inmates in prison. Even criminals deserve to have their human rights protected by the state.