Write a minimum of a 700-word response to the following questions:
Discuss the pros and cons of mandatory sentences. Do mandatory sentences remove discretion from the sentencing judge and vest discretion in the prosecutor, who may elect to charge a defendant with a lesser offense to avoid imposition of a mandatory sentence?
In a substantial number of criminal appeals, some state appellate courts routinely issue decisions merely stating “Judgment Affirmed.” When an appellate court rejects a defendant’s issues on appeal, should it be required to issue an opinion justifying its decision? In discussing this issue, consider whether such a requirement would require greatly increasing the number of judges and support staff and the additional costs thereof, as well as detract from the court’s ability to direct its efforts to writing opinions on novel questions of law.