Incarceration for small incidents can often lead to administrative problems for the government, as well as loss of reputation to the incarcerated. In recent times, Maryland has shown a downward trend of imprisonment, bending towards the idea of amicable settlement and reformative community activities to help an incarcerated person become a more responsible citizen rather than a hard criminal due to the time served in the prison.
However, in some drug charges, the accused, if convicted, will likely face mandatory minimum sentencing. Mandatory minimum sentencing means that regardless of the judge's own opinion or beliefs, the judge does not have the legal right to reduce the sentencing. Thus, in such a case where even the judge has little or no say in the mandatory minimum sentencing, the right criminal defense approach can be crucial.
The fairness of such mandatory minimum sentencing has often been criticized by many organizations against mandatory sentencing. One of the most important points of criticisms is that the judge loses acumen gathered over the years to decide a case based on the relevant facts and evidence presented in the court.
While many Maryland residents believe in punishing the guilty, fairness also lies in giving a proportionate sentencing to anyone convicted of a crime. A blanket sentencing depending on the offense alone and not on the other facts of the case often compromises the basic foundation of justice in the United States. Hardened criminals and first-time offenders or even small drug offenders are treated in the same way under such sentences, which is considered by many to be unfair.
Source: JusticePolicy.org, "Maryland's mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws," Accessed June 22, 2015