Writing in the Detroit News, president of Justice Fellowship, former speaker of the House in Michigan, and Right on Crime signatory Craig DeRoche tackles his home state’s record on disproportionate sentencing. He writes,
the forcible deprivation of liberty through incarceration is an awesome state power that is vulnerable to misuse, threatening the republican values that underpin the legitimacy of both the prison and of the state.
One of the ways we should limit government power is through the principle of proportionality. Proportionality requires that crimes be sentenced in relation to their seriousness and to the extent of the offender’s moral culpability.
These days, well-designed, well-managed sentencing systems successfully reduce disparities, make sentencing predictable and make the system more transparent. We now have clear evidence that Michigan’s sentencing system does not accomplish these things.