There are five types of mandatory sentences in Delaware that differ in definition, application, discretion granted to the court, and resource impact; they include mandatory criminal statutes, mandatory sentencing statutes, mandatory repeat offender status, habitual criminal mandatory sentencing statutes, and mandatory time and fine. Eighteen of the mandatory sentencing statutes account for over 95 percent of all mandatory sentenced admissions to prisons. Data analysis showed that sentences are longer for defendants sentenced at or above the minimum mandatory terms. Criminal Code sentenced admissions are, on average, 13.7 years longer for those sentenced above the minimum mandatory term. On average, drug offense admissions sentenced within the minimum mandatory range are 4.4 years longer than those sentenced below the minimum range. The largest number of admissions are traffic code violators; sentenced admissions fall within the minimum mandatory range over 97 percent of the time and sentences are one month longer than those below the minimum mandatory range. 1 appendix
Mandatory Sentencing in Delaware, 1981-1991
This paper reviews the use and effects of mandatory sentencing in Delaware, found in criminal statutes, specific sentencing statutes, and the administrative and regulatory titles of the Delaware Code, over the past 10 years.
Date Published: April 3, 1992