In June 2016, the United States found itself in the middle of a national sentencing controversy. 20-year-old Brock Turner, a star swimmer at Stanford University, was found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious 22-year-old woman behind a fraternity house dumpster. Turner was sentenced to six months in prison, three years on probation, and life registration as a sex offender. Public consensus appeared to be that Turner’s punishment was far too lenient and that justice demands a more severe penalty for such violent and reprehensible acts, both to punish the perpetrator and to send a message generally that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. Around the same time, another sentencing controversy was playing out in New Orleans. There, 34-year-old Jacobia Grimes faced a sentence of 20 years to life for stealing $31 in candy from a convenience store. Having been convicted of petty theft four times previously, the district attorney chose to prosecute Grimes as a repeat offender, subjecting him to certain mandatory minimum sentencing. “Twenty years to life for a Snickers bar, or two or three or four,” Judge Franz Zibilich wondered aloud during Grimes’s arraignment. “Isn’t this a little over the top?” 1