Mandatory Minimums

WASHINGTON, DC — A groundbreaking report released this week by the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences, documents the unprecedented and costly price of U.S. incarceration rates. With less than five percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, the U.S. continues to rank […] Continue Reading

WASHINGON, DC—Congressmen Raul Labrador (R-ID) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Smarter Sentencing Act on Wednesday, which would significantly reform mandatory minimum drug sentencing policies. The bill, which was introduced as S.1410 in the Senate by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) in July, would cut the length of some mandatory minimum drug […] Continue Reading

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on mandatory minimum sentencing last Wednesday as Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and fellow committee member Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) sought to create momentum for a reform bill they filed together this spring, the Justice Safety Valve Act (Senate Bill 619). The hearing comes in the face of […] Continue Reading

WASHINGTON, DC — In a speech Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder said he was expanding the Justice Department’s recently announced policy of not pursuing mandatory minimum drug sentencing to include people whose cases are already in the “pipeline.” Last month, Holder unveiled a major step toward reducing the federal prison population. He said he would direct US Attorneys […] Continue Reading

WASHINGTON, DC — Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from four conservative witnesses who have concerns with the continued use of mandatory minimum sentencing, a costly and counterproductive cookie-cutter approach that binds a judge’s ability to apply a meaningful sentence that will address the offense and provide for public safety. According to the […] Continue Reading

WASHINGTON, DC —  The FBI Monday released its annual Uniform Crime Report, and the numbers show that the war on drugs continues to roll right along. Despite marijuana legalization in two states and increasing public support for policy alternatives to perpetual drug war, police arrested slightly more drug offenders than the previous year, with drug arrests […] Continue Reading

WASHINGTON, DC — In a speech to the American Bar Association today Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce major federal sentencing changes, including dropping the use of mandatory minimum sentencing in certain drug cases, expediting the release of certain nonviolent elderly prisoners, leaving more offenses to state courts to deal with, and working […] Continue Reading