this paper will explain how mandatory minimums emerged in the modern era, summarize the policy arguments for and against mandatory minimums, and evaluate both the Justice Safety Valve Act and the Smarter Sentencing Act. The bottom line is this: Each proposal might be a valuable step forward in criminal justice policy, but it is difficult to predict the precise impact that each one would have. This much, however, appears likely: The Smarter Sentencing Act is narrowly tailored to address one of the most pressing problems with mandatory minimums: severe sentences for relatively minor drug possession crimes.
Aug 13th, 2014
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