It’s obvious that the mandatory sentencing sought to serve a purpose. However, it also has indirectly targeted particular groups of individuals, look at the predominant number of people that fill our prison systems. Don’t get me wrong there are people committing crimes and yes they should be rehabilitated if possible, but nonviolent low-level drug offenders getting slapped with mandatory minimums may be excessive, for the last 40 years. When a judge has no discretion to reduce a prison sentence for a 19 year old that was accused of conspiracy of drug possession because he was in the car, there may be a problem, a epidemic if you will. Situations like that happen all the time and lead to the crowding of prisons, especially by minorities.
I am happy that Attorney General Eric Holder has stood his ground in implementing Smart on Crime, and has taken steps first instructing federal prosecutors to not charge non-violent drug offenders with offenses that would require mandatory sentencing. Hoping that this leads to changes in our justice system, perhaps gives those a chance that made minor mistakes an opportunity to still have a life, rather than a mandatory jail sentence.
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