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New Report on Mandatory Minimums Issued

November 01, 2011

The U.S. Sentencing Commission, in response to a directive from Congress, has issued a 645- page report on the impact of mandatory minimum penalties in federal sentencing.

The report tracks sentencing information on 83,946 individual offenders in fiscal year 2010, and makes about a dozen recommendations for congressional consideration in light of the Commission’s findings.

The report cites “a spectrum of views among members of the Commission regarding mandatory minimum penalties,” and cites its 2010 survey finding that a majority of federal judges believe that mandatory minimum penalties contribute to sentencing disparity.

The Judicial Conference of the United States, the federal judiciary’s policy-making entity, has a long-standing opposition to mandatory sentencing.