FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2017
Contact: Rabiah Burks
FAMM Statement on USSC 2017 Report
on Mandatory Minimum Sentences
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring released the following statement after reviewing the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s “2017 Overview of Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System”:
Having new data is always helpful, but the Commission’s new report didn’t tell us anything we did not already know. Mandatory minimums produce excessive sentences and fill our prisons with minnows not sharks. And, if the opioid epidemic has proved nothing else, it has made clear that mandatory minimums do nothing to reduce drug abuse.
The report’s good news — that use of mandatory sentences is down — only makes our concerns about Attorney General Sessions’ new charging memo grow. The Commission found that by using mandatory minimums more judiciously, prosecutors didn’t catch as many small fish. Sessions’ commitment to expanding the use of mandatory sentences means we can now expect the opposite.
It’s time for us to get off this seesaw. The guarantee of proportionate justice should not depend on who the attorney general is at a given moment. Congress should eliminate these arbitrary sentencing laws as soon as possible.
FAMM, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, promotes commonsense sentencing and prison policies that increase public safety.
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