CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"In Defense of Mandatory Minimums"

This post by Robert VerBruggen appears at

I'd like to highlight a distinction here that will be very important. Is the problem that the sentences aremandatory -- or is it that the sentences are poorly calibrated to the crimes?

. . .

It seems to me that we can keep the benefits of these reforms while backing off from their more draconian aspects. The problem with a 55-year mandatory sentence for a pot dealer isn't that it's mandatory. It's that it's a 55-year sentence for a pot dealer -- which shouldn't be possible, much less mandated.

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