CrimProf Blog

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Leahy/Paul and Mandatory Minimum Sentencing"

From Bill Otis at Crime & Consequences. In part:

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced a bill (S.619) that would effectively end mandatory minimum sentencing in federal law.  Judges would be able to sentence at any level below the minimum they wished, provided only that they explain the sentence (which should be routine anyway under existing sentencing standards).  The government would be able to appeal, but that prospect is largely both illusory   --  given the resistance at Main Justice to approving any sentencing appeals except in the most egregious cases  --  and ineffective even when it happens, given the very deferential appellate standards imposed on the circuits by Booker, Gall and Kimbrough.  The overall effect is that district judges so inclined would be able to go below the mandatory minimum whenever they wished, and almost always get away with it.
The Leahy/Paul bill is a disaster, both for US Attorneys Offices and, more importantly, for the country.

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