Retired Federal Judge Calls Mandatory Minimums for Non-Violent Drug Offenses "Insanity"



Judge Mark W. Bennett sent 1,092 of his fellow citizens to federal prison for mandatory minimum sentences ranging from sixty months to life without the possibility of release.

"The majority of these women, men and young adults are nonviolent drug addicts. Methamphetamine is their drug of choice. Crack cocaine is a distant second. Drug kingpins? Oh yes, I’ve sentenced them, too. But I can count them on one hand."

"If lengthy mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug addicts actually worked, one might be able to rationalize them. But there is no evidence that they do. I have seen how they leave hundreds of thousands of young children parentless and thousands of aging, infirm and dying parents childless. They destroy families and mightily fuel the cycle of poverty and addiction. In fact, I have been at this so long, I am now sentencing the grown children of people I long ago sent to prison."

Read The Nation's "How Mandatory Minimums Forced Me to Send More Than 1,000 Nonviolent Drug Offenders to Federal Prison".

Then maybe vote Yes on Prop 36 to modify California's insane "Three Strikes" law.

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