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Drug Crimes & Minimum Mandatory Sentencing Laws

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As cocaine and other illegal drugs gained popularity in the US during the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s the American justice system expectedly faced growing drug crimes. When a star college basketball playerdied of a cocaine overdose in 1986, it shocked the nation and encouraged Congress to pass mandatory sentences for drug charges.

These new, solid laws focused on abnormal state tranquilize wrongdoers as well as low level offenders such as couriers. Under these laws, multiple convictions for small-time crimes handed down long, harsh sentences for many people.

An intense debate arose that questioned if the severe sentences were necessary for small time multiple drug offenders. Bill Otis, former federal prosecutor felt that “individuals are in jail for their own awful decisions.” While others, for example, as Judge John Gleeson stated “Mandatory minimums, to some degree, sometimes entirely, take judging out of the blend. That is a terrible thing for our framework.”

On August 12, 2013 U.S. Lawyer General Eric Holder released a memo regarding enhancements on charging mandatory minimum sentences in certain drug cases. He felt there was a need to refine policies for certain non-violent, low-level drug offenders. The 2013 Alleyne v. United States case ruled that for a defendant to be liable to an obligatory least sentence, prosecutors must lead an ‘individualized assessment’ to ensure the charges fit the circumstances of the case and must consider elements, for example,

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  • The litigant’s direct
  • The respondent’s criminal history
  • The circumstances relating to the offense
  • The needs of the community

Basically… the punishment must fit wrongdoing. US Attorney General Eric Holder feels that long sentences for peaceful, low-level drug offenses do not promote public safety, deterrence and rehabilitation and severe mandatory least sentences must be held for genuine, abnormal state fierce medication violations.

It is expressed that due to the rising prison costs have resulted in reduced spending in areas such as law implementation specialists, prosecutors and avoidance programs. In this update it is reminds a prosecutor  to decline mandatory minimum sentence if:

  • The defendant’s conduct does not include the utilization of viciousness, danger of brutality, or different variables
  • The litigant is not a criminal organization leader
  • The defendant does not have significant ties to large scale drug trafficking organizations
  • The litigant does not have a noteworthy criminal history

But instead of simply stop at new offenders, the Clemency Project 2014 takes past crimes into account and invites prisoners who carried out peaceful medication wrongdoings to apply for early discharge or exculpates.

It is terrifying to attempt to navigate the ever-changing laws of the court system. Having a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer on your side means you are not the only one amid this season of instability. At The Law Offices of Travis Koon, we realize that all people have the privilege to a reasonable trial, and we will strive to safeguard you or your loved ones. Call us today to discuss your case. We are defense attorneys in Lake City, FL with offices located in Lake City, Gainesville, and Miami. Before you tell your side of the story, always call and attorney and tell it to us first.